LovePrints- Coach Eric Larkins John Cooper School

Great people make great coaches. Great coaches make great people.

Love in Action. Action in love.

A loveprint is the constant and consist covering of those around you in love. So much so, that nothing else can stick. Nothing else can exist. A vacuum so filled with love that nothing else can occupy it. Acts of kindness, purpose, and love.

I am a combination of many great coaches. Many great people. I have coaching brothers and sisters all over the country. All over the world. No matter where I moved, there was a magnet putting me in the company of great people. It happened when I moved to Texas. Again.

I left Virginia, and behind me was a great collection of people who were family to me. They cared, they mattered, and they had purpose. They loved. Leaving that place created a hole in the fabric. I have heard the phrase “Grow where you are planted”. I try to live with that in mind. God has never put me anywhere I could not grow, or anywhere that I would be alone.

When I got to Texas, I was coming off a coaching high, and wanted to stay active. I found a school with extremely impressive academics, some great coaches and leadership, and a spot for me to coach three sports. I jumped in immediately, and found some new family to work with and alongside.

I tear up just typing this. God continues to put amazing people in my path, for my journey. I seem to find these coaching brothers who understand the right why, the right how, and the right priority. It gave me great strength to know that I was among great people doing great things for great reasons.

 

There was another multiple sport coach who gave me light. He gave me strength. Someone to trust. Someone to walk with. He was smart, charismatic, strong, Godly, and he had a ridiculous lefty crossover. (the crossover is almost as strong as his faith. ALMOST). He coached with his heart, he was steady with his hand, and his smile made every player trust his word. His actions always matched his word. Vital.

At the end of basketball season, I started having trouble with my back. I leaned on Coach Larkins for support, strength, and he never wavered. At the end of the school year, I had major surgery on my spine. The surgery had complications that put me at risk and in the ICU. My health was under fire, and I was leaning on a strong faith that kept giving me answers. Things took a darker turn, and the hospital feared the worst. I was weakening and wavering as they added procedures that concerned me, and I was in trouble. I was calling out loudly for faith to strengthen me, and I got a visit from Eric at my lowest point. How did he know? He and his amazing wife Jan showed up at the ICU and held my hand, hugged my wife, and prayed with me, for me. I cried. I could not believe that the right persons with the right words and smiles showed up right on time. They gave me the strength to get through the procedures, get out of ICU, and get home. A year later, I am healing, getting strong, and never forgetting.

I do not know what I did to deserve the great people in my life. Eric and Jan and family are constant smiles in my heart. I try to say thank you enough, and they would say “no worries”, but I will try. One of the working orders of LovePrints is “loving and learning through sports”. Well, I am honoring that today.

At least today, you will know how thankful and appreciative of you, your wife, and your faith. I appreciate who you are, what you do, and why. God brought you into my life, sports was the vehicle, and my heart is forever indebted. Thank you for your prayers, your words, and your work.

The young people in your path are blessed indeed. So are the adults. Sometimes the streets are your pulpits. And sometimes, it’s a hospital bed in ICU. Thank you.

 

Great coaches make great people. Great people make great coaches.

Love in action. Action in love.

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