Since I retired I am often asked what I did before retirement. A college coach for forty years is my response. What sport did I coach? My response college basketball. Depending on the person, I get a polite nod and change of subject or an enthusiastic nod from sports lovers. What did I win? Who is my favorite team etc? Depending on my mood I answer their questions superficially or specifically.
Why you might ask? They asked the wrong question. I coached college basketball at every level. I won at every level and lost at every level. Am I a good coach? Yes. A great coach, I don’t think so. Winning at all cost is not who I am. First and foremost, I’m a teacher. One might argue all coaches teach. I disagree. There are coaches who recruit great talent and manage it well. Thankfully, there are coaches who do both.
I taught physical education courses as part of my responsibilities. My favorites being tennis and personal fitness to non-athletes. The student’s enthusiasm and improvements brought me great satisfaction. Fitness and tennis provided them with life changing skills. Skills to enhance their lives. The thought still makes me smile. Yet, my greatest joy comes from knowing everyone graduated.