Monday, May 24, 2010

The Life Coach - Thinking Ten Canvas Challenge

Coach Jackson had been a successful football coach at Kings’ College for over twenty-five years and, in that time, led nineteen teams to the finals and collected the premiership trophy fourteen times. It was – and still is – a record for the college; no other coach had gone close to emulating that success rate since Coach Jackson’s retirement many years before.

I had interviewed Coach Jackson numerous times over the years and, through all of the successes and triumphs, all of the players he turned into champions, he has one pang of regret, one player who, despite all of the accolades and star-player treatment, he never went on and made a life for himself. Coach always made a point of helping his players not just on the field, but off it as well.

I think the best way to explain it is to let him tell the story:

Many years after retiring, I was strolling along the footpath in a busy city when I came across my former star quarterback sitting on the footpath outside a busy supermarket. I didn’t recognise him at first; he was dishevelled, dirty and despondent. I had never felt such a pain in my heart before, a terrible outcome for one with such promise years before.
He was always the one who I thought would go on to greater things. I remember him telling me before one finals match, when everyone else in the team was nervous and anxious, that he always took a drive in his Mustang before arriving at the game. It gave him a chance to clear his head, gain a new perspective on things that were troubling him and, that way, he would always be ready to go, always in a fine state of mind.
I asked him what had happened for him to be in such a terrible way. My former player looked at me wearily, as if he had explained it many times before. He had just been through a very rough divorce. He had nothing. Only the few possessions that were bundled inside the shopping cart before him.
I remember reaching over and patting him on the shoulder and said I felt sorry for him for losing his wife.
”It’s not the wife that is the problem, Coach
- she got the Mustang in the settlement!”

(This piece was inspired from Thinking Ten. The image was issued as a Canvas Challenge...write something based on the picture. Hope you liked it!)


Erin Cole said...

His story definitely had a sad undertone, but when humor is gone, we have nothing left.
Hmmm...a good reminder to make it work!! :)
Nice thinking Paul.

Erin Cole said...

That is thinking ten!

Laurita said...

oh no! No more drives to clear his head. I wonder would it work the same if he sat in his cart and had someone push him around? He might be able to work things out.

This was really good, Paul. A classic funny ending.

Michael Solender said...

isn't that the way??