Looking back to gain perspective

I started coaching and teaching in 1969. It was a different era. All my coaches & the coaches I coached with early in my career were part of the so-called “Greatest Generation.”  They had fought in WWII or the Korean War. I am more appreciate of what they did and taught me now more than ever.

I was a three sport athlete in high school, played football in college and competed in decathlon after college. I have seen a lot and experienced a lot both as an athlete, coach and as a parent. Here are a few thoughts/observation from what I have seen over the years:

  • Off-season football was track or baseball not passing leagues and hours spent locked in the weight room.
  • There was mandatory daily Physical Education K-12 in all fifty states. Now there is essentially none.
  • The majority of coaches were trained teachers. Now anyone who can blow a whistle is called a coach.
  • Sport was centered in the school. No travel teams.
  • Girls had no organized interscholastic sport, confined to GAA, not a good thing.
  • A multiple sport athlete was the norm not the exception.
  • “The Team” was a viable concept. We not me was a reality.
  • Cheating was punished not rewarded!
  • No social media, no smart phones, no texting – you actually talked to your coaches and teammates.

In summary it may not have been the “good old days” but as an old man I long for some of the way it was, it was different and there are things to be learned from the difference from the way it was to the way it is.

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