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#16 THE SPORTS COACH AS A FATHER FIGURE

Dutch short track star Sjinkie Knegt hospitalised with severe burns.

His coach, Jeroen Otter, is moved when he hears about the dramatic accident. When he informs the rest of the team, he is emotional. Tears run down his cheek.

Team members tell NRC reporter Frank Huiskamp that their coach is like a father figure to them. All of them children of a father — quite obvious no? But just to make my point that these skaters know what they are talking about.

He can be extremely tough. Once he let the group cycle back from a training camp in the Pyrenees; a 1.700 km ride! On the other hand he gave them all a ring to seal their family-like relationship.

Traditionally, sports is a popular metaphor for business. In this particular case the resemblance is striking. The coach is like a father. Only he knows what is best for his offspring. Under his leadership, each individual is able to rise above themselves and touch greatness.

Family is for ever. It is this long term relationship that enables the team to keep on winning medals.

And last but not least. It attracts new talent. Most people want to be part of the family because that is where you feel at home.

A great coach is like a father. 

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