Gatekeepers to the Next Generation of Leaders

Most of us can remember that one coach we had along the way that was tougher than all the rest. Mean, hateful, angry, old, unreasonable are just a few of the words we used to describe those coaches at that time in our life. However, those ornery and grumpy attitudes are the ones that we are most thankful for now. You see, the one thing those coaches had in common was love. They were tough because they cared. They saw the best in you. They knew you had a little more in you. They thought you could go just a little bit further. They taught us that our body would tell us no, but we could overcome that if we pushed through the physical pain.

They allowed us to see that we could achieve things that even we didn't think we could achieve. They created a winning mentality that most of us now carry through life. They are often part of our daily stories that typically start with, "I remember when Coach..."

Most of you reading this are thinking about that coach right now. You should be thankful for that coach.

Today, more than ever, we need these coaches to impress on these young men and women, the values that are necessary to each one of their own successes. Today's youth needs solid guidance and advice they can take into this world for a fighting chance for success. For many high school students, athletics is the first step into their roles as leaders.

We are the gatekeepers for these future leaders.

If officials continue to show up, so will coaches. If coaches continue to show up, so will players. If the players show up, so will the community. This is a beautiful cycle. We all need each other, and sports have a wonderful way of healing and building.

As an official, you have a special calling to continue to stand the post. Continue to guard the gate and ensure that these young men and women find that coach in their life that pushes them to be their best. We all can remember that one moment that defined us; it is our duty to keep the torch lit so that others may find their defining moment too.

We wish you all the best and Happy New Year. Keep on gatekeeping!

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