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Tragedy

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  • #175701
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    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?”

    #176171
    Justin Gerstung
    Participant
    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.

    #176172
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’m so sorry to hear this, coach. I think the only solace is knowing you did all you could to help him. Maybe use it as a lesson for your current players/team to guide your interactions with them and make sure you’re doing all you can to be a positive influence for them. My prayers are with you. 

    #176173
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I can offer nothing but my prayers and positive vibes. 

    “no regrets”….. everything we’ve done led us to where we are now as people–it’s all part of God’s plan my guy. Stay the course-stay positive-and keep doing what you know is right to the best of your ability. I’m sure that will feed your program/players even more than tragedy if you stay that course (even though sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do).

     

    Prayers, brother.

    #176175
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Coach Doug,

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story.  On the behalf of the Key5 Coaching team, we offer our prayers and condolences for a loss of a young man that we have no doubt you impacted.  

    Part of coahing is it is often difficult to measure the impact we have on the athletes we serve, but with the vivid stories you recall makes it obvious to me that you had an impact on each other.  Coach, thank you for doing everything you can to impact the lives of the athletes you coach.  

     

    Chris

     

    #176176
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Coach Doug,  this is so sad to hear.  Thank you for sharing.  It is a great reminder for each of us to do the best we can with each and every interaction we have with others.  If we do that, then we can surrender the results as they aren’t ours to own.  

    Our thoughts are with you and Laura and with this gentleman’s family.

     

    Sarita

    #176181
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Doug, sorry to hear this.  Thoughts with you and the families effected.  

    Thank you for sharing such a powerful message and reminder. 

    On 4/17/2020 at 7:15 PM, Doug Smith said:

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

    Such a great assist coach!

    #176190
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks Justin, Kelli, Nate, Chris, Sarita, and Mark. I’m a crusty old war horse from the front lines of family/emergency medicine. I have seen my fair share or death and dying. You know though after all those years and experiences it never got any easier for me. I honestly think some of our emotional responses are, at least to some degree, hardwired into the very fabric of our being. However, another attribute for anyone who has spent much time in the emergency department is resiliency. Like the title of my all time favorite song says, we must ROLL WITH THE CHANGES.

    Thanks for being a great community. 

    #176191
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Doug,

    I am sorry to hear that you lost a player. It doesn’t matter if you coached him one hour or 4 years, he was still one of your players and it hurts when you lose a player.  From reading what you wrote him I am sure that you had an impact on his life. Although his life was cut short, you created happy moments for him.  Reach out to those that knew him and shower them with your love as they need you more than ever.  Sending prayers to his family, your family, his friends and classmates.

    #176192
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks Stevie. 

    #176205
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hey Doug,

    I am late to seeing you post. I am so sorry for this loss. Thanks for sharing your heart and insight.

    Something we can all learn from.  It’s great to see other Key5 coaches in our community and their responses.

    Praying tonight for you.

    Sincerely,

    Sam

    #176208
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Doug,

    Thank you for sharing your heart and being vulnerable to the rest of the Key5 community. I am thankful that you have been blessed with the knowledge of “no regrets”. 

    Prayers for you, both families and everybody in your program.

    Adrian

     

    #176210
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks Sam and thanks Adrian. 

    #176320
    Justin Gerstung
    Participant

    Just recently had a loss of a teammate, not an athlete, but that pain was just as difficult.  44 year old, husband, father of four, Christ follower, just out for a bike ride with his son, and was hit on accident.  Died at the scene in his son’s arms.  Too tragic, life to short, but another meaningful relationship created through sport.  Doug, a great thread started here, not tying to rehash old stuff for you, but wanted to share, as life is short and we need to appreciate everyday that we get.

    #176329
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Justin, 

    We at Key5 are sorry to hear about your loss of a teammate.  Appreciate you sharing, it’s important to share the stories of those that we unfortunately lost.  

     

    Chris

     

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