Coach Keanon Lowe- Definition of a football coach
High School Football Puts Life On the Line and Shows Compassion Only a Coach can understand
Winning isn’t everything. It is the only thing. This was Vince Lombardi’s famous quote.. However when in his Autobiography “ When Pride Still Mattered” he stated what he intended to say is "Winning isn't everything. The will to win is the only thing.. How does that apply to the story of coach Kenan Lowe and the young man who came to the school with a gun? The boy stated he was sorry, he felt that he had no other choice…. He felt alone.. Desparate..frustrated in this world which is happening all too often to our young people today. The inability to cope with life’s challenges. .The inability to understand what the “will to win” really means.
True, it is easy to
Self Medicate with drugs
Be prescribed drugs by a psychiatrist
Feel hopeless and take your own life
Feel hopeless and take your life and the lives of many others
This is the unfortunate reality of our times. The Maslownian conundrum of starting with Self Actualization which in some generations was not reached until deep into your maturity.. Kids are forced to asked that question now.
Not to get too over the top for those that are not aware of this.. it was really the ONLY thing that stuck with me through High School. It stems from the prioritizing ones needs
Physiological Needs – Food Shelter Clothing .. etc.
Safety Needs – Access to resources
Love and Belonging – Friendshiip Family,
Esteem- sense of status and respect of peer
Self Actualuation – desire to become the most you can be
Most people take for granted the first three because for many generations this was NOT a guarantee, however nowadays so many take it for granted. Often times the Esteem need is was causes the short circuiting of Self Actualization . The first 4 phases are all rolled into your life that you START with.. what is life really about…
Without obstacles and challenges for a young man, it often makes him now able to see the forest for the trees. Challenges --- actually overcoming challenges is what it takes to overcome things in life. Where past generations had the armed forces to, in reality, snap young boys into men. Our society has very few outlets for young men to do that. Videos Games, Smart Phones, Social Media, has eliminated most of that. Even team sports has become super isolated since you have 1.5 hrs to do Baseball, before you head to you 1 hour basketball game to your soccer practice….. However there is only one youth/High School sport where your participation requires to reset your hierarchy of needs. That spots happens to be football. Regardless of if you reach the heights of Maslows needs or have reached none of them.. you all start at the same baseline. It strips you of everything you think you knew about yourself and you realized that in the first 30 minutes. All coaches are different however most practices start the same. A test… AKA Cals it makes you start from scratch.
As time goes on—you have to realize the following
Is my body going to allow me to make it through this – the flight or fight kicks in quick – Physocological Needs
Can I make it through this – Safey Needs
Damn these other 40 guys are here doing this too, I need to decide if I am going to be one of them- Love and Belonging
Over time regardless of your playing time you realize that you are a part of something bigger than you—Esteem
40 Men dressed in the same uniform getting ready for the game—again no matter if you play both ways or do not play at all.. you walk through that tunnel together.. you walk on the field together.. you hold hands together.. you spend 5 days a week together.. you had made it—Self Actualization….
For a kid to feel like all this was MISSING from his life—shows that being a part of something.. Maybe if he had something to be a part of.. His life would have been different. As famous coach Mike Tenaglia says .. and I know he is not the originator of this quote.. but he says it all the time.. How you walk through the fire counts. And I am not saying all Coaches are that way, but coach Lowe DID seem that way. That is why in a moment of where fear and anguish should have consumed him.. He knew how to embrace that young man when that man need it the most. Something youth and high school coaches are all too aware of. It is there reality day in and day out.
“Then it was just me and that student. It was a real emotional time," Lowe said in May. "I felt compassion for him. A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over."