I am influenced by many people from my past. Obviously our parents and kin folk were there day in and day out and they get the “lion’s share” of the credit, but I give a lot of appreciation for me staying out of prison to a long list of teachers and professors as I was getting my real education.
“The Boss” and I spent a lot of conversations regarding the raising of out three girls and I suppose I have to include them also when presenting my argument that the public school system (teachers) has saved our youngsters from those similar penal institutions. I can see that you are looking around trying to figure out how this can be connected to writing. Directly, it doesn’t. Certain basic principles apply to any endeavor whether it is writing, football and including cooking, at least for me. One of these basics, maybe not in the order of importance, is confidence. One of the members mentioned this at our last board meeting and, as a group, we decided that would be a great topic of discussion at our Nutz & Boltz meeting next week Kay Sellers has an article about the Nutz & Boltz in this issue of The Next Chapter.
I immediately thought about one of my coaches that coached me in junior high as well as high school. This was long ago in a land far away. Not really, it was right here in East Texas but it was a few spent moon cycles in the past. It was long enough back that a teacher, and especially a coach, could give you swift and just assurance of which direction you wanted to take. These nudges in the better direction were always with an element for my benefit in the formula. By knowing the guidelines and direction of the instruction, I realized that there were fewer variables that I had to worry about and I could concentrate more intently on the objective.
You fellows and ladies that read this will probably remember the term “skull session” or “chalk session”. These are meetings where you review the football or basketball play book in order that everyone would know what everyone else was supposed to do when the play started. This was the basics for building confidence so that you could perform to the highest expectation. I don’t know about everyone else but we always “got it” at least by the second time the coach went through the play. Well, maybe not every time.
The first thing that came to mind, as mentioned earlier, was an inspiration that came to our coach during the many, many times that we didn’t get it. He made this sign and it stayed in the locker room until many years after I graduated from high school. It may still be there. I am going to pre-tend that it is. It simply said:
“A VICIOUS block on the WRONG man, is much, much better than a
TIMID block on the RIGHT man”.
Thanks Coach, I needed ,or rather, I need that.