What Coaches Make

This past week we took our varsity team to the Embry-Riddle Team Camp. If you ever have a chance to bring your team to Florida for a team camp in the Summer, I highly recommend you take advantage of it. It is by far, the BEST, team camp in the country. What separates them from other camps is their coaching staff and how the camp is run. The Head Coach is actually there the ENTIRE camp and interacts with all of the coaches and players and has more energy than a room full of 4th graders hopped up on Mountain Dew. Coach Ridder and Keller really reinforce why you are in coaching and drives that inner fire inside all of us coaches to get better. This quick video should give you a quick idea of the kind of motivator I am speaking of:

In addition, they actually TEACH at team camp. They have stations, daily lectures, a 3 on 3 tournament, and even a special situations tournament (3 Minute Games) to help coaches and players learn how to win close games.

Unfortunately, this year Coach Ridder had to leave early because he was accepting the National Athletic Directors Award. That alone should say something about the guy; he is not only the Head Coach but the AD as well!! But he did not leave the camp feeling empty, he gave a phenomenal lecture his last day that ALL coaches at ALL levels need to read. Today too many coaches, especially young ones, focus too often on how much money they can make rather than the impact they are making on young adults’ lives. Below is the speech:


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, tried to explain the problem with college athletics. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to be a coach?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about coaches: “Those who can’t play, are those who coach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a coach, be honest. What do you make?”

Having a reputation for honesty and frankness, the guest replied, (At this Coach Ridder was FIRED up and getting after it!) “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids run through 90 minutes of practice and sweat. I make kids turn dreams into reality.”

“You want to know what I make?”
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them cooperate.
I make them competitive and respectful.

I make them show all their work in front of hostile crowds and perfect their acts of sportsmanship. I make them understand that if you have the will to follow your dreams, should anybody try to judge you by a mistake you made you must pay no attention because you tried and gave it your all.”

“I make teams from individuals who work together to build success.”

He paused and continued. “You want to know what I make?” I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I MAKE LEADERS, I MAKE OTHER PROFESSIONS POSSIBLE.” Then he asked the CEO, “What do you make?”


The next time you are unhappy with your job because you think you are not making enough money, ask yourself, “Are you putting the intangibles you make above your bank account?”

I sure hope so…

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