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My Coach Can Fly, Can Yours?

By , Cleburne, TX
Mr. Coby Bird


I met Coach Bird freshman year on the cross country team. As the coach for soccer and cross country he already had relationships with some of the older girls. More importantly, he was also my Teen Leadership teacher and relationships was just the beginning of all I was going to learn from him.

Everything that Coach Bird taught in the classroom was heavily emphasized in the hallways when he saw us or on the field. In Teen Leadership we learned skills that would make high school easier for us than the average teen. The most important reason why I think he stressed the necessity of this class was because he believed that those tools would set us apart from the average teenager. His classroom was full of motivational posters, funny cartoons and a big Got Milk? Banner with Kelly Clarkson’s forged signature (courtesy or him of course). The thing that stood out the most I think was him, because unlike most teachers, or any for that matter, he stood at the door and shook our hand everyday. He made coming to class feel like such an accomplishment by the way he greeted us with a smile on his face instead blank stares to the computers like the rest of them.

The I POSSES skills were an acronym for the 8 skills that one needed in order to succeed. They included optimism, self-motivation, self- control, persistence, empathy and more. Each of which it takes to be what he calls a leader. The one that stood out to me the most was optimism that quality is what he is and it is what makes the most of me now.

Once I remember I came to class crying because I was rejected by a boy. As soon as I turned the corner into the hallway he told me to wait outside because he wanted to talk to me. After he asked me what was wrong and after I told him how embarrassed I felt for crying over something so meaningless, he smiled. Then he told me that he was proud of me for realizing that a boy was not the end of the world, but just a part of high school and that rejection was part of life. Coach Bird made me feel not better but he made me feel like nothing could touch me, nothing could hold me down, because I am optimistic and that’s a feeling I always get.

I will never forget the day that he gave each one of us an empty soda can. Then he told us to think of a memory that caused us a great deal of pain, and to squeeze as we thought about it. After we were all done he told us to try to get the can back to the shape where it was, but no matter how many attempts and methods we had fix it, the can wouldn’t be exactly as it was. The he told us that memories affect our lives in ways that will never be the same again. Memories are scars of what we have lived through and no matter how hard we try to forget them or how much time has passed since it happened it will always be there. Coach Bird and his course were not scars that are reminders of the positive changes that he and his class have made in the way that I am. The kind of person I am is highly influenced by him, and he’s right it will never be the same.





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