Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Tribute to a Beloved Coach and Within it; A Message

Joy of Competition
Meaning of Effort
Worth of Character
Power of Kindness
Wisdom of Honesty
Influence by Example
Rewards of Cooperation
Virtues of Patience

It seems that Coach Greg House possessed all the qualities of a "good coach."  The Swim and Dive coach at Blue Valley North High School in Kansas City was one of the winningest high school coaches (in terms of state titles) in Kansas history- leading his team to 20 state swim and dive championships during his 30 year career. When Coach House died last week of lung cancer not only did he leave behind a lot of trophies locked up in glass cabinets he also left behind something much more important;  the hundreds of lives he impacted.  A friend of mine sent me a link to a blog from one of his former swimmers.  She swam for Coach House years ago but the news of his death moved her greatly.  She channeled her grief into her art and she was gracious enough to let me repost some of her illustrations here.  I think they convey a tremendous love for her sport and for her coach.

Two coaches write for this blog and many coaches read this blog.  Just because you played a sport doesn't make you a good coach.  If that was the case all actors would make great directors and all students would make great teachers.  According to John Wooden, "a coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."  Coaches are bound by an inordinate amount of rules, regulations and red tape. You have to deal with kids and all of their idiosyncrasies, their obnoxious parents who wonder why their kid hasn't made an Olympic Trial cut in 3rd grade, an anemic paycheck and we've even got a swim coach without a pool.  It's not easy, even Bob Bowman gets frustrated sometimes.  

I think what I'm trying to say and what Elizabeth Baddeley is trying to say with her illustrations is:  You matter.  Coach Greg House mattered and you, the coach reading this, matters.  Elizabeth is selling these prints on her Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/shop/MisplacedMeadowlark and she is donating 100% of the profit to cancer research in her coach's honor. 



  2. These are incredible! I am definitely moved by the art...and her inspiration. Time to go to Etsy.

  3. Thanks, Cliff. Elizabeth will really appreciate that.