The Coach!

TunneySideofSports
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS September 4, 2017, #656 Up Next… “The Coach!”

After further review…When I was 12, my goal for a lifetime job was to be a coach. Maybe my inspiration came from my dad, who spent 10 years as a coach. I was only four years in that role — it was never a job – before moving into school administration, but my goal remained.

Here’s a passage from an earlier book that I wrote, which pays tribute to coaches:

Thanks for the special gifts that you give to your athletes. You learn their names and speak to them on and off the field. You teach them the basics of your sport as well as ways to improve and excel. Although you have a whole T*E*A*M of kids to mentor, you take time for an individual’s needs. Under your leadership kids are often transformed from timid and doubting young people to strong, happy players willing to give their all for the T*E*A*M.

When kids give their best, even though it may not have been quite good enough to win, you recognize their contributions with a pat on the back or an encouraging word.

Your wise approach shows that, although winning is the goal, there are other goals just as worthy. Your athletes learn the value of finishing what was started and the joy of personal accomplishment. Those attributes will carry them through a season of hard work. fun, resolve, defeat and victory.

In the face of a challenge, you teach them to go through, not around that challenge. And if your season results in a championship and the kids bring home an award, you are among those who are so very proud of how far they have come. It becomes a victory for all, not for just one.

What is amazing is you do it year in and year out, as if each season were your first time! You teach them skills that will last a lifetime. You continuously encourage them to excel and you’ll do that again next year with a totally new group. Others may never comprehend the full extent of your contributions to those young athletes, contributions that will shape the world that each of them will inhabit.

Many of these athletes’ families will, one day, look at the ribbons, trophies, medals as mere symbols of the real gifts, which have come straight from your heart.

The TunneySide believes all teachers are coaches as well.

Will you share a story of a coach or teacher who had an impact on your life?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

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Adults Provide Examples

Little League sign for parents
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 28, 2017, #655 Up Next… “Adults Provide Examples”

After further review…With the Little League championship season just completed, youth baseball is fresh in our memories. Many of you have either played Little League or had children or grandchildren participate at that level. I have been in the stands when my sons and grandsons played Little League. It was always an enjoyable activity. Granted, the tempers of some people got out of hand quickly. I’m not referring to the players, the kids just play, and move past mistakes and disappointments on the field quickly. Not so for some adults.

Sometimes coaches get overheated in their zeal to win, and, thus, their self-control weakens. The most important lesson coaches can teach is how to handle oneself when a call, or a game outcome, doesn’t go their way. Parents, too, need to set a behavioral example. A young player trying to play with poise and respect—both for him or herself and for opponents –is undermined when parents in the stands do not display that same respect.

As a kid growing up, I never played Little League. There was no such thing available, and I’m glad for it. When we were kids, the ballpark was local, very local, and so we were never driven there, we walked or rode our bikes. There were no refreshments after the game (unless we could find a hose attached to a water spigot). There were no coaches or umpires, and this was, in our minds, the best part of our sandlot experience. We didn’t have to prove ourselves to anybody outside of our own circle. Of course, we took pride in whether we won or lost, and, yes, we did proudly report victory to mom or dad when we got home.

One of the best takeaways for me was that we did not have umpires. We called our own balls and strikes, and handled, with dusty diplomacy, all the calls on the base paths. Sure. arguments happened, usually without fisticuffs. When those disagreements did occur and the arguments got long-winded someone (often me) would step in with “Ok, that’s enough, we’re gonna run out of time, so let’s call him safe (or out) and get on with the game.” Kids have an innate sense of fair play, and would rather play than argue.

Will you log-in about adult behavior at Little League games?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Tagged | Leave a comment

Full Time?


On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 21, 2017, #654 Up Next… “Full Time?”

After further review…The National Football League has recently announced there will be full-time on-field officials for the 2017 season. The announcement stated that 24 officials of the current staff of some 123 will be selected for full-time status. The NFL will then be the sole employer of those 24 officials. Further, the NFL is requiring there be at least one full-time official in each of the seven on-field positions, with no more than five in any one position. The obvious reason is to improve the skills of officials. Is the NFL seeking perfection? Stay tuned!

Let’s look at some issues. Those who work jobs outside of the NFL may not want to give-up that job with tenure, a family-plan for health insurance, and either a 401k or a retirement plan in place. For the years of my NFL tenure, it would not have been an option. Working as a teacher and school administrator would mean terminating those positions. Today, however, several officials have retired from their full-time employment and can make that transition. Others may be self-employed or work in jobs that allows freedom from their daily tasks.

The bottom-line for “full-time” is to improve on-field performance. NFL’s statistics indicate that today’s on-field officials are accurate about 96 to 97 percent of the time. That’s a high number to exceed. How much greater can it be? The sports of basketball (NBA), baseball (MLB) and hockey (NHL) employ full-time officials. Yet, and, with no disparaging thought intended, officiating mistakes in those sports do occur. Further, players make mistakes. A “satisfactory” passing completion rate for a starting NFL quarterback is around 64%, and they are full-time!

Further, studies of improving performance in any skilled activity claim that in doing it full-time, one must perform that activity on a regular basis, i.e., every day. Yet, teams only play a live game once a week. During the week, teams practice, but with minimal contact and not against an opponent, with none of the emotion created by live action. Having been on-the-field for more than three decades as well as recently having been in a trainer’s position, I can attest that today’s NFL officials take their responsibilities with the utmost care. The video review of each official’s performance every week is studied and critiqued with the intent to improve.

While the TunneySide admires the NFL’s goal to seek perfection, it must be understood that perfection is rarely achieved. No one – players, coaches, officials, or fans, want errors to happen, yet they will. My colleague, Dr. Nido Qubein, has said, “Imperfection is part of being human.” Football is a game played by humans.

Will you log-in your thoughts about full-time NFL officials?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in NFL, Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment