O Say Can You See...

By Jonathan Reitz

July 8, 2015

True confession: I don't know the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. O Say Can you See?

Now before you invite me to move to another part of the world, it's not like I've never sung the National Anthem. I just can't do it from memory.

Since I was a basketball player all the way through college, the only time I ever heard the national anthem was when I was getting ready to play. My mind was on the game and I guess I just tuned out the words.

But last week on Fourth of July, my wife was singing the Star-Spangled Banner during a holiday parade and it got me thinking: America's national anthem is all about a great vision or a great dream for what's possible. It's about perseverance, and possibilities that aren't yet reality.

Our national anthem calls the best out of each of us and the country as a whole. The words challenge us to be the best person we possibly can be.

It's pretty powerful, the idea that every individual has the freedom to be who they are supposed to be. The Star-Spangled Banner hints that a community speeds up the process.

How does this patriotic line of thinking connect with coaching? Here it is: the very substance of the Star-Spangled Banner is what coaching is about.

Coaches want each individual to be the best person they can be, and to live the best possible life they can according to who they actually are. At the risk of going all cheesy patriotic on you, what if coaching really was the land of the free and the home of the brave?

With this patriotic vision of what might be in front of us, how can you make your coaching relationships a place for your clients are free to be who they are?

What can you do as a coach to help your clients be brave, to take bold action toward something they're dreaming about?

Listening to the words of the Star-Spangled Banner this Fourth of July really inspired me. At 48 years old, I'm going to learn the words to our national anthem.

Yes it's where I'm from, and it reflects my country, but it also provides a very the very picture of what I hope my coaching will do. And that's something about which to feel very grateful, and very patriotic.

We live in a country that is built on freedom and bravery, and we coaches work in a profession that grows freedom and bravery. Nice parallel.

It's time for me to learn the words of the Star-Spangled Banner, because I'm patriotic AND it's about what coaches are about.

So if you bump into me somewhere ask me how learning the words is going, but don't be surprised if I burst into song.

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