The Greatest Coach
The bright lights illuminated the field, with only the darkness of night beyond. I was nervous, my hands anxiously wringing the baseball bat as I stood in the on-deck circle.
At ten years old, baseball is your life. When it’s the bottom of the last inning and the championship is on the line, the importance of each play is exaggerated. I remember actually fighting back tears as the reality of the situation unfolded. The score was close, there were two outs, and I was up to bat.
My eyes raced to the stands where my family and friends screamed, “Come on, Matt! You can do it!”
As the feeling culminated into tears, I felt his hand on my shoulder.
My father. My coach.
As I turned, he knelt to get down on my level, looking me right in the eyes.
“Whatever happens, I want you to know that I’ll still love you. Don’t you think about anything else. Remember what we’ve worked on and do your best. There’s nobody I’d rather have up there than you.”
In that moment, my tears subsided. My confidence was renewed. I was ready.
I never fully appreciated my dad as my coach until I played for someone else. Quite honestly, every experience with another coach was a significant letdown. I remember being fourteen and feeling lost; stepping into high school athletics, longing for wisdom and instruction—but getting neither.
Some coaches held the same passion of the game as my father did, but there seemed to be an element missing, almost a self-serving capacity or desire for the position. The title of Coach outweighed their desire to influence their players.
Throughout my high school career as a multi-sport athlete, I never had a connection with a coach like I remembered having with my father. Because of this missing link, I became quite jaded.
I wanted confirmation in my abilities to be met with encouragement in my weaknesses.In the end, I was simply let down.
Fast forward to my career in the business world. I kept hearing of ‘business coaches’, but I wasn’t intrigued. I had become self-sufficient, leaning on my own hard work and intuition to thrive.
However, as I launched into a new business, things started to change. I started to see that there was wisdom and direction waiting for me that I didn’t yet have. There was something missing. I felt like that little boy in the on-deck circle again, overwhelmed with the responsibility before me.
I needed a coach.
At that time, I happened to learn that one of my influencers, Chris LoCurto was launching his own business. As I reached out, I saw familiarity. Chris wasn’t interested in his position at all. He wasn’t concerned about promoting himself or his accomplishments.
He was concerned about me.
He was there to give me confirmation and encouragement. More importantly, his wisdom provided perspective. He helped me look at my circumstances differently, which gave me incredible energy and purpose to continue.
Proverbs 1:7 says, “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I certainly don’t want to be foolish.
I’m grateful for Chris, his team, and the guidance they’ve provided as I’ve begun my new journey. As I prepare to launch my own writing and speaking career, I greatly appreciate the confidence they’ve given me.
Stepping back into the batter’s box, I stare at the pitcher, equipped and empowered.
“Remember what we’ve worked on. There’s nobody I’d rather have up there than you.”
Question: How has coaching empowered you?
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