Sitting at a banquet in Cleveland, Ohio in the mid 80's I came across a poem that was in the evening's program. I read it and it made a huge impression. I have had it on my desk ever since. I have passed it along to many players. I've tried to live by it as I believe it sums up a coach's value and the reason I started coaching years ago. You coach to help others. You are obligated to help your palyers, the school that hired you, the community and also your assistant coaches.
Once you reach the level of being a head coach you are obligated to both your players and your staff for the rest of time. You need to be there as the processs is unfolding and also after you are not involved in their daily lives. You recruit a player and a staff for life. Help in any and every way way you can. You are the Bridge Builder.
The Bridge Builder
An old man going down a lone highway
Came in the evening cold and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
That swollen stream held no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth, after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This swollen stream which was naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must pass in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”