Growing up Camden

No problem. Hey, it's what I do

By Dwight Collins | Jan 29, 2014

Camden — Sometimes I really have to wonder what motivates people to do what they do. Why does one person choose to be selfless while others choose to be selfish? Why does a person decided go to college or a vocational school or straight to the work force, while others choose to remain unemployed and unwilling to pull their own weight.

Some people are motivated by greed, some by generosity and others that just want to make a change for the better. Is it our children that are the reason we do what we do?

I guess the first question to ask is, “what am I doing and why am I doing it?” Is it for my own benefit or to benefit someone else? Or both?

I had a situation not too long ago where a parent of one of my youth wrestlers thanked me for everything I was doing for her child and the others in the program. My reply was a simple thank you, just doing what I do.

I believe that if you are the only one that you are responsible for, than by all means be selfish. It is when the choice that people make effects others in a negative way that it is time to step back and reassess what drives you to make a decision – and – do what you do.

When it comes to coaching kids, much like parenting, the kids crave structure and discipline. I don’t mean the kind of discipline that granddad would dish out in the wood shed, but rather training a child to obey a code of behavior using corrective action when the code is broken. A situation like that should always be a teaching point with younger children, not a traumatic experience that will last with them.

I coach because I feel like I can make a difference, that is what motivates me. In an instance like this, especially with younger children, if you are not in it for them I beg you to find something else to do. Once it becomes about you and not the program and the players, the kids begin to sense that and you might as well pack it in, because they will not trust you, let alone respect you.

Just because you have a wealth of knowledge about a specific subject, doesn’t in anyway translate in to a good coach of kids. When you coach kids you have to wear a number of different hats: coach, teacher, parent, social worker, taxi cab, babysitter and the list goes on. If you are not willing to be all of these things, then you are being motivated by something other than the children.

I truly believe I can teach these young kids the tools they need to be successful on the mat, court or field, but traits that also can be translated to life. Honesty, integrity, courage, discipline, respect and self respect are traits that every parent should want for their children. Kids model what they see and if they see a coach or parent that is a yeller and screamer and has nothing constructive to say, then the kids feel that that is acceptable behavior. Why do some coaches and parents feel the need to do so? Probably because that’s the only way they know how, so they do what they do.

I will never pretend to be a saint, I have my moments when generations of blue collar Collins comes out. I will, however, always be me and what drives me is the kids, coaching kids and watching them grow up to lead healthy normal lives, have their own kids and careers.

I’ve been coaching for 25-plus years and everyone I have had on a team during that time still calls me coach – that’s why I do what I do.

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