BRADENTON, Fla. – Difficult times call for difficult conversations.
To get the conversation started, basketball coach David Gaulman gathered some of his coaching friends.
“It was something I thought about for a while,” said Gaulman.
What you need to know
- Coaches from Manatee, Sarasota counties gathered to discuss difficult topics
- St. Stephen’s girl basketball coach David Gaulman invited coaches to a virtual conversation
- Gaulman hopes that this is the first round table of the coaches and would like to expand it
The corona virus and civil discord accelerated his plans.
With a pandemic still floating over our heads and civil unrest in the streets developing, Gaulman sets up the coaches’ roundtable to help each other, but more importantly, to help their players.
It is more than profit and loss for these coaches. Gaulman led his Saints Stephens team to the Final Four for the first time in school history last season. He knows that his team won’t win without strong communication, which helps when the conversation focuses on a difficult topic like race relationships.
“The first step is to just have the conversation and then understand that there are so many different people who have to have so many different conversations,” said Gaulman.
All coaches agreed that it is important to keep the lines of communication open to their players. Coaches are the greatest mentors in their lives for many athletes and therefore more willing to discuss the difficult topics with them.
“That communication is more important now than ever before,” he said. “So as a coach, we can’t just be about communication, we have to start that process.”
And that’s what Gaulman did. With a simple click on a keyboard and an invitation to talk. The diverse nature of the round table was by design. It’s all about hearing different perspectives and finding a common foundation. It is a lesson that, according to Gaulman, more people should learn.
“If we humble ourselves and know we can always learn something,” said Gaulman. “We can always get better. In our country we sometimes just have to shut up and just listen. “