Two Coaches that Made a Lasting Impact on Me

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I want to build off my most recent blog, Sports as a Child, concerning the importance of participating in sports as a child.  Throughout playing sports as a young child, I had a few bad coaches, many average, coaches and just a few coaches that truly made a lasting impact on me.

The first coach, Coach Cass, actually started out as my T-Ball coach, but that is not where the impact was truly made. It was not until I was a seventh grader and would go up to the high school where my oldest brother coached at to hang out at football practice from time to time. As I said, I had known Coach Cass since I was just a little guy, and seeing his passion, excitement, and dedication while out there coaching high school football was just absolutely unforgettable. Once winter came around, I would go up to basketball practice and see Coach Cass up there from time to time. Every single time I would see him he would always be full of energy and have a smile on his face. Once I made it to high school, and was able to actually have Coach Cass as my coach for the first time since playing on the small baseball fields out in Verdi, I was able to experience his passion and dedication on a daily basis. Sure he taught me many things about weight training, being in shape, and football, but that was not it. He taught me how to carry myself as a respected individual in society, taught me if you are going to do something then commit to it and give it your all, to wake up each day with a purpose, and to be passionate in what you believe in and the ones you love. Not only did he teach me these things, but he also taught several other individuals the same things and more. Everyone hated doing his pushups and shirt pushers, but nobody will ever forget doing them.

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The other coach, Coach Dalton, is a very inspiring individual. I surely was not the only person he impacted throughout his life. My first memory of meeting Coach Dalton was when I was going to daycare at McQueen High School and his Varsity football team, my brother was on it at the time, was watching game film in the room a few doors down and I was cruising my tricycle up and down the hallway. Coach came out and said, “Get off that tricycle and get in here and watch film with your brother!” Not really knowing what was going on, I got off the tricycle and wondered into the room and sat with my brother and the rest of the team and watched game film with them. I will never forget that moment. Coach Dalton was a very well-known coach and local figure around the city of Reno and I had a privilege of growing a close relationship from that one time on the tricycle, to the four years of football, to the morning talks my senior year when I aided for his first class every morning, to my graduation party, to going back and visiting him before he passed away. Coach Dalton used football as a way to inspire, teach, and get through to young teenagers. His love he exhibited to everyone was unmatched. His dedication and passion he showed for everything he did everyday will be something I will forever remember.

It is safe to say, I am not the only person these two first class gentlemen impacted. The impact they had on several people will last forever, and will hopefully be passed on through the individuals Coach Cass and Dalton impacted. There are many coaches at high schools around the country that inspire and impact young men and women on a daily basis. Do you have a high school coach that made a life lasting impact on you? Please share below!

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Sports as a Child

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Ever since I was a very young child, sports have been a part of my life in some way. Growing up I participated in many different sports, soccer, basketball, football, and baseball. By participating in sports at a young age, it made a lasting impact on me and taught me many things.

As mentioned in the article, The Importance of Sports for Children, participation in organized sports provides an opportunity for young people to increase their physical activity and develop physical and social skills. You see this happen with many children, including myself. Playing sports as a child helped me meet new people and make new friends. I have friends that I hang out with today that I met back in Little League and Pop Warner as a young boy. Playing sports does not just increase your knowledge of how to play the certain sport, but it teaches you skills you use throughout your life; dedication, hard work, teamwork, and passion, to name a few.

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There is an ongoing debate among parents about the danger of young children playing football. Concussions have been the main focus of this ongoing debate. This article about concussions explains the possible effects of head injuries for children in sports. I agree this is a serious topic, but things are only going to improve with the care and preventions of these head injuries. The worst is behind us I think because we have done so much research recently. Companies are using this research to develop helmets to help prevent head injuries and protect children more.

At the end of the day, I believe that the benefit outweighs the risk when it comes to not letting children play sports because of the risk of injury. Sports teach children so many useful skills to use through life. I would not change one thing about my choice to play sports as a child. For some, sports can lead them down a very prosperous path that can truly impact the rest of their lives. For everyone else, the valuable skills learned will lead them down a prosperous path as well.

Would you let your children play sports, even if you know there is a possiblility for injury? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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Memorable Trip

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My previous few blog posts including, Customer Service, Building a Relationship, and Making an Impact Through Customer Service, have all been the basics of important aspects of customer service and how I have made an impact on someone through customer service. Now, I am going to take the chance to provide an example of a customer service experience that impacted me.

boomerLast September I decided to take a journey to Norman, Oklahoma to experience a college football game, Oklahoma vs. Kansas State. This was my first trip to Oklahoma, and I was not sure what to expect, but my passion for college football and interest in exploring different locations around the United States lead me to Norman in mid-September.

We pull into the Sooner Legends, and it is just a simple hotel, nothing extravagant or anything. As we walk in, we are greeted by the kind front desk agents who are very helpful in getting us to our room; the one young lady actually walked us to our room to show us the way since we told her it was our first time there. I expected them to just give us our keys and send us on our way. While walking to the room we tell her that we are from Reno and ask about places to go and check out that night. She briefly names off a few different places that she likes and recommends. We get settled into our room and decisooner_legends_norman_oklahoma-mainded to go out and do some exploring and check out the campus. When we walk through the lobby, the girls at the front desk greet us again, calling us by name. Katie, the girl that escorted us to our room, had a whole map of the area all set up for us of the must go places around the hotel. I was surprised that she took the time to do that just for us, even without us asking or anything. We ventured out for the afternoon.

That evening we went to dinner in the restaurant at the Sooner Legends.  It was a busy night in the restaurant but our service was phenomenal. Our waiter had heard we were in town visiting for the game from Reno and he brought us out a complimentary appetizer to welcome us. His promptness and kindness throughout the dinner made it seem as if we were the only ones in the restaurant that evening.

After working for a luxury hotel company for two years, I was not expecting over that top service, but my expectations of Sooner Legends were blown away after the first night of our stay and it continued through the duration. Their genuine care and concern for our needs was something I was not exactly expecting. Being on a first name basis with staff, engaging in conversation with every one there made it that much more enjoyable and memorable. It definitely made a positive impact on me!

You can guarantee that I will be making a return trip to Sooner Legends in the near future! Have you ever been on a vacation and a hotel or restaurant truly exceeded your expectations? Leave a comment below describing your experience.

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Making an Impact Through Customer Service

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Stemming off my previous two blog posts, Customer Service and Building a Relationship, both speaking about customer service and the importance of it when dealing with the growth of your business. I just want to take a moment and share a recent experience I had with impacting someone through customer service.

I was covering the concierge desk one night to help with the busyness of the holiday season, and a family that was staying with us walked in just returning from dinner down in the Village at Northstar. Haley, the young daughter, walked up to me and handed me a letter that she had written to Santa Claus while at dinner and asked me very politely if I could mail this to Santa for her. I assured Haley I would make sure Santa received her letter in time for Christmas. As the family went on their way to their room, and I glanced down at Haley’s letter, a light bulb went off in my head. Here is a perfect chance to strengthen a relationship and truly make an impact on the family.

I knew the family was departing the next day, so if I was going to do something special it was going to have to be quick. I sat down and began writing a letter back to Haley from Santa Claus, thoughtfully planning out each word. In the letter Haley requested a Magic Eight Ball, where you ask it a question and then shake it up and it reveals an answer for you. I did not think children still played with these because I remember playing with these when I was a young child. On my way home that night from work, I stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up a Magic Eight Ball for Haley.

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I got to work early the next morning to make sure I was going to be there when the family checked out. We had a Christmas tree in our lobby, so when the family was getting ready to depart I placed the Magic Eight Ball and the letter from Santa underneath the Christmas tree. When Haley came down I informed her that someone special dropped a little something off for her very early this morning. She ran over to the tree and jumped with excitement when she saw the Magic Eight Ball sitting beneath the tree. She immediately picked it up and started shaking it. She then picked up the letter from Santa and slowly began to read it aloud. She could not believe that Santa was able to get it here so quickly! She was grinning ear to ear as she walked out the door to get in the vehicle and go home.

A couple days later I received an email from the mom expressing her appreciation for making their stay so memorable. She said that Haley does not want to spend Christmas anywhere else besides Lake Tahoe!

It shows that you are always able to go above and beyond the call of duty, and it is what you need to do sometimes to create those relationships and impact someone for the rest of their life! How many of you still have a Magic Eight Ball?

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Building a Relationship

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I have had the privilege of working in customer service since I was in high school. Most recently, I have had the opportunity to learn customer service from arguably one of the best companies to learn it from. I briefly touch on Customer Service in my latest blog post, giving a very brief basis of the importance of customer service.

Through my experiences, I have learned many valuable lessons and received a great amount of guidance and advice. One of the most important things I have taken from these is that customer service is all about building a relationship with the customer, guest, or person. This is extremely crucial if you want your business to succeed. Building a positive, strong relationship with your customers most always results in repeat business and customer loyalty. An article written by Robert Sullivan, “Customer Service=Loyalty=Sales!” does a really good job of explaining the necessary attributes you need to gain customer loyalty. Including making sure all your employees understand that customers at #1, saying “thank you” frequently and always go the “extra mile” for your customers.

Bringing back to a more personal level, I believe that it comes down to the small things when building a relationship with a customer, in an attempt to grow their loyalty to your company. Simple things such as remembering their name and calling them by it every time you see them, remembering small but important parts of interactions and conversations, such as birthdays, children’s names, pet names, important events in their life such as their children graduating from school, future or recent trips they have been one, among other things.  Use this information when interacting with them. It gives them a sense of care from you and makes them feel as if they are important to you. The trust between you and the customer will grow, just increasing the loyalty and relationship you have.

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For everyone who works in customer service, interact with customers and see if they frequent your business more. Call them by name, ask them how their dog is doing, or how their trip to Florida was. Make them feel special. You will begin to notice they will be more loyal to your business and also be more interested in what is going on in your life. This has the ability to greatly impact their lives and your own!

Respond below with your real life examples of building a relationship with a customer.

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Customer Service

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Since Reno is a town that attractions people from all over for gambling, events and other festivities, customer service jobs are a popular position. With the number of hotels, restaurants, and venues we have in this town, many jobs that are available to the work force are customer service job. A customer service job is a perfect job for a recent high school graduate, someone who is working their way through college and needs some extra cash on the side, or for someone who is looking to make a career out of it. This town has all of these positions available.

When people travel or go away for a vacation, they have several different options of where to stay, where to dine, or where to play. Every hotel has beds for you to sleep in and showers for you to shower in. It is the customer service employees that truly make the difference and are a main factor in the decision making of the people who are traveling. As Ken Blanchard says in the article, Putting the Wow in Service, “great service is not an accident.” To win these people over, you must provide superb customer service so they will continue to come back. If you have someone who is debating between two hotels to stay at for their weekend vacation; one of which is a decent hotel but the couple really feels comfortable and welcomed by the staff at the hotel, and one of which is a really nice hotel but the employees are just standard. You will usually decide on picking the hotel where you feel most comfortable and welcomed at, even if it is not the nicer one of the two.

Great customer service employees will have a mindset where they desire to help others and to go above and beyond. Others may not have that mindset yet, but after some training they may. Susan Ward lists out eight rules in an article called, 8 Rules for Good Customer Service, one them being to “train your employees to always be helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.” With time, the strong customer service professionals will grasp on to this idea and thrive. This will result in retaining more repeat guests who want to come back and visit your business.

If you currently work in a customer service job, next time you work I challenge you to not only provide great customer service but to go above the call of duty. Make that person or family want to come back because of you.  Let me know how it works out by leaving a comment below.

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