Throughout my life, I have looked up to my coaches. From kindergarten to 6th grade, I played three sports a year and had the same dedicated coach for each of them. I can remember getting dropped off every day at 3:15 for an exciting basketball practice. I would walk into the gym and there was Mr. W with a smile on his face. Mr. W was there every day, not only turning me into an athlete, but into a young gentleman, too.

We would start practice by circling up and stretching, then go into ball handling. He would always be patient with all skill levels of kids. In almost every practice, he would turn an event into a life lesson. One of these lessons has stuck with me ever since. It was a cool December day and a couple of my teammates got into a fight. These certain kids weren’t the greatest listeners and didn’t like when Coach W constructively criticized them. Mr. W stopped the fight and had us all sit in the middle circle of the gym. He then went on to tell us about how we need to be coachable kids, how uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. This quote has made me who I am today. I have always remembered him saying that and I remember it whenever I step into a classroom, court, or field. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without what I thought was just basketball, soccer, and baseball practice, which actually was an influential time where I grew up as a person.

—White Mountains Regional High School