When my older son was asked to submit an application for a school leadership award of some sort, he shared with me a few of his essay answers. I’m usually a pretty critical editor, but I was so moved by what he wrote, I couldn’t change a thing.
For fun, I’ll share one of his answers here (with his permission). When asked to describe someone who exemplifies leadership, here’s what he said of my father:
“My grandfather, or as I call him “Coach,” exemplifies leadership the way it’s supposed to be done. He has been my tennis coach ever since I was four years old and continues to help me with my growth as a player and a person. He puts everyone as a priority before himself. For the longest time, I thought he forced me to play tennis because he wanted me to. However, he had more in mind and I have noticed his intentions as I have grown. He always had someone practicing with me who could beat me. He made me run a mile every single day when I was ten years old. He signed me up for tournaments to compete in. He was always finding flaws in my game for me to work on. I soon thought, “Man, this man is torturing me!”
“Coach never made me play tennis for his personal gain. He made me play because he wanted me to learn how to work hard and discipline myself. He wanted me to be the best I can be and to be aware of the mistakes I make so I can improve. All of these lessons shaped my personality as I have gotten older. I always want to improve. And I want to teach my kids or any other tennis player the same ways Coach taught me. I hope my children view me in the same way I view my grandfather. He will always be my guidance, my role model and my teacher.”
It’s so fun to sit back and watch my kids become adults.
They’re so cool.
(Above is a photo of Drew and Coach after a match during Drew’s senior year of high school.)