My favorite scene in the Wizard of Oz is when Dorothy and friends are facing the Wizard.
As the Wiz pontificates, Toto, Dorothy’s dog, sneaks off and tugs open the curtain behind the wizard.
There, exposed, is the real wizard, Professor Marvel, played by Frank Morgan.
Someone may argue that Professor Marvel is the star of the movie (it is, after all, named after him).
Possibly, however the real scene stealer was the curtain.
Curtains and your coaching
There are two main types of curtains in performances (and in sports).
The front curtain is pulled opened to present the stage. In sports, that curtain is the pre-game show, the team’s warmup, the national anthem.
Once that curtain is opened, the show begins—the swim meet, the wrestling match, the volleyball game.
Then there’s the back curtain, the one behind the athletes, coaches and game.
That curtain, as in Oz, is hiding the backstage area from the spectators.
Behind that curtain are the people bustling about who make the show go:
- the athletic trainer, who treats the injuries
- the compliance person, who helps rules be followed
- the equipment manager, who keeps the gear up and running
- the significant other, who keeps the household together
It doesn’t matter at what level you coach, who you coach, or where you coach. You have a back curtain.
All is fine until you forget those behind that curtain.
When they are taken for granted, or their work and dedication ignored, then behind the back curtain ceases to function well.
And those on stage will quickly feel the impact.