I was watching the golf last weekend and me being me I was paying more attention to the caddy player interaction than the actual tournament. The role of the caddy for years was under valued. There were only three rules to be a caddy. Show up, keep up, and shut up. However, those rules, like the Balata golf ball are long gone. These women and men work extremely hard in their preparation for the upcoming tournament. Mega dollars and career’s are at stake. One wrong swing by the player over the first two days based on the caddy’s decision impacts the player’s income and by default the caddy’s income. It is a fact that PGA tour players make 80% of their income in 20 % of the events they play in. So each swing has a dollar value attached to it. Then I had a holy crap moment.
In hockey you see Assistant Coaches behind the bench. They usually manage the defense and the forwards. The head coach manages the tactics. But isn’t the Assistant Coach really a caddy? The Assistant Coach’s job is to manage his position players and their game plan. They are as well prepared as the tour caddy. Each team is like a golf course. They know the strengths and weakness. They also manage the emotions of the players making sure they do not get too high or too low especially after a poor shift(s). Assistant Coaches know if a player has on a certain night just like a caddy knows if his player has it. His job is to turn a 74 into a 70. An Assistant Coach’s job is prevent a blow out( i.e. the 74) and turn it into win or get it to overtime( i.e. the 70) . I guess you could say getting the game to overtime is like making the cut for the weekend in golf. That is when you get paid and in hockey that is how the Assistant Coach keeps his job.
What people do not realize that a good percentage of caddy’s are really good players in there own right, for whatever reason they never got to the promised land. Many Assistant Coaches were good players as well. Some may have had a cup of coffee in the show, but the majority of them were good American League players, like the tour caddy could not stick in the show.
So the next time you are watching PGA tour event or an NHL game think of these individuals as catalysts for the athletes they Coach and manage, not as some guy that carry’s a golf bag or some guy that just changes the lines or defense pairings.
Until next time.
Be well stay safe.
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