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Mission Statement: How a former coach’s teachings have been my motivation

 

Jer09Print

goltzI am going off topic here a bit to talk about my high school baseball coach Eric Kibler, who was recently let go by Horizon High School brass after 38 years of dedication and success.

This is my way of supporting Coach and all the lessons he taught me in my senior year playing for him at Horizon High School.

First of all, the biggest lesson he taught me was when he cut me. I came in unprepared, and unfocused as a younger player and for the first time in my life, I failed.

I didn’t blame him or harbor a grudge. I took the hit and used it as a motivator to be prepared.

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He did the right thing and to his credit, I learned how to deal with adversity and reality. I came back stronger and was named best pitcher the next season in a Final Four season. That was because he did the right thing. He was right, and I was forced to dig deep to a place I didn’t know I even had.

There are a few things that really stuck with me having been around him and his coaching style.

The biggest was to show up each and every day with a purpose to get better. He was a focused, passionate coach that required the pursuit of excellence and perfection daily.

So many of these values have made me the coach and leader I am today.

I also remember the time I didn’t take responsibility and have my parents sign the physical form that was necessary to participate in game play. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was counting each and every day but never said a word. I finally showed up with it and will never forget what he said to me.

“Jeremy, thank you. You owe me 11 miles on the track and have to complete them to be back at practice. One mile for every day this form wasn’t signed and handed in.”

Unlike today’s world, I ran them without saying a word.

It took me two days to complete them, and I ran every single lap of those 11 miles, for fear of him knowing I didn’t and once again letting him down. Imagine that – a parent letting a coach reprimand a player for being irresponsible. That seems like a lost concept these days.

Needless to say, that lesson stuck with me!

Once I heard this was happening, I had to find a way to let him know how much he has helped me on my own journey. I have been so fortunate to have hundreds of past players staying in touch and I know much it means to me.

I found an old camp flyer with a number. I knew it was him right away. I just let him know how much he meant to me and wanted to see if there was anything he could do. We talked and laughed for a few minutes telling old stories and then the call was over.

I was left with a buzz and such a love for all he has taught me, and I wanted to let him know one more time, by using this article, how much he meant to so many of us and that his culture has been the spark for my own success.

Thank you, Coach. I love you.

Coach Goltz

Jeremy Goltz is the director of hockey operations for Mission Arizona.

(June 18, 2018)