As the summer months were coming to an end and it was almost time to go back to school, we continued our practices together. Only I wasn’t seeing the check-the-box, by-the-numbers Mikan out there anymore – I was seeing a kid who had found his sense of purpose and gave his maximum effort on every play.
He was having more fun than ever because he had learned about the ultimate competition – the one against ourselves to achieve what we believe is our maximum potential. It was an amazing thing to witness.
After practice one night as we were taking his gear to the garage, I asked Mikan how he felt things were going. He paused, looked down for a few seconds, then looked me straight in the eye and told me, “Dad, I want you to coach me harder.”
I still get chills down my spine when I replay that moment in my head. From then on, my son has been driven to improve himself each and every day. You would be hard pressed to find a kid that works harder than Mikan, let alone a kid who is driven by his own intrinsic desire to achieve greatness.
He inspires me every day to find the greatness within myself and to achieve my own potential. Such an amazing kid.