Lessons From the Great Coach Hardin!

It is often said that the greatest classroom in the world is at the feet of the elderly. Yesterday, I witnessed a great lesson. I looked on quietly while my cousin, J Landam, asked Uncle Joe questions about his days a coach.

Homecare Brentwood TN - Lessons From the Great Coach Hardin!
Homecare Brentwood TN – Lessons From the Great Coach Hardin!

Uncle Joe enjoyed a long career coaching basketball at both the high school and collegiate level. With 2 gyms named after him, everyone in Pulaski refers to him as “Coach Hardin”. Fast forward to today, Uncle Joe has dementia. Most days he doesn’t remember family, but he comes alive when asked about his days as a coach.

J, now a coach himself at the University of Montana, took the opportunity to learn from one of the best yesterday. I asked J to share what he took away from the conversation. He said, “Joe shared how important it was to be fair. That is a word often overlooked in coaching, but it is so important. Coaching requires a well defined set of values and to hear Joe say that being fair was one of his was very impactful. It was truly one of the highlights of my career to share that time with Joe.”

What does it mean to be fair? For Uncle Joe, did it mean everyone made the team? Did it mean everyone got equal playing time? I don’t think so. It meant that he had clear rules and expectations with very clear consequences if those weren’t met. He demanded his players give their best and because he had the same expectation of each of them, he was fair.

One thing is for sure, Dementia isn’t fair. It does not discriminate and often affects the greatest among us. The longer I’m in the home care business, the more I appreciate the lessons learned from our elders. I believe strongly that we cannot control what environment we were born into and we cannot control how it ends, but we can use the years in the middle to make a positive impact on the world around us. Uncle Joe is a great example of that. The impact he made on his players went beyond the basketball court. No doubt J will leave the same legacy. J took the opportunity not to simply learn from Uncle Joe, but to understand. To many, these two men are coaches. To me, they are family. For that I am grateful!

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Brentwood TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Bell Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.

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