FROM THE BLEACHERS: Herald-Banner Column

Jack Welch has served as a high school and college football coach for 39 years. He holds a Doctorate in Education. He can be reached at

Every year coaches are asked how successful their team will be.  People want to know who the starting quarterback or running back will be. Is this an irritation to coaches?  It should not be because it demonstrates the interest level of the program.

Although a coach might get tired of answering the same question, it beats the alternative when very few people care.  A positive, energetic answer spreads enthusiasm among the faithful followers.

The same holds true when someone asks you how you are doing.  People asking you questions demonstrates care for you as a person. Wouldn’t it be a shame if no one asked you a question?

 The way people respond to questions exemplifies their outlook on life.  It reminds me of a story I heard about several years ago.  This person always demonstrated a positive attitude.       

Bill was the type of guy with a half empty glass always explaining it was half full.   When someone asked him how he is doing, he would respond if he were any better, he would be twins.  Bill motivates people around him with his energy.  His tireless work attitude inspires others.

If a co-worker is having a bad day, Bill tells the person how to look on the bright side of the situation.  When asked how he can be so positive, he tells about the struggles he had growing up and how God has blessed him so richly.  

He talks about his family, his wife and children and all the players he has been blessed with coaching over the years.

He said every day when he gets up he knows he has two choices; he can choose to be in a good mood or a sour mood.  He explains he chooses to be in a good mood.  

Each time something bad happens, he chooses to learn from it and not be a victim.  Every time someone complains to him, he tries to point out the positive side of life.  

   He said when you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how to react to situations.  You choose how people affect your mood.  You choose to be in a good or bad mood.  The bottom line, it is our choice how we live our life.

As a side income, Bill and his father worked a small farm.  One day Bill had a horrible accident.  He turned a tractor over on himself. It took many hours of surgery to repair his compound fractured leg and almost severed arm.  

He was in the hospital for over six months.  After Bill was released, one of his friends went to see him and asked him how he was doing.  He replied if he was any better, he would be twins.  Then he asked his friend if he would like to see his scars.

  His friend asked him what went through his mind as the accident took place.  Bill said   the well-being of my children and wife.  Then as I was lying on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live or I could choose to die.  I chose to live.   

Bill said when he was wheeled into the ER, he saw the expressions on the nurses and doctors’ faces. I got scared.  In their eyes, I read they thought I was going to die.  

I knew I needed to take action so as a nurse loudly asked if I was allergic to anything, I answered in a loud voice I was allergic to death. Then he told the nurse he was choosing to live. He told them to operate as if he was alive, not dead.

 People can learn from the example of people like Bill.  We have a choice to live fully every day.  Attitude is a habitual way of thinking.  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Matthew 6:34.

 After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Thought for the week:

 “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read them but all that’s going matter is that little dash between them.”  

Kevin Welch

Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach.  He has been in education for 39 years as a high school and collegiate coach.  He can be reached at

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