Dear Coach

 “In recognition of Thank A Coach/Advisor Week, we honor and support the thousands of coaches and advisors across Minnesota that make an integral, positive and lifelong impact on our students. The impact of coaches and advisors is an asset to our education-based profession, students, school districts and local communities. Thank you, coaches and advisors, for all you do!”

Dear Coach,

As I sit here today, I reflect on my years at MCC. My journey began in 1984 and continues through today. In my early years, I learned from what I know now to be considered the best of the best educators. Many of them have retired but I want them to know that they made an impact. As I moved on throughout my MCC career, I started getting into competitive sports. I competed in my elementary years in Optimist Basketball, Wrestling and even ran Cross Country in elementary school. All of these were run by great people who I called coach. Most of them were volunteers, some were paid but all taught me valuable lessons that shaped me as I grew as a young person.

As I moved into the 7th grade I was privileged to start competitive athletics and activities. I competed in Cross Country, Wrestling and Baseball. There were plenty of ups and downs that every athlete goes through. Playing time, responsibility, work ethic, mental toughness, perseverance are among the many things I struggled with and were taught. Those coaches taught me the basic fundamentals of the game that would allow me to be successful later in my athletic career.

As I moved from junior high to the high school activities I had the same struggles that every student-athlete has throughout their career. I competed in football, wrestling, FFA and baseball. The struggle of bench roles, physical limitations, mental limitations and under developed fundamentals took its toll early in my high school years. My coaches were there to motivate me, lift me up, and teach me finer points of the sport and team. I was truly blessed to have these coaches as part of my life. I was taught how to blend personal goals with team goals to achieve overall success and the reward of sport. In the end I learned to play for them, my teammates and my school.

As I sit here 24 years after I graduated from MCC High School, I have seen things through their eyes. I believe it is life’s greatest lessons that come full circle. I played 4 years in the NCAA Division II athletics. I have coached basketball, wrestling, softball and baseball either as a volunteer assistant, assistant or head coach. What I know now is that coaches selflessly dedicate more than I ever would have guessed. Coaches are the first to the facilities and last to leave. Their families sacrifice nights, weekends and holidays. They get judged not only on a daily basis but sometimes minute by minute decisions. They often spend more time with their student-athletes than they do their own families during the season. All of their sacrifices are so their student-athletes have the best opportunity to succeed.

Coaches past and present, THANK YOU for all you have sacrificed and taught me not only as an athlete but as the man I am today. I was blessed to have the coaches I had and I am just as blessed to work beside the same caliber of coaches today.

In Education and Activities,

James Wajer - MCC Activities Director