This year I am coaching youth basketball again. Like 99% of coaches around the world I don't do it for the money, the publicity or in most instances, the "love of the game." Rather, I coach because I know in a small way I am able to have a big impact and make a difference. Whether it is on the basketball court, baseball diamond or football field, millions of youths are out there giving an effort to become not just better athletes but better citizens. Cooperation and teamwork, hardwork and dediction, integrity and character, honor and pride are a few of the attributes that are bestowed on athletes when they learn that these "finer points" of the game have very little to do with dribbling a basketball or making a jump shot. It's amazing how I can look back at my childhood and remember almost every coach I ever had and even the lessons that they taught me, which I learned and applied later in life.
Coach Levesque (HS Basketball) "It's not the will to win, it's the will to prepare to win."
Coach Fitzgerald (HS Football) "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Coach Sullivan (College football) "Do you believe?"
Coach Murphy (College football) "Why not us?"
Coach Carroll (My Dad) "It's a game of passing"
Since joining the military I have been thanked countless times by friends and strangers for my service. And while I appreciate the recognition, I can honestly say that I believe I have a greater degree of impact on my 4th graders than I do on my Nation at large. I encourage others to take time out of their day and find a way to impact their local communities. I challenge those who have followed my "deeds" thus far to use their own talents, perhaps resources and do something good for a stranger. I can guarantee that you will walk away satisfied knowing that you are contributing to the success of our world's future.