One week has passed since the news came from my district that we would not be returning from our Spring Break and extending another week off. This past Friday the teachers returned to their campuses to prepare materials to have either picked up or performed digitally. We are (as of writing this) participating in distance learning until after Easter Sunday. Some of my colleagues have embraced this challenge others seemingly feel put-off and resistant to change. As I write this reflection, I myself ponder- When a challenge arises in my life, how do I attempt to conquer it? What is my mindset? How do I overcome the adversity?
I believe challenges for me are something I take head on. My mindset is open and desiring to accomplish the task at hand. Where I believe I fall short is starting out strong and with passion and as things can get difficult, I taper off. Pacing and a mor thought out plan of attack are most likely what I need to better execute the tasks. Ultimately, I do complete the challenge, but did I complete it to the best of my ability? Did it receive all my talent and skill?
During this novel Covid-19 pandemic it has been amazing to see the coaching and education fields embrace this opportunity to clinic and converse with each other to grow the mind. You can wake up every morning and find someone looking to engage and exchange ideas. It is an amazing time in the coaching and education fields with so many resources just at your fingertips. Seeing so many coaches and educators at a young age and even some older “dinosaurs” (I’m borrowing Kevin Swift’s term for himself) gives me hope that they continue to grow and learn and hopefully one day assume positions of power and influence and affect change for the better. Create more opportunities for minority coaches as well as fix the broken education system where we focus not on a test but truly molding the best all- around student we can the same as in the weight room the focus is not on sport specific but whole athlete development.
I certainly have my worries too. I worry about my family especially my parents still picking up pieces from Hurricane Harvey. I worry about my wife’s family in Austin, DFW, Cuero, and Victoria and elsewhere, some are sick, some are going through losses, we both wish there was more that we can do for everyone. The best thing we can do at this point is stay home and continue to pray and be strong in faith that what God’s will is will be done.
I strongly urge students and student-athletes to take this time to grow and learn. Heed the messages and lessons I or another adult of influence has taught you about having a growth mindset and apply yourself. This is a golden opportunity to learn just how amazing and resourceful you are. Continue to keep a schedule, communicate with friends, family and those who you seek guidance from.
Coaches and teachers continue to reach out to your students and athletes. Host Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout sessions with them. Many see you as their second parent or in some cases their only source of love and acceptance. I hope and pray once this virus passes that reform and renaissance takes place that reshapes education and the viewpoint people have on schools and athletics. It breaks my heart knowing there are children out there in hard situations because the school or field house isn’t open. That’s their refuge their place of safety and food.
My last thought for this reflection piece is how amazing my wife has been in embracing a foreign concept of digital learning and created YouTube videos, a google classroom, and seeking how to do it all better. She gives me strength and motivation to continue to persevere in the challenges that lie ahead. I know that together through Faith we will overcome and prosper. I pray that everyone reading this receives blessings of safety, health, compassion, and healing for whatever ails them mentally or physically. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you desire to talk more, please reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram. My handle for both is @coachnoon45. Here’s to a strong cup of coffee and the spirit to go get ‘er done!
By Peter Noonman