by Ryan Krzykowski

I have loved coaching since the first day I put on a whistle.  That was over 26 years ago, and while it’s my hope that I’ve grown and become more effective in that time, one thing that hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm I bring to the role.  Knowing there are young men who call me “Coach” is a blessing and privilege.  Getting the opportunity to serve on a staff with other men who take this calling seriously, who love our players and each other is simply one of the best things there is. 

Twenty-six years ago my head was spinning a little as our team and coaching staff prepared for the high school football season.  It was our first season together as a staff, my first year of coaching, and I had no idea that the men I was working with would become some of my closest lifelong friends.  But over the next 7 years that’s exactly what happened as we served each other, our team and our community.  It was not always pretty — we did not do it perfectly.  But we did it all sincerely in love, and both the good days and tough days served to bring us all together.  Year one (1998) for our staff was especially tough for a few different reasons — we were new to each other, to the players, to the school, and there was a learning curve and significant growing pains.  Also, wins were hard to come by in year one.  That season we also faced tragedy, as a 10th grade player of ours died during the season — the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.  But we went through it together, which is important not because it made things easier, but because it made everything more meaningful.  As the years went by (1999-2004) the wins came more readily, as players and coaches were doing the work it takes to get there.  We were becoming successful, and as a result, we won.  The wins weren’t what made us successful, but our success resulted in wins.  And there’s no doubt, winning made things more fun.

That staff and program I was so blessed to be part of all those years ago was extremely special — something I figured was probably a once in a lifetime experience.  I didn’t know if that sense of belonging was something I would ever taste again in quite the same way.  Could lightning actually strike twice?  Probably not.  At least that’s what I used to think, but now I’m not so sure.  I’m currently blessed to be part of another high school football staff, and as we head into our second year together there are no shortage of parallels with the past.  It’s a little eerie how similar it all feels at times.  Last year in year one, wins were hard to come by as we all got used to each other.  But in the winter and spring months, our players made huge gains in the weight room.  We’ve come into the summer knowing who we are and what we’re working to become.  And perhaps most importantly, I’m serving alongside a group of men who love our players and each other.  It’s not always pretty — sometimes we get under each other’s skin.  But that happens because we are passionate about what we do, and serious about giving this program the best effort we possibly can.  We’re doing this sincerely, coming from a place of love, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.

I’ll keep you posted — but just maybe lightning will strike twice.

Let’s Coach With Purpose…