I couldn’t handle being a coach.
Forget the fact I have no experience and can’t motivate people. Never mind that the only plays I’ve ever drawn up were in the sand or that I have the coordination of a toddler. Ignore my lack of teaching, leadership and communication skills.
The real reason I could never be a coach is I can’t handle losing.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not that I am a poor sport. I don’t go into rage-filled fits or foul-mouthed tirades.
Externally, I can respectfully deal with defeat, but internally, I’m falling to pieces.
Recently, I reached the Super Bowl of a longtime fantasy football league, encountering my dad in the finals. Despite winning eight consecutive games and possessing a plethora of superstars on my roster, the old man humbled me, winning by 34 points.
In the process, he crushed my soul.
Not a single day has passed that I haven’t thought about losing the game. I continually kick myself for using one player over another. I beat myself up because I didn’t grab certain players off the waiver wire.
I look back at every moment of the season and consider what could have been if I took a different path when encountering a fork in the road, thinking one minor change in November could have altered the future.
Worst of all, I find myself banging my head against a wall over things that were out of my control such as receivers dropping balls or referees negating a touchdown run because of holding.
I harbor resentment toward specific players, who have far too many millions of dollars in their bank accounts to even concern themselves with my animosity.
It is one frustration after another, and nothing good is coming from constantly berating myself, but I can’t move on. The whipping I received from my dad on the fantasy football field scarred me far worse than the one he gave me after I lied about throwing one of my toys on the roof as a child.
It still stings, but it is not an isolated incident. I have a problem getting over any loss.
As a lifelong San Antonio Spurs fan, my world crumbled when they fell to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals two years ago after blowing a 94-89 lead with 28 seconds remaining in Game 6. Instead of hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Spurs lost the game before losing the series two nights later.
It was devastating, and it haunted me for an entire calendar year until San Antonio got redemption by avenging the loss in a Finals rematch last season.
I simply could not handle going through that kind of emotional trauma on a regular basis.
Coaches must be able to invest their entire being into their teams. They dedicate almost every waking moment to formulating strategies capable of putting their players in the best possible position to excel.
In the end, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. That is just the nature of sports, but regardless of the outcome, coaches must be able to quickly move forward to the next challenge.
They cannot afford to dwell on losses or revel in victories. They must live in the moment and remain even-keeled for the sake of their teams.
I am unable to do that.
I can’t even manage my emotions when it comes to my fantasy football lineup, so having the ability to oversee an entire roster of actual people without losing my sanity would be impossible.
Obviously, I can’t handle being a coach, and it has nothing to do with me being completely unqualified for the job. Rather, it stems from the fact I would probably end up in a room with padded walls if I ever attempted it.