It’s been a long journey until I got here. To be more accurate 42 years, 11 months and 11 days.
I played a lot of basketball in my life. Somehow around thirty I suddenly stopped, and I worked as an accountant. Later I had my own business in the same field.
Since my family and I moved to Denmark, I went in another direction: basketball coaching. I succeeded to hire at my kid’s school-an international one.
The first team I received for coaching was the under 12 years old developmental team. That meant the player who couldn’t make the first team, was sent to my squad.
The first three practices. Something to remember. I was the one. Best coach ever, but unfortunately only in my mind. In reality, all I tried went very bad. Everything from drills to my attitude was wrong. I was the typical always angry coach: “I do not allow Here mistake!” – It was me saying that with an ugly face and a serious voice. How ridiculous! The guy who made so many huge mistakes in his life now was demanding to some kids not to mistake at basketball. Funny, no? What an idiot! I can say now and maybe that kids also said then.
Later I understood what a bad teacher I was. I was the same as most teachers I had my whole life at the school or basketball during my time in my birth country, Romania. Most of the times we consider normal what we saw at our educators.
Danish culture differs consistently from the one in my country. Also, I’ve started at the same time with coaching, some certification courses with a team of NBA skills trainers from the US. Their philosophy combined with Danish culture made me change my entire approach of coaching and also of life itself.
That was the point where I turned myself with 180 degrees.
I understood that coaching is not about winning competitions only. Is about creating strong characters, champions for life, team workers, people who can develop relationships based on trust, people who can take the life gamble and go on and on every day and live a happy life. If I had succeeded to do this, they would also win all the competitions at the end, but it shouldn’t be my focus.
Looking back at my childhood I remember that I was in the 8th grade, and here is what happened. In my country, at that moment for acceding to the high school, you should get two exams which were tough. One was for math and the second for the mother tongue. Because the school could not cover all student’s needs, the parent sent most of the kids to do private lessons. I was not an exception. So, I had a teacher for the Romanian language which was considered in our school a real bitch, but in fact, she was a good lady. I don’t remember nothing about Romanian classes, but I do remember that she told me one day: “Here is what I will tell you. Whenever you will go on the street or wherever you will be and will do, try to think at all the things you will see and figure out what they are good for and how they work and how and why somebody made them. Train your mind every second, and you will be successful in your life.” From that moment she won me as the most interested student. Her words inspired me so much that I am still doing what she told me. I was so fascinated that I wanted only to see her again waiting for another advice.
There are people in the world which can impact your whole life only if you talk 5 minutes with them. They can change your whole way of thinking. For me, this means to be a teacher, and that is what I want to do from now on.
So, going back. I’ve started coaching three years ago, and I am happier and happier each day. For a long time, I thought more skilled you become in whatever you like to do in your life, the happier you are, but now I know it for sure because I did it. And God, I am happy!
Every morning when I wake up, I’m telling myself: “Today you will do whatever it takes to be the Coach of the Day, no matter what!”.
Why Coach of the Day?
Because I want to impact the players’ lives every day in the same way, the Romanian language teacher impacted mine.
I want to keep them fascinated by what I am teaching them and how to transfer it to their lives.
And at the end of the day, I want to be the best version of me from my entire life.
If I succeed, I will make them achieve excellence in their lives; I bet on it with all I have.
Can I be the Coach of the Day? I am absolutely sure.
Can I do it every day? Probably not. But, I am giving all I have for it.