In the book “First Things First” Steven Covey talks about developing a personal mission statement. He said the best way to develop it would be to imagine you are at your own funeral listening to what everyone is saying about you.
Think about that, would you like what reasonable minded people, those that you have had close contact with would be saying at your funeral today? For many of us coaching youth football, we would draw quite a crowd. One of the things I usually do at the coaching clinics I run is to ask those in attendance to tell me what the name of the first youth football coach they had. About 99% of those that I ask that question to can name the coach rigth off the top of their heads and for many that is a memory that is 20-30 or for me even 40 years ago.
You Will Be Remembered Like It or Not
Just think about it, you will be remembered by all 25 of the kids you coach 40-50-60 years from now. Not only will they remember your name, they will remember your demeanor, how they were treated and what life lessons coach was trying to impart into their fertile young minds. The youth coaching position comes with a bully pulpit and the kids are watching you 100% of the time, like it or not. As they say with great power comes great responsibility, how well are you using that power with the kids in your charge? What would your ex players say about you at your funderal? Would they even be in attendance?
What About The Rest of Us Youth Football Coaches?
If you’ve coached muliple teams like I have or coached well past when your kids have played, the number of kids you will have affected will number in the hundreds. Where else are you going to be able to influence so many people so deeply for eternity? I started an inner-city program where we had upwards of 400 kids participating each year as well as a rural program that has about 75 kids. Ive personally head coached 17 football teams and 3 baseball teams. We will be expecting quite a crowd at mine, hopefully many moons from now.
Below is a story that ran about a man that is in the same shoes as many of us. Look what they are saying about “coach”. What will they be saying about you?
Youth coach and horse owner Daniel Taneyhill Jr. ‘adopted whole community’
by Sally York | The Flint Journal
Friday January 23, 2009, 8:48 AM
Daniel Taneyhill Jr.MUNDY TOWNSHIP, Michigan — Through the years, Daniel Taneyhill Jr. was a restaurant manager, businessman and racehorse owner, but the community may remember him best for leading the Lake Fenton Youth Football program.
And for his booming voice, which for eight years announced the plays at Lake Fenton Blue Devils football games.
Taneyhill of Mundy Township died Sunday of an apparent heart attack. He was 50.
“Dan was so enthusiastic about getting the youth football program off the ground for the kids,” said Tony Simmons, athletic director at Lake Fenton High School.
“He was a special, special person who was always willing to donate his time and help.”
Taneyhill and his wife of 24 years, Rosiland, took over a fading football and cheerleading program for children in the Lake Fenton School District and grew it to six teams and more than 300 students, said Jeff Wolverton, a friend, neighbor and former youth football parent.
The couple’s involvement with team members, which included sons Daniel III, Darren and Matthew, extended beyond the playing field.
“You’d go over to their house, and there would be a dozen kids swimming in the pool in back and Dan doing cannonballs,” Wolverton said.
“He adopted the whole community,” said close family friend Mary Rossmaessler. “He was a father to many boys.”
Taneyhill also was a baseball coach, American Youth Soccer Organization coach and leader of a local Wyldlife Christian youth group. He also sponsored several Little League teams.
By all accounts, Taneyhill was an outgoing, friendly man who didn’t hesitate to share his opinion on just about any subject, said one of his two younger brothers.
“He was very boisterous,” said Tim Taneyhill of Canton, Ohio. “When he’d walk into a room, you knew it.”
A tall, stocky man, Daniel Taneyhill also had an imposing physical presence.
“Dan was what some people might consider overweight, but it was just his big heart that made him look that way,” said Rossmaessler. “Really, he was skinny.”
Hailing from Warren, Ohio, Taneyhill moved to Michigan to become general manager of a Harvest House restaurant, where he met his future wife. Later he opened Taneyhill Productions, which sold janitorial and car care products.
In recent years, Taneyhill fulfilled a childhood dream by purchasing a horse farm near his home and filling it with 36 horses. He raced them mostly in Windsor, Ontario.
On the last night of his life, his horses won three races and came in second in a fourth race in Windsor — an unusual feat for one owner, Tim Taneyhill said.
Daniel Taneyhill returned home at about 1 a.m. and was unloading his horses when he collapsed, his brother said.
“He would want to be remembered as a loving husband, a good father and a positive influence on the kids in the community,” Tim Taneyhill said.
In addition to his wife and sons, Daniel Taneyhill leaves his parents, Daniel Taneyhill Sr. and Mary Ann Ring; sisters Faith Yauger and Hope Galbreath; brothers Christopher and Tim Taneyhill; and many nephews and nieces.
The funeral is set for 1 p.m. today at Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 W. Hill Road in Mundy Township.