by Ryan Krzykowski
Since the world began staying at home back in March, we at CFC have been leading weekly discussions with coaches throughout the KC area on Zoom. Our conversations typically center on John O’Sullivan’s wonderful book Every Moment Matters, but this week I also wanted to provide coaches an opportunity to talk about how the events of the past couple weeks have impacted them, and how they’ve been thinking about leading young people with everything those kids are seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling.
Out of those conversations, one stands out in particular. A small group of coaches, including both black and white men, were able to share their experiences, acknowledge their struggles, talk about their personal bias/ignorance, and what seemed most important to me, really listen to each other. What I experienced on that call was an honest effort to understand where another person is coming from, and a commitment to walk through challenging times and situations together with a spirit of love and empathy. I was reminded that we don’t even have to agree on every point someone makes in order to authentically love them.
I don’t know what it’s like to be Black in the United States. I don’t know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racist language or discrimination. But I have grown up in this country in a way that’s made it clear that my experience isn’t like everyone else’s. And I understand that listening and seeking to understand will take us a whole lot further than judgment, resentment and name-calling.
As coaches, leaders of young people, we have a sacred obligation to lead and guide them toward a place of love. And that probably begins with listening to them and helping them learn to listen to others.
Let’s Coach With Purpose…