Tom Hanks, “Get out of my head!”

 
Is your image of a coach the person who stands on the sidelines during a game shouting our directions and sending in plays? Granted, when I think of coach, I can’t help but see Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own. His eyes nearly popping out of his head as he yells at the fragile, sobbing Evelyn, "There’s no crying in baseball!"
 
Whatever your image of a coach, it is probably of a person who focuses primarily on results. However, some of my favorite movies revolve around stories of coaches who go beyond the score to create an environment where players move to another level. In effect, the coaches are the catalyst for a shift in consciousness. Movies like Remember the Titans and We Are Marshall are prime examples that touched my heart.
 
For me, a 2000 movie directed by Robert Redford made that shift by way of a perfect swing. The Legend of Bagger Vance was the big screen version of the 1995 book whose subtitle is even more on point: "A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life." Will Smith added his smooth touch to Bagger’s Hindu flavored wisdom: "I hear you lost your swing. I guess we got to go find it." 

Coach n. One who instructs or trains players in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs strategy.

Men-tor n. A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

Bagger was a mentor masquerading as a humble caddy:
 
"There’s only ONE shot that’s in perfect harmony with the field… One shot that’s his authentic shot, and that shot is gonna choose him… There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us."
 
Even though I never thought of this before, you could say poker chose me. I know I have found perfect harmony within the game.
 
Am I a poker coach or a poker mentor? I would like to think of myself as some of both, always focusing on how to better your life. Although as the years fly by, I realize that I am more of a student than a teacher. As for wisdom, well, I’m wise enough to know that I will always have mentors in my life. In fact, I would not want a mentor unless she or he also had trusted counselors of their own.
 
In my quest for self-improvement, I must grin and confess… my head trash sometimes still echoes Jimmy Dugan’s words in Tom Hanks’ voice, "Start using your head… that lump that’s three feet above your ass!"

4 Responses to Tom Hanks, “Get out of my head!”

  1. sophiezoNo Gravatar August 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Great article! Having a mentor or mastermind group is a must. I’m finally taking that plunge slowly but surely. I look forward to more poker/life tips as I particpate in both.

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar August 26, 2009 at 11:54 am #

      Good for you, Sophie! I like the idea of plunging, slowly but surely… nice.

  2. Gary WilsonNo Gravatar October 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    This is Gary….I’ve recently been playing Texas- hold em’ It seems to agree with me very nicely. I love it!!

    Just got back from Ocala Poker and did real well. I’d love to talk with you more about Poker and life in general.

    Love the website…..good stuff!1

  3. Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar October 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Always love taking about the crossroads of poker and how the poker table becomes a mini-universe, just as if it is insulated from the distractions of daily life!

    Be sure to opt-in at the top of the right column. I am putting together a FREE eCourse that will be finished in a few days.

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