The Turnaround: Lubbock-Cooper HC Max Kattwinkel writes about coaching beyond the game

the turnaround

“Lubbock-Cooper will always be shown respect on our field” — I have this favorited on my Twitter account.

It is one of my favorite tweets and one that means a lot to me. It was written by one of Coach Jason Strunk’s players last year. It’s one of my favorites, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

It doesn’t surprise me, because that is the way Lubbock High plays football. They play hard and they respect the game. There is no trash talking. They hit you hard and then help you up. Whether they score on a play or you do, you know they are coming at you again the next play. It’s football in its purest form. It makes you remember what is good about sports.

west texas

I hope the picture above copies over well enough to do justice to what I am going to say next. This picture was taken a few years ago of a West Texas sunset. As you can see, the sun is gone. What isn’t gone are the “fingers of light” coming from the sun. I love this picture because of its beauty, but also because of its significance it has towards coaches and educators.

Once athletes leave your program or those students leave your classroom, you may be gone like the sun is in this picture. However, the influence you had on these athletes and students still linger.

They will remember some of the wins and losses or what you tried to teach, but they will ALWAYS remember how you treated them and what you did for them. They will remember how you treated them after the wins and after the losses. As we start our district race, I remind myself of this statement every year: “At this point in the season, one of the many challenges for coaches is to be the same man; win or lose.”

District 4-5A is one of the most competitive districts in the State of Texas. Great programs, coaching staffs, rivalries, and athletes make every Friday night in October and November — stressful, but fun. Wins are important, but so is the influence each coach carries. Their light can stay with their athletes for the rest of their lives. Jason Strunk gets this. It is also why Lubbock High will always be shown respect at Pirate Stadium.

by Max Kattwinkel
Lubbock Cooper High School Head Football Coach
Follow @MKattwinkel

Editor’s Note: Lubbock High will play Lubbock Cooper Friday night. 

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.