"Coaching is more about steering the spirit than the feet." David Hasty

21 February 2005

Dear Susie,

Our next appointment is not until March 15th and I'd planned on writing this email just prior to that lesson, but the symbols and drama of today's events make me want to wax and ponder a bit here and now. Call it student's prerogative...you see, I have composed many notes to you in my mind as I consider one technical point in my delivery or another, or to share a competitive bowling moment - both those of glorious expected results and ones that merely offer educational opportunity - or to treat you as my mental consultant with a situation involving mentoring my children and/or the occasional YABA charge, or to blather on about some obscure but clever metaphor or another...but I don't send you these messages, and usually don't even compose them mostly because I usually boil the issue down to it's common sense, obvious answer, and also I don't want to bother you with every little thing, given your schedule and the fact that it can usually wait.

On the other hand, and this is the coaching lesson I choose to take to heart, I feel that I COULD if I really needed too and you wouldn't think twice about dispensing the necessary wisdom as being all in a day's work...besides the fact that coaching is more about steering the spirit than the feet, the process is a partnership established with credibility, commitment and most of all: accountability. That's really the most valuable thing you give me as a student - someone who not only guides and instructs but shares in the celebration of results, no matter what they might be. I appreciate that concept, because nobody else cares that I've shot 6 out of 10 six hundreds in the last month or what that means to my life and on how many levels -- but I at least imagine that you do, and I want to have more and bigger numbers to report, because when I bowl, we bowl together. That's the kind of coach I want to be, and I'm grateful that you are there to show me by example...and I further realize that to so aspire requires that I become the total student, to evaluate and commit and persistently apply my instruction to fully appreciate the learning process.

I also believe that I must establish my own credibility first with a high degree of skill on the lanes, and we both know that right now I am only slightly above mediocre - but improving. Another email will deal with what I think my weakest areas continue to be, but what brings out this particular gush at this time, you may ask...well, today I think Brian (his son) enjoyed his lesson and I certainly appreciate the way you treat both kids, but (and this is a universal parent thing, I think).

I'm not sure he really understands the value of what you give. Oh, I think he gets alot of it, but as adults we can provide opportunities to the young that our wisdom tells us is priceless, but their limited scope just can't grasp...just as some of the things I was provided with that perhaps seemed pedestrian at the time, I now realize could have had much greater influence had I more insight in my youth. Such is this grand circle of life and it's particular drawbacks. We take for granted, and we fail to truly see and miss out or overlook.

Yes, and to the point: I got a great kick out of getting those bar glasses for you, partly because they were cool, but mostly because you would understand the gesture; and, I got a huge thrill at your reaction - you obviously know likewise what is cool. Here's my thinking: it was a successful exercise in gratitude and appreciation and sharing a moment; the glasses are just a symbol of a pleasant partnership on a sometimes difficult journey. The broken one only proves that nothing is perfect and to accept the best of what we have...by the way, it may be a symbol or message as to which glass was broken -- I'm guessing it was the "delivery" -- ha, ha. Let me know which it was and we'll work to make that my best skill as our revenge! Aren't we all broken, incomplete sets of one kind or another, and isn't the coach's job to make the most of what is NOT missing? Okay, maybe it's the drama queen in me -- after all, I did eat sherbet from the carton and cried at a chick movie that I've seen a dozen times tonight ("DAVE" about the Presidential look alike), but I'm truly trying to bowl my way to spiritual health and ready to take my dedication as a student up a few notches. Let's see where I can go...thanks for all that you are, and for doing it so well!

Even the Pros Miss the Four Pin,

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