My son is on crutches. He’s never played real football until this school year. His first day on the field, his first real game as starting inside linebacker defensive captain, B Team, Blocker Middle School – two helmets to the knee took him out of the game. Since then I’ve watched his coaches. In fact, since the beginning of the season I’ve watched his coaches. From young to old, I’ve been impressed with the affirmation with which these men lead their players. Jentry “Tree” has felt the affirmation of his coaches and trainers alike as they pat him on the back and wish him speedy recovery. One coach in particular has caught my attention.
Coach Rick Wallace was close enough for me to hear his conversation with another student on the first day of practice. “I told you you could do it, buddy! You wanted to quit; said you couldn’t finish.” The boys mother passes my car on the curb and then approaches her son and Coach Wallace. She introduces herself to him. Coach Wallace continues, “I told him, Mom, that if he couldn’t finish the practice, he couldn’t finish a game. He has to show his will to endure. He said he couldn’t but I told him he could. And he did! You finished, bub! And I’m proud of you!”
Now, that’s my kind of leadership! But I was just seeing the surface of the heart of this man. Let’s just say that his motto could be “I love you from the bottom of my…kidney? Take a look.
Thank you, Coach Wallace, for your brand of coaching. I pray other leaders will be as inspired and reminded as I am of what true manhood looks like.