Since the beginning, I have always expressed to my athletes to compete, prepare, and think with positivity and passion. For me, coaching is simple. I have passion for helping others be great, many times exceeding their own personal expectations.
At age 16 I decided that I wanted to teach and coach. My mind has not changed since that day in 1996. If anything, it has been solidified even more and my personal desire and passion to help others has continually risen. I have often wondered why I obsess over it? Why do I crave it? Over the years, I have come up with some answers.
I have come to realize that I desire to coach, mentor, and lead others to their highest potential, hopes, and dreams because people did that for me. I had an art teacher named John Thomas who helped me understand that I was a genius in my own way. He compared me to many great renaissance artists and claimed in that era, I too would have been considered a genius. From that day on, I believed i owned a level of genius which I had never felt in my life. That same teacher convinced me that talent was wasted all around me, and I could choose waste my talents and genius, or I could put it to use and "DO SOMETHING with it." That day, I decided I would commit to "doing something" rather than wasting. He changed my vision of my self, my future, and my life. I have a passion to do the same for others. I jump at every chance I get to highlight someones strengths or genius, no matter what the outside world labels them as.
I also had two high school coaches that turned me to success in drastically different ways. The first, Gordon Mosson, who gave no shits about excuses. I remember his high expectations, his detail oriented preparation, his intense game talks, his explosive practice rampages, and most of all his passion for success. He drove me close to insanity at times telling me I had to go harder when I literally felt I had no more to give. Magically, I always found more...I always found more and became a starter on one of the best best basketball teams in school history. What great lessons he taught... 1) Be successful, no excuses. 2) Detailed Preparation. 3) Speak and Lead with Passion. 4) You have more in you than you realize, and it's okay for those who truly care about you to help pull it out of you.
Dennis Rippy was my track coach and he inspired me differently. His quiet and calm encouragement created an environment in which I wanted to impress him. He always made me feel like I had potential. His coaching style helped me become a person who self analyzed and created personal goals. At the exact same time he had a stringent expectation of doing the right thing. He wanted us to be great team members, honest people, and wanted his team to conduct themselves appropriately at all times. Because of his mentorship, I learned to enthusiastically chase goals and maintain character and morals along the way.
Several others played a role as well; College Coach Scott Fangman, my Father Dennis Clark, my Mother Arlene Clark, and certainly other teachers and professors along the way. But I have certainly found that High School Teachers and Coaches have a profound influence on young people. These influencers certainly shaped me and guided me to a life that would not have existed without them.
It is quite simple. I had people support me, guide me, mentor me, and push me to levels of success that would not have existed with out them. I hope to be that person for as many people as possible before my time is done. I love what I do because I love what those people did for me. I pay it forward every day and you better believe I love the product I pay for!