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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Ramey is married and resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a Christian, an Ordained Minister and KJV Bible Teacher. Since the 1980s, Ramey has won--or helped to win--multiple journalism awards and citations (including 3 CASPER awards). He holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986) presented by the late Mayor William H. Hudnut III, and an award as ‘Best New Internet Writer’ (2003) “Black Men In” from Mr. Gary Johnson, Publisher.

His career also includes serving as an award-winning broadcast reporter, producer and TV/Radio talk show host in the Indianapolis market since 1981. In addition, Ramey has served as staff writer and section editor for The Indianapolis Recorder, and a freelancer for The Indiana Herald. Ramey has also served as a guest Op-Ed writer for The Indianapolis News, a staff writer for The Indianapolis Star, and a freelancer for BOTH The Associated Press and USA Today Newspaper (Gannett).

In business as an Anti-Gang Specialist & Consultant since 2007, Ramey is the Modern Street Gangs Specialist of “The Gang Line”. He has been interviewed in the U.S. and abroad on the dangers of Modern Street Gangs. Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gang Specialist, with Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010) and Gangs & Cults (2017) certifications, plus endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues (2010) and Transnational Gang Tactics (2010). He has held workshops, trainings and consultations with and for street-level/school-based personnel. He carries Specialist ratings in the area of Cult/Occult Crime, Transnational Human Trafficking and has served as a national/transnational consultant to various faith-based anti-gang ministries.

Ramey has also served as a veteran substitute licensed teacher (1986-2011), a college instructor, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based 2001-2007) with the Marion County Juvenile Court and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs for the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed and taught the course UM-190 “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies” in 2009 and 2010 at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana for those who desired to serve Jesus Christ in an Urban Ministry environment. Ramey also served as a post-production consultant for Chick Publications’ anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It had a 2013 national release, with an international Spanish-language version released in 2014.

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