Brannon Remaklus – Head Coach/Owner
An open letter to parents and coaches
In the age of electronically induced social isolation, it is good to be reminded of why we need real humans both to interact with ourselves and to act as leaders for our children. It is also important for coaches to be reminded of the vastly important role they serve in society and to not lose sight of the true reason they exist (it’s not to win matches).
1. Mom and Dad are not enough
Our modern, isolated structure of living is not how humans have functioned historically. We are a communal/tribal species, absolutely dependent on one another for both emotional and physical needs. Technology has created a false divide between the individual who makes your bread and the person who keeps your power on. This divide fools us into believing we are isolated family units, floating along in our own castles, attempting to raise our children as best we can. This facade has disconnected friends, extended families, and the tribal structure we so desperately need.
Parents are there to guide but should have their values and guidance mirrored through a series of secondary mentors who reinforce and augment the things the parents want to see cultivated in their children. Even more importantly these secondary mentors may present ideas and values the parents didn’t know they would want to see cultivated in their child.
2. Parents aren’t perfect
Kids need heroes of all types and unfortunately the imperfect ones function best later in life. When a child is young they need demigods and archetypal heroes. They need Thor, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther, not dad who just fell asleep after eating an entire pizza solo during Sunday football. While later in life the child will relate to that imperfect dad all that much more, early on they need ideals to aspire to and metaphorical north stars to guide them. A person you spend every day with cannot fill that role, they have too many blemishes and make too many mistakes.
This imperfection is absolutely normal, much like pooping, and much like pooping it can take the romance out of an idea or situation.
3. Coaches ARE perfect
Emotional distance, lack of substantial time spent, and the fact that they are always operating as a subject matter expert make coaches larger than life. They control your progress, encourage you, always have the answer, and you don’t get to see them fall asleep during the football game after a pizza binge. Coaches can be the archetypal hero, the perfect fighter, the perfect basketball player, the perfect piano player.
There is a line I heard from a parent of one of my students who couldn’t believe I have a mother. When the child heard this news they said something along the lines of “Superman, Spiderman, Coach Mak (me)” when discussing the class of individual I measured up to and therefore couldn’t have an earthly mother. Given, the kid was 4 or 5 at the time, but the conceptual framework for the secondary mentor being absolutely profound is easily illustrated here through the fantastical statement of a small child.
My sons will have no such delusions. They will know, all too well, that I both have a mother and that she outranks me in nearly every facet of life. They will see the side of me that falls short of the storied “hero” time after time. That’s why I will have coaches in their lives.
4. They make Mom/Dad look better
In a tribal structure the secondary mentors would be the ones to tell mom and dad’s “war stories”. They would tell your son/daughter about the heroic hunt or about the time you saved their life. They would tell of your achievements and help maintain or repair the perceived weaknesses that creep in during day to day interactions as a nuclear family.
As a martial arts coach I see this regularly when talking to my students and they mention a parent’s job or some hobby they have. “Yeah Coach, my mom does rock climbing.” “WOW, I could never do that, I’m too scared to be up high like that, your mom is a beast!”.
The same can apply for academic achievement or really any apparent success the parent has had. “Your dad is an aircraft mechanic?!?! That’s unbelievable! What a smart guy to be able to work on airplanes like that!”
The point being that the secondary mentors act as reinforcement for the nuclear unit and their credibility as authority figures within the tribe.
5. They validate your child’s worth in the tribe
Possibly one of the most important things secondary mentors do for your child is to show them their worth in the community or tribe. They, as subject matter experts and heroes, are helping your child progress along the same heroic path they took which gives them some equal footing with the hero themselves! On the same token, what does it tell me about myself if this amazing human is willing to take time our of their day to teach me, joke with me, and pat me on the back?
They are teaching you that both your GROWTH and COMPANY are absolutely desired by them.
The nuclear family is the MINIMUM basic unit required to build a society. Is minimum nutrition sufficient for your child? Minimum passing grades? No of course not, so why would we neglect to give the extra sustenance your child requires for their ability to THRIVE? Surviving and thriving are two very different positions to inhabit. Make sure your child thrives and find them the mentors they need, which match your values, and who will give your child the most out of the life they have.
WHY YOU NEED COACHES