I have been reflecting this past State Tournament weekend about the purpose of coaching. I know two really special coaches in the Class A ranks, and both I would consider to be like family: Drake Beranek, the head coach at Kearney High School and the son of my late coaching buddy Paul Beranek; and Matt Kaminski, the head coach at North Platte High School who I had the privilege of coaching at McCook High School.
Interestingly enough, I couldn't be prouder of them both.
Drake led his team through the perils of victory and kept their focus on the process of getting better. Winning is often escorted by the land mines of pride, ego and complacency. Matt had to wear the face of strength and dignity through the toughest of times to keep his team hopeful and believing.
Who was the better leader? Both. Yes, you heard me right. BOTH...
Though the circumstances were almost polar opposites, the manner in which the two coaches navigated their players to becoming young men was the same and second to none! Relationships drive their purpose. They value the person over the player. Their strength is to turn a negative into something positive. I am so proud of them both. So much it inspires me to keep striving too.
To Matt, Drake and all of the coaches out there who transform, rather than transact: Thank you for doing what you do. Stay the course. Encourage one another often. This profession needs more coaches like you!