I attended AAU Volleyball Nationals with my 15-year-old daughter in Orlando, Fla., recently, and my experience there cemented my commitment to success with honor.
What I observed were coaches who told 12- to 15-year-old girls to “figure it out” and parents who blamed bad calls for losses.
There were kids pointing fingers at each other as their teams went down the chute and no one who seemed to be trying to inspire the players to reach beyond their boundaries. The only reason a player should cry is if they didn’t give their best.
Fortunately, I was coached by the greatest coach in history. I never played football, but I was able to inspire my own daughter with the wisdom I learned as a Penn State student.
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“You’re never as good as you think you are when you win and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose.” “Hustle kid, hustle! Good things happen when you hustle.” “Fear no one, but respect every opponent.”
The lessons are endless.
My child is a good volleyball player who will probably never compete in a D-I school. But she will be a better person because of the lessons I learned from Joe Paterno.
Our community has been vilified for idolatry. But that was just bad press. Joe was never our idol. We just respected him, and for good reason.
I hope there are young coaches who will seek his inspiration. The world needs it.