09/15/09 — Just do it: Coaches can advise, but students have to do the work

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Just do it: Coaches can advise, but students have to do the work

A coach is someone who encourages those who want to get better and to make a change in their performance.

He or she guides and advises, but, in the end, cannot do the work, run the laps or perform under pressure. That is up to the coachee.

As the county moves forward with plans for a graduation coach at Goldsboro High School, there is an important fact to remember: No matter how many coaches we hire, without student responsibility, nothing is going to change.

The county and the school district can provide all the tools in the world and all the support possible, but if the students do not buckle down, do the work and take their education and futures seriously, we just wasted $58,000-plus.

So, this message is for all those high school students around the county who might not be sure what they think about education in general and high school in specific.

There are no easy answers, students. And get used to it -- this is how it is going to be for the rest of your life.

No one is going to hand you an education, a college scholarship, a future or a job -- you have to demand that for yourself and do the work to earn it.

There are many paths to success -- and they do not all involve straight-A's and high SAT scores.

But the one common denominator all the roads share is that you get nowhere on them if you do not do the work.

There are plenty of people who have turned a talent or skill into a successful career. There are others who took a chance on themselves, did the work and are taking care of their families today responsibly, honorably.

There are no shortcuts, no easy answers and no quick fixes. Any path that professes easy riches or "respect" through violence or drugs is a fantasy world. No one tells you what kind of consequences can result from those choices -- prison, an end to your future at age 18 or 19 or perhaps even death.

It takes a strong person to stand up, look around and decide to take a responsible path to a real life. It is not easy to change your destiny. But in the end, it really is all up to you.

So you have a coach now, someone to guide you along the way.

All that is left to do now is for you to decide that you are worth the effort -- and for you to get busy setting a new course for your life.

Published in Editorials on September 15, 2009 9:55 AM