Written By Darren Douglas
What does it mean to leave a legacy? It means putting a stamp on the future, and making a contribution that people will impact and help many even when you are gone. People want to leave a legacy if they are passionate and have the foresight to make decisions that can have lasting effects for a long time.
When embarking on a task like being an athlete or a coach, many people have a goal to leave a legacy. I believe in many cases, this goal is “lip service” at the beginning and only the truly dedicated leave a lasting legacy over the course of their time at a school or organization.
I have been a high school coach for 4 years (3 years at Aquinas HS, this will be my 1st at Grovetown High) and when I got at AHS, I knew we wanted to try and build a special program that would leave a lasting legacy. 3 years later and a region championship and a state championship, along with multiple players obtaining scholarships along the way, I would say we did a good job of changing the culture of basketball at the school and leaving a legacy. Along the way, there were great moments, low moments and a lot of sweat equity to build something special. In this article, I will share some of the things we have done and in an attempt to help the reader avoid pitfalls, illustrate a few things to avoid along the road of building their own legacies.
When starting out with the intent of leaving a legacy, the first thing that needs to be established is what your why is? At Grovetown everything we do is done with the legacy we want to create. The legacy we want to create is summed up in our mission statement which is:
We seek to develop young people who are courageous in the face of adversity, compassionate to those less fortunate, can identify their strengths, weakness, and values, then demonstrate those values in their speech and actions. These traits will help these boys transition into great sons, great husbands and fathers in the future.
By knowing our mission statement, we can intentionally take steps that will help us establish our endgame. We can use this information to drive our day to day interactions, prioritize what matters most, allows us to make better choices about time and resource allocation, gives clarity and a roadmap for how to live. With that we can intentionally start building a legacy.
Ways to build a legacy:
- Build a thriving feeder system.
- Keep your teams active in the community.
- Lead with love.
- Prioritize relationships with players and families.
- Work as hard as you can.
- Create an environment where small wins are celebrated.
- Train your players eyes and minds to see positives in every situation.
- Be the place where players find positive.
- Be honest.
- Work on improving your craft daily.
- Do things to celebrate former players.
- See what could improve and take steps to make it better.
Things to avoid when building a legacy:
- Taking shortcuts.
- Excuses, Blaming others and complaining.
- Putting value in nothing but wins.
- Avoiding relationships with parents.
- Not thoroughly planning.
- Being overly negative.
- Quitting at the first sign of trouble.
- Sacrifice long term gain for instant success.
If you are going to build a lasting legacy you will encounter a lot of things, some expected, some not.
Here are three for sure.
Doubt. Distraction. Discouragement.
How you handle these dictate how far your legacy can endure.
I hope this helped anyone with the burning desire to leave a legacy in their field and may have needed that extra push.
Go be great!!