The following was written on Friday night, and thought I would share this with you as insight into the mind of a coach before the “Big One”.
It’s 2:36 am.
I’m lying in a hotel bed.
In less than five hours my team will be competing for a national championships (for those of you who don’t know my sport of choice is women’s rowing).
Now it is 2:38 AM.
Less two blocks away from my hotel is this statue:
The fellow in the middle, surrounded by all those legs, is John Wooden. Arguably one of our greatest college coaches ever.
I wonder what he used to be doing at 2:40 am before competing for one of the Big Ones? Would he be sleeping, Or a junior freak show like me?
It doesn’t matter because now it 2:45 AM and my brain is swirling with 18 different thoughts.
One of those swirls is “How did I get here”? Another is “Am I good enough”? And then there is the thought about “anchovy pizza.”
Really? Is that what I’m thinking about at 2:53 AM?
What about strategy? What about tactics? Or transportation?
I’m lying here doubting myself and thinking about pizza. Did Wooden do the same?
I should get out of bed, leave the hotel and march over to the statue and ask, “John, would you be up in the middle of the night?”
I remember once hearing coach Lou Holtz say that before the big games he used to sleep like a baby, “Up every two hours crying.”
It’s 3:10 AM and this is the 14th time I’ve watched the weather. We are an outdoor sport that is very dependent upon decent weather. Huge storms predicted for race time.
Ugly. Boy, sounds really good to coach volleyball, or any indoor sport right now.
At home my wife is struggling with a very sick mother. And I’m not there.
My youngest son was thrown out at second base last night, and for an 11-year-old that is huge. And I’m not there.
And my 17-year-old, well is a 17-year-old. And I’m not there.
Geez, I wonder if the Wooden statue would talk to me? If I went over and asked a question and there’s nobody else around would the statue actually reply.
It’s 3:15 AM and it sure is wonky weird-thought time.
Several hours later we raced, coming in sixth in the country. We were ranked 8th going into the championship.
Have any stories about late night conversations with statues??
Lemme know. Love to hear.
Aren’t coaches special?