Enjoy the Journey

osceolaI consider myself extremely fortunate.  I have enjoyed every school and every position my career has taken me.  I have been a head college football coach, and a middle school teacher and coach – and pretty much every position and level in between the two.  But one stop, Osceola High School, holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons.  It was my first head football coaching position, and we built a winning program from the ground up.  But, it was special because of the people there.  We had kids who believed and bought into what we were trying to do, and parents that appreciated the work we were doing.  But mainly, I had Greg Sewell as an assistant coach.

Greg came to Osceola my second season there, and it was no mystery why we went from 0-10 in my first season to 18-2 over the next two regular seasons, winning two conference championships and qualifying for the state playoffs both years.  Really, the main difference between the 0-10 season and the two championship seasons was the addition of Coach Sewell to our staff.  Although he was the head basketball coach, Greg brought a knowledge of football, and experience as a coach that are seldom found at the 1A Missouri High School level.  He also brought a wit and wisdom with what my wife and I affectionately called “Sewellisms”.  Here are some selected “Sewellisms” with their translations.

  • We “showed them how the hog ate the cabbage” – We showed them how it was done or how to do it….we really “took it to them”… we hammered them.
  • Man, he was a “Stink’n Link’n” – He was extremely odiferous – usually in reference to his son, Todd, and his poopy diaper.
  • You can “Stick a fork in them” – They are done, finished, over… as in cooked.
  • He is “Good enough to get us beat”  – (See post – Good Enough?) – He is going to be a good player when things are going well, but when it gets down to “nut cut’n time” (see “nut cut’n time” below) he has not put the work in needed to be successful.
  • I am  “hungrier than a peach orchard boar” – I am really hungry – apparently a southern expression that references wild pigs that eat peaches that have dropped on the ground.
  • I am “fatter than a peach orchard boar” – I am really overweight – (see above)
  • I am “skinnier than a peach orchard board” – apparently you can attribute any trait to the poor, lowly peach orchard boar.
  • You know “there are only two kinds of coaches” – a reference to the precarious nature of our coaching existence…. With the only two kinds of coaches being those who have been fired, and those who will be fired.
  • He will fold when it gets down to the “nut cut’n time” – Crunch time …use your imagination … he was not referencing peanuts or walnuts.
  • You can “Call Katy …. and you know what Katy does” – A warning… watch out, there is trouble ahead, as in “Katy Bar the Door” – that is what Katy does, she bars the door.

One of the sagest pieces of advice Coach Sewell ever gave me was one spring when I was trying to decide on a job offer at a new school– something many young coaches often stew about.  Greg told me:

  • Don’t ever stay for the kids, and don’t every leave for the money”.  – There will always be a new crop of kids that come through that you will fall in love with and have trouble leaving.  There are many more important things that money when considering a job.  I have referenced this advice often during my career.

As I said, Osceola was special because of the people there… kids, parents and staff.  No amount of money could have purchased that experience.

Have a destination in mind, but enjoy the journey.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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24 thoughts on “Enjoy the Journey

  1. I enjoyed reading every word of this article and read it with a huge smile on my face. What a privilege to be one of those students at OHS. I was just sharing with my kids stories of weight lifting and track practice, and the words “you can do more” came out of my mouth! Also, another Floydism, “More than one, less than 1,000.”
    I still remember sitting on the steps after a particularly grueling track practice you said to me, “Joey, you really broke through today. You didn’t run like a girl. You just ran.”
    You may not remember that, Coach Floyd, but I sure do. You did teach me that I can do more. You also helped create a love of fitness that has stuck with me though races, marathons, dancing, training, and Pilates. I find myself passing on some Floydisms to my dance students and Pilates clients. Thank you.

  2. Joey,
    Thanks so much for the kind words… you are not the only one with a smile! Jamie and I think about our Osceola “family” often… We did have some grueling practices, didn’t we? You guys always amazed me! It is great hearing from you,
    JF

  3. Coach
    You left a lasting impression on us. The extreme pride that you built in the student faculty. The leadership and dedication you showed through track on condiditoning. I mean really, what was conditioning prior to Coach Floyd?? There was none.
    I treasure the lessons you taught and cried hard when you left. You made us proud.

    • Nonie,
      Well it is mutual… things I learned while in Osceola have helped me my whole career… you guys made, and still make me proud… thanks for the kind words… good to hear from you,

      JF

  4. Floydism. There is no such thing as “110 percent effort.” Every time I hear a coach say you need to give me 120 percent, I chuckle inside…

  5. Peach orchard boar! Classic! You can’t imagine the looks I get in Minnesota when I pull that one out! Brought back a lot of great memories of those life-changing days at Central Missouri.

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  7. Jeff the years I had with you we’re some of the greatest in my life and I think you for every bit of it. Thanks you and Greg were very special. Mike

  8. Great blog Coach! I wasn’t one of the kids going through the grueling track practices but you and Coach Sewell did make an impact on my life. I remember watching the track kids start their run from the HS to the elementary school and thinking they must be crazy. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about that over the years. Now, 5 marathons, too many 1/2 marathons and other logged miles to mention, I know that I was the crazy one. I have tried passing my love for running and fitness onto my niece and nephew. Their only sport in HS has been cross country and now my nephew is kicking some butt running his first year of track. I admire how hard they work and wish that I had worked harder for the two of you during my HS years. If only I knew then what I know now. 🙂
    I enjoy your blogs and seeing you and Jamie’s racing adventures on FB.
    Betty

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