Home Forums Topics Culture Tragedy Tragedy

Justin Gerstung
4 hours ago, Doug Smith said:

I was a little uncertain about where to place a post like this, but then I realized that when we use that buzz word culture this is exactly what we are talking about. 

Two days ago I found out one of my former players died. There were several factors, but Covid-19 played a role. This young man came to our program from a troubled past, and I am sorry to say that that after just one season and the next preseason he left our program and school. During that short stay, by his position on the team, he and I were placed in a very close working relationship. It was a step forward, one to three step back waltz that honestly tested my limits many times over. Individual workouts, counseling, disciplining, cajoling, laughing with, driving him around, taking him to school events, surreptitiously buying meals on bus trips, wanting to strangle him over broken doors and ceiling tiles—coaching. 

In the end, things did not work out for him at our school, but I would still see him, mostly when he would come to see his friends play. He would always ask me how my wife was doing. He loved Laura, and judging by the big smile he always greeted me with, maybe he did me too.  

I am blessed to have a fantastic coaching mentor.  There is probably nothing as far as a team that he has not dealt with. After a day or so of listening to Vince Gill’s, “Go Rest High on that Mountain,” I was finally able to look myself squarely in the mirror and say, “No regrets. I tried my best to help that kid.” When I relayed that to Coach, he echoed back that was absolutely the key. 

Can the culture we have created for ourselves and our teams leave us with “No Regrets?”

Coach- sorry to hear this.  We have had players that have not worked out in the past as well, and often have seen them later in life and there is recognition that both sides could have done better, but most (including you I’m sure) do the best we can, with what we know at the time.  NO REGRETS is definitely the way to go, especially if your intentions are pure.