INSPIRATIONAL SPORTS QUOTES FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL COACHES

We’re happy to share these inspirational sports quotes from our coaches and staff. Whether you’re looking for inspiring quotes or real-world knowledge about the benefits of sports for students, these are sure to inspire.

For me the most satisfying moments are seeing the amazing young women and men my athletes grow up to become. Their success is the end result of countless hours of practices and game learning how to navigate this crazy thing we call life. Sports build character and helps mold young people. Seeing what amazing people they become is more gratifying than any game win.

Amy Behlen, PE Teacher Pearce Elementary, Southside ISD

The Santa Fe ISD coaching staff takes pride in being a family that without each other, we wouldn’t be as strong as we are. We support each other, we help build confidence in each other, and we push each other to coach to the best of our ability. Santa Fe Coaches strive to inspire all student athletes to compete to their fullest potential and instill discipline, honesty, and integrity that will stay with our young men and women as they progress through life

Matthew Bentley, Athletic Director Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe ISD

One student athlete taught is one student athlete saved.

Marcus McFarland, Coach Irving High School, Irving ISD

A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” Tom Landry. As coaches we push our student athletes to be the best they can be: the best person, the best student, and the best athlete. The lessons they learn in practice and in competition are lessons they will reflect on for the rest of their lives.

Daniel Rigney, Coach Virginia A Stacey Jr/Sr High, Lackland ISD

Struggle reveals character. It is through trial and tribulation that we discover our true self and achieve success and happiness. Never shy away from adversity, or from hard work because it will only prevent you from reaching your goals.

Jason Perez, Head Soccer Coach Alamo Height HS, Alamo Heights ISD

My high school coach from Elsik high school was THSBCA hall of famer Robert Copley, he used to always tell us “learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations”.

Jacob Hooker, Baseball Coach Boswell HS, Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD

Assistant coaches have the ability to reach players where they are and impact the whole program. As an assistant girls soccer coach, Coach Matt Clayton provides energy, excitement, and inspiration for all the girls he coaches. At a Varsity game when one of our captains was not exhibiting the leadership qualities we strive for, he took her aside and reminded her that she was not meeting the standard. The next game, she came out with humility and ready to lead, and it was because he took the time to hold her accountable and encourage her to do better. The whole team benefited from that small interaction.

Kara Walters, Head Girls Soccer Coach Boerne Champion HS, Boerne ISD

I bumped into one of my former players . . . “Hi coach!” “You’re practically a college grad, you can call me by my name, you don’t have to call me coach anymore.” “To me, you’ll always be coach.” The way he said it, his expression and tone, made me realize my role. It was then that I truly felt part of the profession and would always be a coach. I look back and realize that my players are thinking of me like I thought about my coaches. How lucky we are to have this opportunity to influence these young people. As a teacher the time I spend with students in clubs and sports, and the lessons in leadership, grit, determination, and hard work that emerge, can not be easily replicated by classroom work alone. Watching these student athletes take the confidence they gain on the field into the classroom and later into their careers is proof that our resources in time, talent, and treasure, are well spent.

Jim Welton, Head Golf Coach Brandeis HS, Northside ISD

I am a Head Football Coach today because of seeds sown by my high school head football coach, John Wrenn, nearly 30 years ago. He saw a young freshman with potential – he motivated me, inspired me, and equipped me to achieve my goals. We still have a relationship to this day, and I am honored to call him coach, mentor, and friend. I want to do the same for the players I have coached and the players I will coach in the future. I want to make a difference!

James Williams, Head Football Coach/Athletic Coordinator Thurgood Marshall HS, Fort Bend ISD

If you believe in yourself and you believe that you can be the best you can be, you will never lose a game for the rest of your life.

Shane Messer, Coach O’Connor HS, Northside ISD

“Do What You Love, Or Do Something Else” I went to Rockdale high school, and our Athletic Director & Head Football Coach Jeff Miller preached to us daily of what was our purpose of playing football. He showed us how to love the game and show up everyday with a great attitude. He always ended the quote with “it’s okay to not love everything you do but you do need to find the purpose in the something to love to be a great person on earth. “Do What You Love, Or Do Something Else” sticks with me through my coaching career. Waking up everyday with a new task on hand, I love being to come to work and inspire, coach and motivate student-athletes to reach their fullest potential.

Kortlin White, Coach Nacogdoches HS, Nacogdoches ISD

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.

Jo Anne Hultgren, Head Volleyball Coach/Assistant Athletic Coordinator Churchill HS, North East ISD

“Motivation is not an act of spontaneous combustion; you have to set yourself on fire!” ~Coach Michael Wiggins

Alicia Russo, Coach Royal HS, Royal ISD

“In life you win some, you lose some, but you prepare to win them all.” –  Eddie Robinson

Robert Lowe, Coach McClung HS, Fort Worth ISD

After 1978 semifinal game when Brownwood played Bay City.Gordon Wood addressed the players and quoted Winston Churchill..”never never never ever give up..”

Frank Brister, Coach Livingston HS, Livingston ISD

Good players make great coaches, GREAT COACHES make good players CHAMPIONS!!!

Steve Yocom, Former Volleyball Coach Retired, Mesquite ISD

Dominate tired! Don’t let tired dominate you!

Cody McGuire, Defensive Tackles Coach Austin Westlake High School, Eanes ISD

“Give the ball to the guy that’s going to compete” – Coach Brian Bilbrey (Coach Bilbrey passed away from cancer last October) He told me this about 7 years ago when making a JV baseball lineup and I think of it every Tues/Fri when I fill out lineup cards as a head coach

Brady Ribinskas, Head Coach Western Hills HS, Fort Worth ISD

The love for the sport and for the athletes that Coach Brett Lang, Jim Walton, and the late Tommy Grace showed us at Graham High School, helped lead me to the path of coaching. I try to treat my athletes with the respect and dedication that these three men showed. I will always be proud to have been coached by them. I hope to be half the coach that they were.

Wade Floyd, Head Cross Country/Assistant Track Andrews HS, Andrews ISD

Asking all my players this question every chance I get: “Our job as coaches is you love you, what is your job?” All the atheles will responde with “to love each other” To love each other no matter what! That goes for society as well!

Ben Benavides, Head Football Coach John F. Kennedy High School, Edgewood ISD

“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King

Andrew Britt, Coach JP Stevens High School, Northside ISD

“Your goals are not special or unique, someone else has those same goals. What needs to be special and unique is how you work towards those goals.”

Cruz Dyson, Head Wrestling Coach James Madison High School, North East ISD

This email came to me at the end of last year, when it was decided the school would be closed for the rest of the school year, by a graduating senior:

“Hey, sorry that this year had to end like this I was really hoping to go back to your class one last time. Thank you for being who you are on and off the field. I had a great time being around you and your workouts always brought a different type of energy around. I know you where not there for my devotion but I stood up there and opened up about my freshmen year I would like to thank you personally if you did not step in that day I would probably not be where I am today.”……student/athlete class of 2020.

Needless to say it touched me a great deal because of the impact of something as simple as taking a few minutes to talk and more importantly listening to a student who is having a difficult time can have. It’s my hope everyone understands the importance of developing relationships with our students, whether they are your athletes or not, and those wins in life are more important than the ones kept on a scoreboard.

Robbie Garza, Football/Baseball Coach Medina Valley HS, Medina Valley ISD

My Quarterbacks’ Coach, Jared Johnson was the starting quarterback of my high school. So, needless to say I look up to him and want to be him each and every day. He is an excellent role model, and he is always messing with us. In practice he likes to show off, so when he throws a good ball, he turns to us and says, “BUTTER”. So all of us have starting chanting, butter, butter, butter!!!!! I have to admit he still has a great arm, and every time I throw I can hear him saying “butter”. Actually I hear him say,”GET THAT ELBOW UP KURTENBACH”, followed by the shaking of the head.

He makes a difference in my life each day I step on the field with encouraging words, wisdom, and grit. We know when to mess around, but then I know when he means business. That is a hear to a Coach. He always says, “A quarterback needs to throw the ball like butter.” He is a true inspiration to me and all the young men on our team. He has created a moment like, “butter” smooth and easy and awesome. One I will never forget. Thanks, Coach.

From Josh’s Mom: My son constantly comes home and tells me when his Quarterback Coach talks he soaks it all in because there is not a day that goes by he doesn’t learn something from him. Josh says, “He always knows when to tell me I did a great job, but he is always the first to tell me when I need to work on something. We need more men in our schools like Coach Wilson mom, he inspires me to be my best every single day.”

Josh Kurtenbach,Student Athlete-Sophomore Quarterback South Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie ISD

To give anything other than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.

Ray Gonzales, Head XC, First Assistant Baseball East Central HS, East Central ISD

Coach Billy Turek, Shiner ISD started letting me be a ball boy in 6th grade, and he coached me my entire high school career.  I got into the coaching profession because I had so much respect for Coach Turek and I saw the difference he made in his athletes’ lives every day. I would sometimes not be the best student, and he would make sure that I did what I was supposed to in the classroom and on the field. The quote I remember from him happened one day after he got on me pretty hard for doing something dumb, I asked him, “Coach, why do you always get on me. Coach Turek response to me,“The day I quit getting on you is the day I have given up on you, so be glad I am on you.” I still use that quote with my players, and I am entering my 26th year as a coach.

Brent Mascheck,Athletic Director/Hd Football Coach Columbia HS, CBISD

“Nobody is perfect, but who says we can’t strive for perfection?” Of course nobody is perfect, but if we could pay attention to detail and develop a work ethic to achieve “perfection” then the sky is the limit on what we can accomplish.

Crosby Adams, PE Teacher Julian C. Gallardo Elementary, Southside ISD

“Be Better Today Than You Were Yesterday, Don’t be a Monday when it is Tuesday”

Jason Burnett, Head Boys Soccer Coach Byron P. Steele HS, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD

Our life skills department help kiddos tremendously with laundry and other things, I invited them for years to basketball games and they never came which I understood because I knew they families had their hands full. One game they came, we allowed them to shoot at half time, they danced to the music during half time and they had an absolute ball. It made my heart smile more than anything else that night.

Taneish a Rogers, Basketball Coach Cy Springs, Cy-Fair ISD

The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. – Vince Lombardi

Ed Champagne, Head Athletic Trainer East Central HS, East Central ISD

We are Always Coaching/Teaching Character…

Suzette Arriola, ECISD Athletic Director East Central HS, East Central ISD

I want to thank all of the San Angelo Central coaches for everything they did for me! They treat me like a son in the coaching fields. I will never leave a group of coaches that are like fathers to me.

River Subia,Equipment & Operation Managers Central High School, San Angelo ISD

We had a parent pass away in the middle of our volleyball season. (Coach Campos from Jay) His daughter did not miss but maybe one practice due to this because she wanted to be there for the team. When we had picture day, we took a team picture of the team in the form of a heart and had Coach Campos’ picture at the tip of the heart with his daughter. They had some really neat individual pictures done as well. This was a very inspirational moment seeing how dedicated Payten was to our team and how the team came together and supported her during that tough time of her life. Payten is now a senior at John Jay and playing varsity volleyball.

Kymberly Cavazos, Girls’ Head Coach, PE Coordinator, 8th grade volleyball, track, soccer Hobby Middle School, Northside ISD

“I have never scored a goal without a pass from my teammates.” ~ Abby Wambach

CJ Morrison, Head Girls Soccer Coach MacArthur HS, North East ISD

My freshman football coach at Hondo HS is the reason I chose to become a Coach. Coach Schweers was a coach that made every player feel as if they were the most important player on the field. It was an honor to go back to Hondo and start my coaching career there, as a fellow coach with Coach Schweers. Thank you Coach Scweers. GO BIG BLUE!

Kenneth Witte, Head 7th Grade Football Coach Tex Hill MS, North East ISD

Coaches across the state of Texas are the last source of unwavering love and accountability for many of our students. They are not just coaches teaching a skill, game, or creating a memory with a big win. They are surrogate mothers, fathers, mental health counselors, disciplinarians, cheerleaders, academic leaders, life coaches, etc… Coaches are the lifeblood of our schools. A group of coaches leading in the right direction can assist our principals in creating positive school culture, climate, and community pride.

Scott Lehnhoff, Athletic Director Cibolo Steele and Schertz Clemens, SCUCISD

“If you do not believe in yourself no one will do it for you.” -Kobe Bryant

Cynthia Raymond, 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach Kingsborough Middle School, Harlandale ISD

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Theresa Urbanovsky, Softball Coach Judson High School, Judson ISD

“You are capable of anything, when you are confident that you can.”

Casey Fallis, Girls Soccer and Cross Country Coach Alamo Heights HS, Alamo Heights ISD

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t; you’re right!” – Henry Ford

Todd Dorgan, Coach Alamo Heights HS, Alamo Heights ISD

Quote that hangs on my wall from legendary college football coach Eddie Robinson: “Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.”

Anthony Boykin, Head Football/Athletic Coordinator Stevens HS, Northside ISD

Ownership: one of the most important life skills anyone can gain. When someone genuinely takes pride in what they do, how they do it, and who they do it with, the results will take care of themselves. Own your work. Own your mistake. Own your journey. Ownership breeds success. – Jeff Janssen

Brian Sandera, Head Softball Coach Johnson HS, North East ISD

One of my favorites: “You need to be able to take your last turn, and see into your competitors eyes. Look at them and let them know today is not their day, and then take it from them.”

Matt Majors, Head Swim Coach LEE HS, North East ISD

The 3 keys to success are attitude, effort, and attendance.

Nathan Coppock, Swim Coach Alamo Heights HS, Alamo Heights ISD

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

Colton Hermes, Football and Baseball Coach Alamo Heights HS, Alamo Heights ISD

My biggest movement with my athletes is to have a 4th quarter mindset. That means no matter the circumstances they need to find a way to be successful. I come from two immigrant parents, who did not finish junior high school. Spanish was the only language in our household. I learned through my parents work ethic that no matter what we would stay together, work hard and succeed. I was the first from my family to graduate from a university, started coaching football at the junior high level and worked all the way up to being a head coach of a 5A program in Texas. I want students to know that through accountability, work ethic and passion they can succeed in anything they put their mind to.

Alex Franco, Head Football Coach/Campus Coordinator San Antonio Southwest High School, Southwest ISD

Si se Puede!

Maria Mendez, Coach Freedom Elementary, Southside ISD

Very excited about the opportunity to work with 3 former SWHS players who are now coaches in the SWISD district. Seeing those young men grow up and become members of the coaching and teaching community here at SWISD warms my heart. It was an honor to coach these young men and I look forward to following them in their careers. It has been a full circle for me to coach and then watch these athletes become leaders themselves.

John Tarvin,Athletic Coordinator/Head Football Coach Southwest Legacy HS, Southwest ISD

I am so proud of my athletes! They have done such a great job about staying optimistic during these uncertain times. These young ladies have been so great about wearing their masks and being socially distanced, while still working hard. They never complain and never slow down! Such a blessing to work with these ladies!

Alexandra Dorn, Volleyball Coach Harris Middle School, North East ISD

My favorite inspirational quote has to do with mindset and it is something we discuss with our team all the time. We talk a lot about controlling the controllable, and this quote speaks to exactly that. ” In no competitive or life scenario will focusing on the negative uncontrollable factors improve your performance or stress levels.” – Ben Bergeron, 2017, Chasing Excellence

Nicole Arbino, Assistant Softball Coach McCollum High School, Harlandale ISD

“Passion is what makes life interesting, what ignites our soul, fuels our love and carries our friendships, stimulates our intellect, and pushes our limits.” – Pat Tillman

Mike Burgess, Head Cross Country Coach/Assistant Track Coach Earl Warren HS, Northside ISD

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” ~Nelson Mandela We are facing some of the toughest times our generation has ever seen. Our teams can give hope to our communities by showing love, passion, and a spirit of togetherness on and off of the field. Change starts from the ground up, and we have an incredible canvas right in front of us! Let us use our actions to inspire this next generation to be the best generation yet!

Travis Smith, Coach Brandeis HS, Northside ISD

You and your team face a fork in the road each day. You can settle for average and choose the path of mediocrity, or you can take the road less traveled and CHASE GREATNESS! From Jon Gordon, “The Power of a Positive Team”

Terry Barton, Head Girls BB Coach Harlan HS, Northside ISD

You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours. -Herb Brooks- Love this quote! Show me what you got!!! Thank you for the inspiration !!

Marlene Trevino, Coach Sul Ross Middle School, Northside ISD

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” -Marcus Aurelius This is a quote that means everything for our student athletes. for us it means that in any situation no matter how bad or seemingly undesirable we have the opportunity to practice a virtue. Throughout our entire life whether on the field or in the classroom or when we leave school we will be faced with adversity, the question is, How are we going to get through this? what is our response? E+R=O we do not control the EVENT only OUR RESPONSE which will equal the Outcome.

Leandro Gonzales, Head Football Coach West Campus High School, South San ISD

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. – Steve Prefontaine

Phil Barron III, Athletic Coordinator/ Head Football Coach South San High School, South San ISD

Press On!

Anne Ager, Asst. Athletic Director Clark HS, Northside ISD

Inspiring youth playing the sport of golf is a hole in one. We all win with positive attitudes. Nothing is greater than being an inspiration to a child.

Gina Montemayor, Boys and Girls Golf Coach Warren High School, Northside ISD

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ? Rudyard Kipling “The Law of the Jungle” This means to me; In order to make anything successful, it takes strong individuals coming together and working towards a common goal. The whole team and the individuals of the team benefit.

Casey Garcia, Head Coach Boys Basketball and Cross Country West Campus High School, South San ISD

My inspirational moment came from a former athlete of mine whom I shared with basketball. I am the girls head track and field coach here at East Central HS, this athlete was the starting point guard of our girls basketball team for 3 years, she breathes, eats and lives basketball and would come run track for E.C. because she is talented and can run fast of course.

She has been our 1st leg on our sprint relay team for the past 2 yrs and well this year we were on the right track to be state bound…here is the inspiration; this athlete had a “live period” basketball tournament out of town, her first “live period” tournament of the AAU season fell on the same weekend as the regional 6A T&F meet. I just knew like the past two years I would need to prepare our alternate to run because she would head off to her basketball tournament, respectively bc I knew basketball was her love and her opportunity to go to college.

On my way home, I sent a text to my athlete asking her to please let me know what her decision will be–basketball tournament or the regional track meet– and to let me know by the next day, so I am not surprised the day of the meet. This was on a Tuesday, we were running on a Friday. I knew she was going to go play in the tournament but I needed to ask, no pressure from me or the team. To my surprise til this day she replied, “Well, I’ve been thinking and it is a hard decision to make but I don’t want to let the team down and this is the furthest I’ve been in track and we have a chance to go to state and I don’t want to miss out on that. Yes I know I will be passing up a big opportunity with basketball, but I have a couple more live periods tournaments, so I will be running tomorrow and if we advance Saturday.”

Our relay team was a sitting close 2nd, 3rd and/or4th going into regionals. My heart was blown away and eye watered immediately to know that my program, the team and myself built such an amazing relationship with this athlete that she was willing to miss one of her biggest opportunities to display her talents in basketball to be there for the track team, for the girls that built such a camaraderie that year, it was beautiful. As a coach I can’t ask for more!!! I will never forget this selfless act and it inspired me to continuing coach hard and loving hard, what I am doing and instilling in these athletes is REAL!!!!

Janelle Mulkey, Girls Head Track and Field Coach East Central HS, East Central ISD

“Why play for 2nd when 1st is still available.” Head Coach Danny Kloza is beginning his 11th year at LEE High School on a mission to do more than just coach football.

Since his arrival here, he has taken the lead with many obstacles ahead of him, never letting the overall GOAL out of site, “To win a district championship.” This year has been no different. The obstacle this time, COVID. As the school year closed unexpectedly and opened differently, he and his staff have taken the bull by the horns and revamped how they were going to do things differently, all while still playing for that one GOAL in mind.

Coach Kloza is not only trying to help these boys win a game, he is trying to teach the boys how to win at life. Many of our players are dealing with parents loss of jobs, babysitting their siblings or taking care of their grandparents all while trying to play football and most importantly, learn from home. This has proven to be a very difficult time for our students are LEE High School but with Coach Kloza and his staff by their side, they see a glimmer of light at the end of this difficult time.

Kellie Johnson, Assistant Athletic Coordinator, Head Tennis Coach LEE HS, North East ISD

Coaching is a calling. I would never trade it for another profession in all the world. Having the ability to influence someones life in a positive manner is coaching is all about.

Coaching is about putting kids first. Coaching is about unconditional love. It is about going above and beyond for someone else even at the sacrifice of your own family.

#GREAT coaches teach players to attack their problems to prepare them to be successful in life. Coaching requires you to take yourself out of it. It can’t be about you if you want to build a team of destiny. Your personal opinions don’t matter. Too many people believe they are doing more than they should in life. This mentality can’t exist if you believe molding intangibles in young lives is so important.

Coaching is character in action because attitude reflects leadership. My favorite bible verse is Ecclesiastes 9:10 – “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might, because in the grave, where you are going, there is no working nor playing.”

My favorite word is “RELENTLESS” because of its definition, “showing or promising no abatement of severity, strength, or pace.. unrelenting.” A heat seeking missile.

Being #GREAT at anything takes time and effort. The hours can’t matter. The result should. It’s not just about about winning, but the work necessary to build something #GREAT is. You must have trust, commitment, and you must care about others.

My favorite acronym is W.I.N. “What’s Important Now”. My other favorite acronym is W.A.R. “Warriors Are Relentless”.

My favorite quote is, “Perfection is unattainable, but if chase perfection; we can catch excellence” – Vince Lombardi.

My favorite author is Tom Clancy, “I am nothing if not a determined man”. This was fun! I have to go to work! Coach B #TCC

David Branscom, Campus Coordinator Brandeis HS, Northside ISD

In the Fall of 2010 (my student teaching year), an older coach and I were having a conversation about the expectations and overall impact coaches have on student-athletes. He spoke a lot about what it means to be a coach and the passion and dedication you have to have to be successful. One of the most impactful things he said to me was in regards to older coaches who had lost their passion and he said, “When your memories outweigh your dreams, it is time to retire from the profession.” This has stuck with me throughout my 10 year span as a high school coach and teacher. It is always important to remember why we are here and why we do what we do, the passion to grow student-athletes in to better people and better athletes should always be there. Coaches are some of the most influential people in students’ lives, I would not be where I am today without the coaches that have helped me along the way.

Laine Skelton, Campus Athletic Coordinator and Head Softball Coach Clements HS, Fort Bend ISD

Why I Do What I Do

“What the heck am I doing here?” I asked myself. It was January 8th, 2010. In Houston that night the temperature dropped to twenty-five degrees with fifteen mile per hour winds that sunk the wind chill into the teens, and I was outside. At night. The weather wasn’t the worst part for me that night. I had layers of clothes on. I was wearing three pairs of socks for my feet, and my head was covered with a thick wool ski cap. I even wore my puffy winter coat known as the “Michelin Man.” Only my face was exposed to the frigid temperatures, which to many people’s delight, made it difficult to speak; nevertheless, the worst part about that night was that I was missing the BCS Title Game featuring the University of Alabama versus the University of Texas. The rest of the state of Texas sat snug in their warm, cozy living rooms in front of their flat screen TV’s, or maybe they congregated in a sports bar about to celebrate the culmination of a great season for the state’s largest and most successful college football team. Not me. I was outside in sub-freezing temperatures about to coach my soccer team at a tournament in Klein.

As each player jogged to midfield when his name was called for the pre-game announcements my mind began to wander. Shivering, I asked myself, “What the heck am I doing here?” The answer came soon after the last player’s name echoed through the stadium. As they jogged toward me on the sideline, a familiar jolt surged through my body, and that’s when I realized what the heck I was doing there: I love my job. I’m no adrenaline junky. I don’t ride roller coasters, and I have no desire to skydive, but that feeling right before kick-off is a thrill that has hooked me. Every game, no matter who the opponent, is winnable before the opening whistle in my mind. The anticipation of the unknown is so much more exhilarating than the expectation of the inevitable. And no matter how much we prepare, each game will have a surprise or two. Sometimes they’re good, and sometimes they put grey hairs on your head, but it doesn’t matter.

Coaching is fun because it’s so unpredictable. I might go a little bit insane if I was forced to stare at a computer monitor for eight hours a day, every day. Coaching also allows me to impact a bunch of great kids in a positive manner and prepare them for their future. Every game and every season will have highs and lows, and so will life. I try and let my players know that you’ll never go undefeated in the game of life, but that doesn’t mean you should give up when times are tough, and dwelling on the negative never gets you anywhere.

Success is about resiliency. Champions rally together to focus on the solution, not the problem. It makes me happy when I see my players talking with each other at half time about second half adjustments. They get it. Let’s work together and make sure we win this game. I’m filled with pride to know that if these guys apply this strategy throughout their life, they’re going to be successful at whatever they do. I don’t think I could get that feeling if I were a salesman and made a big sale. I have plenty of memories of wins and losses, but some of my best memories as a coach are away from the playing field.

The coach’s office can be a wild place where you need your head on a swivel at all times. Coaches love practical jokes, and I’ve seen some great ones like freezing a rookie’s keys in a cup of water or putting shoe polish on the telephone receiver. I’ve even seen one coach put a live snake in a bathroom stall while another coach was “busy” in there. Coaches are a protective bunch, too. When they see one of their brothers hurting or in need of some help, you can trust that they’ll be there to do whatever they can. I don’t know if I could find another job where I would go into work early or stay late just to hang out with my co-workers, and I don’t know if I could find another profession with the same sense of camaraderie. Both of my parents were educators, and they ironically tried to steer me away from teaching and coaching.

I have to admit that sometimes it’s difficult to see friends who left coaching to sell pharmaceuticals or went into private business who can now afford things that are out of reach for me, but I don’t think I could do it. I don’t think I could be unhappy with my career so I could drive a nice car. I don’t want to dread waking up in the morning to go to a job that leaves me empty and unfulfilled at the end of the day. I love my job. Besides, what other occupation would give me the opportunity to stand outside in sub-freezing temperatures and miss UT in the national championship game, all the while loving every minute of it!

Rob Bledsoe, Head Boys Soccer Coach Sandra Day O’Connor High School, Northside ISD

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