Looking back, I never would have dreamed that Coach Butler would have influenced me so much that I would still be thanking him nearly 40 years later. I played 6 on 6 girls basketball and Mr. Butler was my coach when I was a junior and senior. He was a short, soft spoken man that was always dressed in a suit and tie.
Coach Butler took an interest in me and I worked harder for him than any of the other coaches. Why? Because he respected me and my talent. He didn’t expect perfection, he only wanted your best. Our small rural school didn’t win championships, we just made it harder for others to and that was satisfaction in itself.
Coach Butler told me that in both basketball and life I would be my worst enemy and my best friend. He was right. Growing up I did dumb things, lost faith in myself and did things the hard way. But, people tell me that they are in awe that I can pick myself up and start over. Or that I can face things and lean on God and keep going.
Coach Butler said if I wanted something, I had to go after it. If I got what I was after, great! If I didn’t, then I should be proud of giving it my all. He would ask me in a game if I was ready. I knew he meant I needed to take a charge or two in order to get an opposing forward to cool off. I was always ready to sacrifice a few bruises for the team.
Later in life, “do your best” thinking got me job opportunities that females had not done. If I wanted a job, I went after it and gave it my best. I tackled things because I was asked to, just like Coach Butler had asked. This way of thinking helped me through health issues as well.
Thank you Coach Butler. Thanks for respecting and believing in me. I’m passing it on to others.