The mentor that made GFP possible

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

Last week I had dinner with one of mentors.

Coach Hudak was my strength coach at Temple University and I have always looked at him as one of the biggest influences of my life.

I had not seen him in 12 years but have thought about him often and his influence often.

Throughout the day leading up to the dinner, I started reflecting on WHY I thought this man had such an influence on me.

Sure, I learned about training and getting my body ready to play from him but that was a very small piece,

Here are things he did:

He Built a Relationship

From the day I arrived on campus I knew there one coach that truly believed in me.

He showed this to me in his coaching but never really told me with his words. He didn’t have to.

I always was excited to go to weight room because I always knew Coach would look me dead in the eyes and tell me he was happy to see me.

He had a way with eye contact that made you feel like you were the only person in the world that mattered.

Another thing he did is he always used my name.

Back then I was “Vinny Gabriele”

He had a way of saying my name that always made me feel special.

He pushed me (the right way)

He always knew I had more in the tank and wanted to get it out of me.

I was a hard worker but he pushed me to work even harder.

From this, I learned that I had more to give,

We need people in our lives that will call us out and demand more, otherwise we wont get past the point of comfort.

He gave honest praise

As humans, we crave praise.

No one gave me more of it than Coach Hudak.

I struggled on the football field and rarely received praise.

The weight room was a different story.

I thrived in the weight room.

I thrived because I knew coach would be the first one there and say “Great job Vinny Gabriele!”

It is no accident that I am now in the same field as Coach Hudak was back then.

I never thought about it at the time but my love for training grew because of how Coach Hudak made me feel.

It grew into something that made me want to make it my life’s work.

I wanted to make others feel the way coach made me feel.

In the several hours we spent talking, the conversation always got back to your impact on others.

Coach said last night “I have had highs and lows in my life, but as long as I know I made a difference in the lives of others I am a happy man.

Well he sure made a difference in mine.

Take a look at your relationships.

 Who will say this about you?

What people in your life will come out and say you made a difference in their life?

Going back a few weeks I asked this question:

“How do you want to be remembered?”

The way you make people feel will shape how you’ll be remembered.

Thanks Coach!

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