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 jackwelch1975@gmail.com.


I love coaching football and I have many people to thank for my opportunity.  I want to say thank you to the men and women who have fought to allow me to do what I love, the first responders keeping us safe daily, and of course the people I work with each day. Why is it hard for some people to say thank you?   Words of appreciation seem to be hard for some people to say to others.  

When people do not hear appreciation, they begin to wonder how they are perceived.  I believe it is important to let the people around us know we appreciate them.  Society many times, views these words as weakness.  

It takes a bigger person to say thank you, express genuine appreciation, than it does to speak negative.  Even when ugly words are thrown at you, can you stay positive?  

I watch Andy Griffith almost every night as I go to bed.  I have almost every episode memorized.  One of my favorite lines by Andy was when old Ben was being hateful.  Andy told those in the courthouse Ben was going to nasty away some day because of his negativity. We cannot afford to let ourselves act harsh because that kind of attitude will nasty us away.

The growth and improvement of athletic teams change each year. There are struggles.  Struggles in training and growing players are a constant.  Not all participants who begin the season will finish.  

However, the ones who stick with the training and daily grind will be better for their efforts.  Let us make sure as coaches and leaders we tell these players we appreciate them, not just their wins but for their positive attitudes.    

Contrary to the worldly view of winning and losing, the final score on the scoreboard does not communicate appreciation.  A win sure makes a player, coach and fan feel better, but it does not cover appreciation.  If appreciation has this kind of impact on people then you can imagine what people feel like when they experience a difficult time.  

I knew an athletic director in an east Texas school district that asked students who the athletic janitor was at the high school, and they did not know.  Then he asked them what the title was of the actual person who served as the athletic custodian and the students said they thought he was an assistant athletic director.  

This person dressed well, spoke to the children in a positive and authoritative manner and was professional in actions.  The real athletic director would hold this person up in high esteem.  

The lesson is obvious:  as leaders when we show respect to all those around us, regardless of their job titles, people react accordingly.  All jobs and people deserve our appreciation.

We need to remember all those people who are around us daily.  Tell people we appreciate them.  We are all not called to be starters on the team or president of the organization.  

The fact is we are called to do jobs that reflect our skills and talent.  Do our best daily and be appreciative of everybody’s work and talent.

Thought for the week:

 “The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks.”

—  Dr. Doyle Welch

Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach and has been in public school and collegiate education for 40 years.  He is the author of Foundations of Coaching (2020) and can be reached at jackwelch1975@gmail.com.

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