Player-coach bond may have saved lives

The Norwalk Hour - - OBITUARIES/NEWS -

The day-to-day pearls of wis­dom im­parted by coaches to play­ers — from youth sports, to high school, to col­lege and even the pros —are well-known: Try your hard­est, don’t lose fo­cus, sup­port your team­mates, keep your chin up.

Some­times, heed­ing that ad­vice can lead to win­ning a game or a cham­pi­onship.

In the case of the 12 youth soc­cer play­ers trapped in a flooded cave in Thai­land, it may have helped save their lives.

Un­sure of their prospects for more than two weeks while they awaited res­cue , the kids and their coach found them­selves in a life-and-death strug­gle that placed an acute fo­cus on the value of team­work, pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and strong lead­er­ship.

Every­one made it out alive, in no small part, ac­cord­ing to res­cuers and sports ex­perts, be­cause they lis­tened to their coach, Ekapol Chan­tha­wong, or “Coach Ake,” and re­mem­bered the lessons ath­letes have been ab­sorb­ing on soc­cer pitches, bas­ket­ball courts and base­ball di­a­monds for decades.

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