From Player To Coach by Mike Ramey

     A few years back, Ty Willingham, Head Coach for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, was interviewed about a tough, upcoming game. The TV interviewer seemed more nervous about the game than the coach, as they asked Willingham about his strategy to deal with a very potent opponent’s running and passing game.

     “We’ll adjust our offense, accordingly.” Said Coach Willingham.

     The adjustments paid off, as Notre Dame ran over the opposition with little sign of trouble. It was the OTHER team that were having trouble dealing with an Irish team that did not appear in their pre-game films.

     I never forgot that summation from Coach Willingham. While he didn’t last that long at Notre Dame--and did NOT get that much in the way of respect, in my opinion--he left the team better than he found them AND moved on to another coaching opportunity, with a new staff and a new team. More importantly, in the college football ranks, once a coach leaves--traditionally--the incoming coach either gets a new, good crop of players, or a new crop of problems…depending upon the recruiting class that the outgoing coach leaves them.

     But, that’s a story for another day, Amen?

     This time around, I’m going to be dealing with a very real issue. This may be a topic that some may find a bit on the painful side. Nonetheless, it is a topic that we hear little about in our current society. It rests upon the issues of competition, promotion, and ‘stepping up’ when God opens the door for you for that next opportunity.

     There are some members of your present crew who may not be heading up with you, for one reason or another.

     In coaching, when a coach gets the nod to move up to be a head coach for another team, many of the coaches that he came up with ‘in the ranks’ at his previous jobs don’t make the transition. Furthermore, an incoming head coach--while he may inherit a coaching staff--usually has to start making the calls and sending emails to find coaches that best meet his coaching philosophy.

     Thus, there will be some people hired, and some people fired.

     It works the same way in business.

     You get the capital together and open your own company. YOU are the ‘head coach’ of YOUR business. Now YOU have to make decisions as to who to bring on board to make your plan and vision work in your favor to make your venture profitable.

     NO ONE starts a business to be broke--no matter what you may see on social media. Also, no one enters business and puts their money into the register to ‘give it away’ to tax hungry politicians, incompetent bureaucrats, and social causes that have made themselves rich. In charity causes, just a free piece of advice. Make sure that MOST of your contributions make their way to the cause. Do NOT contribute to causes that swallow up most of your contributions in ‘administrative costs’.

     Sure, this advice may ‘sting’ a little…but the truth is the truth.

     Since YOUR name is on the door, and your money is in the register, there are certain people whom you won’t hire…no matter how ‘cool’ they may be as friends. Couple this with the fact that it takes a new business roughly five years to turn a profit to be counted as truly successful--you further understand why you have to be careful with whom you hire, and with whom you do business. The truth be told…orange is not a flattering color. Neither is being broke.

     Here’s one that many young Black men have run into. I’ve had to counsel more than a few young brothers about this one. You have the aptitude and the grades to go on to college. You’ve done well in middle school and high school. You’ve survived the ‘taunts’ and ‘whispering campaigns’ that have been laid across your path. Now it’s time to make that step up. The money is out there, in terms of scholarships IF your grades are 3.0 and above. YOU are going to have to ‘adjust your team’ during your high school career in order to find the blend of supporters who will not only encourage you to go on to college; they NEED to motivate you to finish WITH a degree in four years or less. I know, college isn’t for everyone. However, MOST companies WANT a degree of some kind (especially a four year degree) for future promotions.

     What about Trade Schools? Yes, the money is better in the blue collar field…however, there is a LOT in the way of classroom training and apprenticeships BEFORE you can either work for a good company, or, start your own business. Again, when YOUR money and reputation are on the line, you MUST be careful of ‘steering clear’ of those ‘jokers’ in the deck of life, whether they be male or female.

     The ol’ coach reminds you that it is crucial that you not only know HOW to adjust your team; it is critical that you learn WHEN to adjust your team. The business or reputation you could save, may be yours.

     Mike Ramey is a Minister, Book Reviewer, P-School Ranger, Political Consultant, Modern Street Gangs Specialist and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Feel free to reach him with your comments at ©2019 Barnstorm Communications.

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Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

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