“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” BY Tom Landry
A few days back, I was watching the presentation ceremony of the CNN IBN Indian Of the Year Award for 2013. To those of you who don’t know, the CNN IBN Indian of the Year Award “recognizes the Indian(s) whose contribution to the country in a calendar year has strengthened the foundation of our society and has helped build Brand India in the process.”For more details, click here
To be honest, none of the winners really surprised me. They were all achievers in their own sphere of work and had made a mark. Until I heard the announcement of the Winners of the Outstanding Achievement Awards. Cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar has been declared as the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2013, in the Outstanding Achievement category. The reason is “He has coached many young cricketers at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai. He is the man who first spotted the exceptional talent of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin came to Achrekar as a young student and it was under his keen supervision that Tendulkar’s ability was nurtured. Achrekar was always a hard taskmaster who ensured that his star pupil would make rapid strides in the game. Indian cricket owes Achrekar a debt of gratitude.”
At this point, let me make a disclaimer. I am NOT a cricket fan, nor do I worship / idolize any cricketer. I RARELY watch cricket matches (Like once in a year maybe!). Neither have I ever really played cricket. Oh wait! I did play cricket. Twice. The first time when I was a kid of about 10 years and I was bowled out on a duck :(. The bowler was mighty pleased. No prizes for guessing why? And the second time was when I played a corporate cricket tournament (in my early 20’s) in which as per company policy every team was supposed to have 1 woman employee and 1 employee above the age of 40 years. My friend was the captain of the Cricket team, and begged / pleaded / coaxed / bribed / bullied me into playing the match on his side. We closed the deal with these terms and conditions – No matter what the outcome was – I would be treated to an ice-cream, and we would continue to be friends! Thanks to my stars, I was last in the batting order. Unfortunately for me, my batting turn did come :( and we needed 2 runs to win, 1 run for a draw and 2 balls were left. Sigh! The nail biting finish. After some last minute “coaching” (grilling and quick and dirty practice sessions from my captain friend) I was on the crease. As the ball came towards me, I became numb. Everything blurred. And the ball went straight to the wicket. Clean bowled for a duck.. Again! And that ended my cricketing career. I was certain that I did not want a hat-trick. True to his word, my captain friend treated me to an ice-cream and we are friends even today. I had to endure his somber and morose expression at the ice-cream parlor when I was digging into the ice-cream. Honestly, I couldn’t care any less.
The other thing that I do know about cricket rather well is this. To shut up and flee when there are any “cricket related” discussions or banters in my vicinity. And to let the “men in my life” have the TV remote and the “last word” as far as cricket is concerned! You’d think I’m wise, right? yes, I think so too :)
Sorry to digress, but coming back to my post. My interest piqued when I heard the announcement citing the award to Ramakant Achrekar. Simply because I HAVE NEVER REALLY SEEN or HEARD an AWARD being given to a COACH.
“Why NOT?” I wondered…”Did it actually take the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar to retire from his glorious cricketing career to honor his coach?“
My thoughts took me to the recent Bollywood movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. The one thing that really stood out for me in the movie was the role of the coach in the success of Milkha’s journey and life. It was a coach who identified the “running talent” in a young boy. It was the coach who provided the required guidance, the required technique, the tricks, the tools, and the support (moral, emotional, mental, physical) – especially in those vulnerable moments. It was the coach who believed in him. It was the coach who gave the much needed inspiration and motivation at those critical moments. It was the coach who pushed him to frontiers which he never knew existed. It was the coach who never ever gave up on him. And it was the focus, efforts and dedication of the coach (along with his own efforts) which took Milkha to the victory stand.
And yet, in real life
Why do we fail to RECOGNIZE the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?
Why do we fail to RESPECT the the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?
Why do we fail to REWARD the the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?
It is the RIGHT COACHING which transforms an individual / team from good to GREAT
It is the RIGHT COACHING which takes an individual / team to the pinnacles of SUCCESS
It is the RIGHT COACHING which truly makes a DIFFERENCE
Now, let’s get personal?
Can you go down memory lane and think of all the people who coached you? The coach(es) who believed in you even when you gave up? The coach(es) who nudged you and pushed you till the finish? The coach(es) who were “hard” on your for your own benefit? The coach(es) who guided you, who molded you, who made you give your very best…
Pause and Reflect
Did you say THANK YOU to those who coached you?
Did you give REGARDS and RESPECT to those who coached you?
Did you push for you coach(es) to be REWARDED for all that they did for you?
If not, you can do it today..
The video of Ramakant Achrekar’s moment of glory is below