First off, let me apologize for not having posted in a couple of weeks. Finishing up graduate school classes, recruiting trips to showcases, trying to finalize student's schedules for the fall, and traveling to New Orleans with my band have put posting on the back burner.
Yes, I did say I play in a band. I play drums in an oldies to classic rock cover band. We play strictly for charity, so it doesn't become a job and it stays a hobby. I think we sound pretty good, and if you're interested you can check out our website at www.theharleys.org.
We did play a gig in New Orleans recently. I lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana for a short time. I interviewed for a position the weekend before Katrina ripped through NOLA. Took the job, moved to (as some of the locals call it) Puddle Chuck, and two weeks later Rita rolled right through the middle of town. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I know practically nothing about natural disasters. Got a taste of tornadoes in Oklahoma, but hurricanes were unfamiliar territory for me. I think the scariest thing about them is that you know well ahead of time that they're coming!
As I crossed the Sabine River into Louisiana and drove along I-10, there were still constant reminders of the storms. Houses still had blue tarps on their roofs. Signage along the freeway were not all repaired. In some parts it looked as if absolutely nothing had been done. The city of New Orleans has come a long way since Katrina. Even went through another monster in Gustav. It would be extremely easy for those folks to just drop everything and call it quits.
I am amazed at the resiliency of the folks in Louisiana! There is so much rich history there. They get devastated by hurricanes which cause floods, evacuations, topple structures, etc. and yet they bounce back... and bounce back with a smile on their face with true southern hospitality. What can we, as coaches, learn from this? My recent visit proved that the people there have it figured out!
We can press on! That's the lesson. No matter how bad it gets in the win/loss column, there is always another day. We can work hard to improve our situation. Even if things are in disrepair, we can have a positive attitude. We can treat others around us with kindness and caring even in the worst of situations. As we do that, the situation won't seem quite as desperate as we originally thought. Others will rally around you and fight for common good.
I look back and read my previous post about the teaching of Les Brown and see that he is really talking about the people of Louisiana. Not one person that I ran into during my trip ever have a negative thing to say. Even though the world around them was still not the same as before, they were still inviting and ever so gracious. Those folks know that it is worth fighting for. If we can instill that kind of commitment into our players, nothing will stop us!