Posted by: David D. Daggett | October 6, 2008

Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith

       As I was preparing to return to Indiana for my 30th High School reunion I flipped through my year book reading the signatures. One in particular jumped out at me. Wresting coach Ed LeBeau signed off “Keep the Faith.” Coach LeBeau has been so instrumental in my life that we planned a visit to his classroom on our trip as agenda item number one.

      Coach LeBeau is the only remaining teacher at Concordia Lutheran High School from my days there 30 years ago. I am fortunate to have someone who helped instill in me tremendous life values and lessons. I’m glad I had the opportunity, although maybe 30 years late, to stop by and thank him. Of course, I couldn’t help but to weave the thanks into a brief presentation to his World History class that was in session.

It was actually fairly emotional just to see my old coach. I hope I have let him know how much I appreciate his influence, but I’ll send him a link to this article just in case. I have previously shared some of his lessons, but thought I’d share a few more here – perhaps we are still learning from him.

Wrestling is an interesting sport in that it has individual aspects as well as always working for the best efforts and interests of the team. You have to do both. In designating me as captain, coach expected me to excel individually while always putting the team first. This simple principle is a fundamental necessity for adult family, professional, spiritual, and athletic success.

Coach always led by example. As a former college wrestler, he is a tough guy. In the photo you can see he is still trying to put a hammer lock on me. This tough guy has strong spiritual/Christian values. He never stressed these values with Bible banging, he did it by every day example.

Context and perspective were imparted to us through the sport. I can still hear Coach imploring me during a time out in a match I was losing, “When the Lord said to turn the other cheek, he wasn’t talking about the wrestling mat….now, go get ‘em!” The match was promptly won, and the lesson learned.

Take downs were my weak link as a wrestler. One of my problems was that I was always aggressive, and that could be used against me. Coach constantly reminded that you have to know when to push and when to pull. I still need to remind myself of that one, and actually have shared this lesson with others so I have a circle of coaches helping me.

Who’s In Your Mirror is one of my very favorite and lasting lessons. You have to be true to and honest with yourself. Checking in and following up often (daily for me) let’s us be who we are supposed to be, is a character check, and allows us to self motivate for perpetual improvement.

Thanks again Coach. We all appreciate your efforts to help us, and instilling lasting principles that have had a profound impact on many lives.

Keeping the faith,



  1. […] One of the best examples I ever encountered was Coach LeBeau, my high school wrestling coach. He encouraged, supported, and held me accountable. I certainly […]

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