MY PURPOSE BY RUBEN TELLEZ, PORTALES HIGH SCHOOL
Portales High School athletic director Mark Gallegos held a meeting with his staff of coaches and wanted to talk about the mental health, not just of the students, but the emotional well-being of the coaches too.
Gallegos asked Family Engagement Specialist Billy Borden to meet with the coaches. “All teachers are in the trenches, and teachers who coach are on the front lines,” said Borden.
“I told the coaches they often have to remind themselves why they do this, why they coach.”
Borden gave the coaches a homework assignment. He wanted them to take some time and think about their purpose in life.
Some coaches might have looked at the task as just putting down a couple paragraphs or maybe a motivational quote or two. Portales High School baseball coach Ruben Tellez put his thoughts and emotions down into a seven-page letter. “I went home and started thinking and writing and it just kept going,” said Tellez. “I wanted to tell everyone the truth of my story. I was feeling down, just like the kids were. It hit me just as hard.”
“Writing gives us an opportunity to see how people are thinking and feeling,” said Tellez. “Kids have to know that we are more than just a coach or teacher, we are here to give them the support they need.”
“Coach Tellez said what every coach thinks,” said Borden. “I told Coach Tellez it was one of the best things I’ve ever read.”
Coach T’s advice to his kids is to keep up the hope, keep the faith, keep working hard. “There are things in life that happen that we have no control over, but we can make the best of it. Things will get better.”
Here is a video of Coach Tellez reading the letter titled “My Purpose”.
*The message from Coach Ruben Tellez is part of the NMAA’s Mental Health Awareness Initiative