Just some thoughts:
Coaches often have rules.
I remember when I came out of college and started coaching and all the rules I thought I needed. I remember an old coach once sitting down with me in some bleachers after a practice and saying to me, “think twice about your rules, you need’em but think twice about them and how and who you administer them to.”
He had a rule. No girls on his team who were mothers. Iron clad. But something was different. He had watched how people had soured on this young girl after she had gotten pregnant. Pregnant and unmarried. He though of her as one of the sweetest girls he had ever known. For some reason he changed his mind on this situation and allowed this young lady to come back on the team. He changed one of his rules. He’d take the heat.
After all she had more than one struggle in her life. She had been born into a family of twenty-two children, she being the twentieth. She was born two months premature, weighing less than five pounds. At age four she endured scarlet fever, later double pneumonia and polio. Polio had crippled her left leg and forced her to wear a metal leg braces for several years. And now this. Something unplanned. Pregnancy and rules.
Oh the young lady, that was Wilma Rudolph. The great Olympic runner. She would go on to be the first American woman to ever win three gold medals in the Olympics. All because a man thought twice about rules.
“She ran free and easy–as though she were nine years old, flying down the dirt roads of Clarksville, freed at last from the braces she wore during her recovery from childhood polio.”
Rome 1960—David Maraniss
“Winning is great, sure but if you are really going to do something in life the secret is knowing how to lose. If you can pick-up after a crushing defeat and go on to win again you are going to be a champion.”
“Worldly things meant little to her, nor did prizes and fame. Her will to win came from another impulse, to prove herself worthy. Her carefree disposition made it difficult to imagine the trauma she had endured in the first twenty years in her life.”
Rome–1960 David Maraniss
You know I’m pretty much in the school of “second chances” especially when it comes to young people.
Rules yes, but also good judgement in the application of those rules. Think about the outcome of this young ladies life because a man thought about the matter of a “second chance.”
“For every woman athlete who came after her, she was the person who opened the door. Wilma opened that door, and for all women, not just in track and field. She had that smile. She had that charisma.”
Quote from Ed Temple
By the way the coach was Coach Ed Temple of Tennessee State track fame.
========================================nNovember 19, 2019