Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Coach


Not too many people will recognize the goofy looking fellow above. He is Lars Lagerback, the coach of Sweden's national football team. Has been sole coach since 2004 after being joint coach (not sure if that means he bought all the "grass" or what) since 2000. Anyhoo, M Lagerback is one of the reasons for this post. After failing miserably at Euro 2008 a lot of those happy go lucky Swedes were calling for his head, saying that his time has "passed." I pondered what exactly that meant. It is a common saying about sports coaches, and until lately I did not realize that it translates to other careers. Recently I have realized what "time has passed" means. It is a bit like bread going stale. Perhaps, there is a use by date on things like being the coach of a national team. A couple of friends (scientists they be) have experienced this phenomenon, one going so far as to make a small change in his career by giving up "bench" science. This has made me ponder if we all experience this problem. After 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? Does our time pass? Have we run out of ideas? Do we have a shelf life? If so, what happens at the end of our time? Most of us can not shuffle off to coach Man City for piles and piles of money. The majority of us are unable to just shrug off the failure of our national team get bounced in the first round of the Euros, and move on to coaching the next team. Coaches are a very limited pool of talent. I, for example, am one lawyer amongst a SEA of people with law degrees. If my "time passes" I can not just simply flit away to the next career or job opening. Who knows there might not BE a new job opening, and what in the bloody hell can a lawyer do except talk to damn much for no purpose? The only other thing have detected that I am good at is fantasy football, and I do not think you can make a living out of doing that full time. How can we avoid this from happening? Stay on the "cutting edge" of our particular career path? Make sure that all the new "technology" does not pass us by? How do we assure the powers that be that we are indispensable? Even now someone, somewhere is probably studying harder, working harder, or sucking up harder that we are in hopes of replacing us. A great deal of us, whether we know it or not, have somebody out there in the wide world who thinks our job is worth having. Certainly being the national coach of Tajikistan does not sound appealing to a majority of us, but somewhere it is some damn fool's dream. Perhaps we can only hope that by the time our "time is up" we have obtained the insight into what our next move might be. Maybe leading the Congo through world cup qualifiers is not such a bad gig after all.

1 comment:

chall said...

I'm sure that there will be times when fantasy fotball equals money. Just wait and see....

The shelf life is interesting as an idea. How much time I've got? Not a clue. But at least the rest of the world is almost as clueless me thinks...