Caring, compassionate, committed. Coach Holton, my middle school basketball coach for four years has been one of the most influential people in my life. The lessons I’ve learned from him span far from the basketball court. I hardly remember the specific drills, plays, or basketball related lessons, but what has stuck with me are the life lessons I learned from Coach Holton.
Coach Holton is an intimidating, tough guy with a bald head and a loud voice. His personality is somewhat built from his difficult background, as he served as a Marine and went through many hardships during his time spent. It’s impossible to understand everything Coach Holton has gone through from losing his “C.R.O.W.S. family” at war, but one of the lessons I learned from this is that there is so much more to life than a game. Coach Holton and the CROWS who sacrificed their lives for us bring me to the realization that my problems are not really problems. Making a free throw, striking out a batter, getting an A on a test; these are problems that I am lucky to have. One of the quotes that embodied Coach Holton’s coaching method is “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”
Coach Holton had a quote of the day every practice which is where many of the lessons I learned were initiated. One of these life lessons was that it’s the little things in life that get you to achieve the big things you desire. “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” Coach Holton has taught me that going through the motions does nothing, but doing everything with a purpose is what will separate good people from great people. Being a great teammate, an unselfish player, setting specific and challenging goals, looking people in the eyes, having great focus, and an exceptional work ethic and desire to succeed are some of these little things.
Coach Holton built my championship mentality from a young age and he is the reason for many of my accomplishments today. If it weren’t for his relentless efforts of teaching me how to believe in myself, work hard, and separate myself from the rest, I would not be the person I am today. One day I hope to have half the impact on others as he did on me with his caring, compassionate, and committed personality.