Claude Abate

Coaching life skills

Do you realize what you are doing today is and will affect the lives of others?

After thirty years why talk about your high school coach? Well, those were the good times and in addition to our parents, there was somebody else to help me succeed, not only in sports, but also in life.

As time passes, many people come into our lives, but very few of them stay, like from high school through adulthood. Not, many of them, after thirty years, you can sit down have an up to date conversation. Not many of them will reach out, just as they recruited you for the team. I see some of my former teachers and it seems as if they shun me or we have nothing in common, as we did before. So, there has to be something very special about our relationship and that is what I want to share with you.

I pray for more special people?

Now, at fifteen years old I was six feet one inch tall and did not know what to do with myself other than go to school, until I met Claude Abate, who became my basketball coach. That happened when he recruited me for the team, other wise; I was too scared to play. I am not ashamed*_*

Even more strange, Coach was just a bit over five feet tall, but a scrapper. He was a dead set and determined and was not afraid to mix it up. That is where he earned the nickname "Stump". Among us players, that is what we called him.

During those three years that man showed me strengths and abilities about myself, I did not know I had. Now, my parents did a great job at providing the foundation for him to work with or I am sure he never would have recruited me. There were a whole bunch of others to pick from and certainly others were cut from the roster. So I had to be coachable. Offense--do not bounce the ball, move it towards and put it in the basket ASAP. Defense--get your hands in their face and keep it there. Apply pressure on the man with the ball. Get the loose ball and put it in the basket. You can win by capitalizing on the mistakes of others.

My coach could have just talked with me about the sport, like many other coaches and disregarded life. You take a great chance when you talk with people, especially young kids about what to do in life. Well, he made a great difference in my life and I want to thank him for taking that chance. While I am sure he could come up with more reasons for not taking the chance on me than he could have for taking the time and chance.

Further, he had to be special because there were, at any given time, fifteen of us players, his students, his personal life and last but not least his loving family. I will never forget his wife Marsha, who was even more loving and devoted. She did not play, but she was an avid supporter. Well, all of that just made us play ever harder. We learned to be a scuffling team and today we, with our own individual personalities are still the same. We won most of our games, not because we were so talented, but because we learned to scuffle for the ball. We were disciplined, motivated and determined not to be a losing team, which would be a change from previous years.

That is where I will close. That is my reason, case and point--Good coaching. Thank you Coach Claude Abate for sharing and teaching. We can be a winning team if we have leadership capable of getting us all on the same page and taking the time and effort to coach each player and allowing them to play, in accordance to their own abilities. And while scuffling, you hear the whistle and horn blow, look up and Against all odds we won.

That is how and why I do this. That is my life and that is this website. Blessed to be a Blessing!

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