Coaches teach lessons that last long after the ballgames are over
When the final buzzer sounds on a high school athlete’s playing days, the lessons learned are really just beginning to pay off.
Most will never strap on a football helmet, swing at a curve ball or fire off a three-point shot outside of a backyard basketball game again. All of the knowledge acquired through hours of practice and training is suddenly less useful.
But the important things young athletes learn will be valuable for a lifetime, regardless of whether or not they ever compete in a sport again.
I wasn’t the most perceptive guy in the world when I was a teenager, so it was years later when I realized it, but good coaches teach things that are much more important than winning ballgames.
They teach about teamwork and that you have to be willing to work hard to succeed.
Perhaps the hardest lesson of all is that sometimes no matter how hard you work, you will fail. Good coaches teach how to get back out there and keep moving forward after disappointing setbacks.
These principles apply in all aspects of life.
Good coaches pass along the keys to success in life, and the learning experience seems like it’s mostly fun and games at the time. I was blessed to learn from some great coaches when I was growing up. Some of the most influential coaches for me were Billy Bell, Hal Middleton, Billy Ray Harber, Dan Edwards and Ben Williams.
The world lost a great coach over the weekend when Doug Grantham, father of Benton Academy head football coach Wayman Grantham, died Saturday at age 66.
Grantham most recently helped support his son’s efforts at BA after a successful career that included some time at Yazoo City High School. In addition to coaching high school athletics, Grantham served as the Canton Dixie Youth Baseball commissioner for a dozen years.
Like many coaches, Grantham was an athlete before he started coaching, but few have matched his accomplishments. He was inducted into the Mississippi Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Delta State University Hall of Fame.
Grantham pitched in the first Division II College World Series at DSU, and still holds the career earned run average record with a 1.10. That’s quite a feat considering Delta State has had several pitchers go on to play professional baseball.
Grantham touched a lot of young lives over the course of his career. His legacy lives on both through his son, who is also a talented coach, and through the lives of the many athletes he helped to learn how to continue to be winners long after they step off the field.