Wisdom from Coach Dewey

In just a few days the NBA Finals will commence. It’s one of those incredible match-ups involving long storied, hated rivals – Lakers vs. Celtics.

You can imagine that the folks at NBA headquarters in NYC will be living out their fantasies for the next 10 days or so. Other than LeBron & the Cavaliers, who else would you have wanted? With each game on ABC network, the ratings – and the drama – should be tremendous.

Recently, I got an email from my old college basketball coach, The Silver Fox himself, Dewey Short. He was commenting on my promotional newsletter I send out occasionally. His little missive detailed how proud he was of one of his former players from the 1970s at what is now Bethany University (Scotts Valley, CA).

I went through 3 exhausting basketball training camps with Coach and our team, The Bruins. Countless shooting drills, running plays time and again until correct, defense exercises that made your knees weak…the works. Sometimes we thought we were going to die after running so many line drills. But we were in tremendous physical shape, and NEVER were hanging our tongues at the end of games.

More than any formal classroom, a gymnasium is a great place to learn lessons, bond with teammates and compete against challenges.

I can still remember, decades later, Coach’s words during those daily 3-5pm practices in Redwood Auditorium:

“You can always go one step further than you think you can.”

“Never jump in the air unless you know where you’re going to land.” (This was pre-Michael Jordan.)

“Long shots, long rebounds.”

“It (the hard work) will be worth it.”

“It’s always too soon to quit.”

“Do it now.”

That last bit of advice – “DO IT NOW” – was a catchphrase of Coach’s, used more often than any other wisdom.

Do it NOW.” Don’t wait till tomorrow. Don’t leave it for another day or time. Now is the time. Just do it.

Sorry, Nike, you had nothing on The Silver Fox.

Thanks, Coach. Words well spoken. Words remembered.

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2 thoughts on “Wisdom from Coach Dewey

  1. First let me say that it’s good to find out that Coach is alive. I had heard a few years ago that he had gone on to meet our Lord. I remember well my years at Bethany and being on the basketball team has always brought fond memories. One day before practice, a few of us were just sort of lying around doing nothing in particular and Coach asked us what we were doing. We replied that we were just killing time until practice. He replied to us that it wasn’t us that was killing time but time that was killing us and we only have so much of it so we should always be doing something productive. Those words have stuck with me all these years and I have told that story many many times. Coach if you read this blog-thanks for the memories.

  2. There will always be only one Silver Fox (despite my hair color). As I return to coaching in my very late 50’s, I think a lot about Dewey. We have had the pleasure of hooking up numerous times over the years…but never enough. He will always be my coach.

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