My wife told me about this Netflix documentary series, “The Playbook,” and she was impressed by the episode featuring Doc Rivers. So I watched it tonight and it was very interesting. I actually met Doc Rivers when I was a kid and he was playing with the Atlanta Hawks. They would invite local pastors in to pray before the game and I got to go with my dad one of those nights.
There were lots of thoughtful points throughout the documentary, but toward the end I resonated with his comments about getting close to the players. As this review from Blume writes:
“Don’t get too close to them.” | Yeah — get close to them.
“And the reason they said that is ’cause you’re gonna get your heart broken. They will let you down” | Some do. So what?
Your job is to coach ’em. Your job is to make them better players, better people, better teammates. How to be tough, how to be compassionate, how to be a good winner, how to be a good loser, if there’s such a thing. (I haven’t learned that yet). It teaches you life.
I think sometimes we focus too much on the disappointments. I do. You wonder why a current student might attack publicly while at the same time privately ask for your help. You wonder if the student who didn’t have a suit that fit, and you bought them one, was thankful for you filling that need. Recently, I had a young alum essentially lie on me saying that I co-signed Trump’s claim that he saved HBCUs.
Anyone who reads my Twitter feed knows how ridiculous that is! And yet some folks retweeted and like the comment.
But this week I got a note from a former student at Georgia State, where I served as assistant director of student activities for new student programs and leadership from March of 1995 until December of 1996. I started at Old Dominion in January of 1997 as director of student activities.
It is a reminder that my job is to push students to make them better. Some won’t open up for a relationship and that has nothing to do with me; they bring 17+ years of life with them to college. But for those that are open to that relationship, they might grow personally and professionally.
Here is the note. Going forward, I’m going to cherish those who express gratitude more, and lean into them. And I am going to accept that some folks can’t function without negativity, because that’s the only thing that makes them feel good.
Hey Dr. Kimbrough! I hope you and your family are well! I just wanted to take a moment today (my 25th Deltaversary) to tell you how much I appreciate you. You taught me so much about so many things — integrity, presentation, professionalism, and leadership (to name a few). You believed in me, encouraged me, and supported me — you helped shape me into the woman I am today. And you helped me to achieve my goal of becoming a Delta. I can’t thank you enough. But please know that all you did for me — it means everything. Thank you. I would like to send something to you, so please let me know a good address. And please send my love and regards to your parents.