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The Wolf and the Pack

One of the most marvelous books, and the best book on management I have ever read, is Magic Hoops by Phil Jackson. One of his great commentaries is based on the poem The Wolf and the Pack in The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Here it is:

Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;

And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth forward and back —

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the ادرس جدید ولف بت is the Pack.

 

Let’s look at some of its implications as we coach our teams. As I understand the Law of the Jungle, the Pack is dependent on each individual Wolf and each individual Wolf is dependent on the Pack. The pack consists of different kinds of wolves, each with his own unique talents; one is a great tracker, another is a speedster but tires after a short distance, another is a long distance runner who plods along but is there when needed, another is the one you want in the final battle, and so on. They all come together as a single, effective force.

However, if a single Wolf goes off by himself, he will die because he isn’t capable of doing all of the necessary tasks, fulfilling all of the necessary roles in order to be successful. It is also true that if a single Wolf were to leave the Pack, the Pack would suffer the loss of whatever skills or talents that Wolf brought to the group.

In like manner, your Team is dependent on each individual Player with her unique gifts and talents. Not everyone has the strong arm needed by the pitcher, not everyone has the speed to cover the entire area of center field, not everyone has the hands that can scoop up a sharp grounder and get it over to first before the runner gets there. The same on offense. You know who you want to be on second base with two outs in the final inning and you know who you would like to have at bat — and they probably aren’t the same player. And, of course, each Player is in need of her Team — only when the Team is at its best, can the Player really express her excellence.

This is the essence of The Wolf and The Pack. If a wolf goes off on his own he will soon die of starvation — he can’t hunt by himself. The Pack needs all those different members; each with his or her unique abilities that are essential for the hunt to be successful.

So now let’s extend the Pack another step let’s add the Coach to the Team. What is her role in the project? Basically, she has to bring all the elements; Players, Parents, Herself; together into a working, caring, effective operation.

 

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The Slain Wolf (A Short Story, Based on Actual Events, 1980s)

(A short story, based on actual events, 1980s)

1

“We are like pigeons-here today, gone tomorrow. By gosh, the more I think of it, the less it matters; I mean, since it had to be, since it couldn’t be stopped. Now it’s over and done with, finished,” the elder white haired man said, with a flat affect-a nowhere expression-on his face.

“That’s what I thought. What I wanted to say-if only I knew how at the time to have said it. Yes, I thought it, afterwards. It doesn’t matter to the dead if you say it out loud, or just think it. The dead don’t say ‘Come on speak up!'” said the tall young man (his face thin, smooth, impassable, the eyes set deep in a hollow, like socks, as if they had seen too much, the skin appeared to suck into the skull, snapped onto the bones like a Coke a Cola, bottle cap. He had the appearance of a neat person, having been a neat person at one time-his short wavy hair watered down-perhaps a little hair-grease on it-neatly trimmed, as if with a razor around his ears and sideburns and the back squared, he wore a Down Parker, his shirt and trousers were matching, green, he had come from his ادرس جدید ولف بت, he was a mechanic, and was smoking cigarette after cigarette, and being asked questions).

“Probably not,” was the response from a third voice in the room (he was no more than a shadow in the corner of the room, his shoulder half lay on the wall, as if it was a cot, he had a dark suit on, but acted more like an armed guard, had stood there for a long while he was no more than a voice, a portfolio of the young man’s background, if the white haired man needed information, and of the situation, the crime at hand), and he said it again “Probably not…!”

“When you reach the edge, and you find yourself unable to live with someone, or let that someone live with someone else, life goes quite fast. Like a flash, everything and everybody passing you up, and then they vanish out of their lives, leaving you standing alone-slanting kind of, and then drifting away into another world, drinking oneself to death, committing suicide. They do have a third choice, these people often cut the switch to those that bother them, saying to themselves ‘I’m too tired for this crap’ and they do what you did,” said the white haired old man.

The old white haired man, potbellied, nearer sixty than fifty, pulled out a reed-stemmed clay pipe, from inside his suit coat, but he didn’t smoke it, or light it, the ash inside the pipe, that stained the top of the bowl could be smelled-it had a scent to it, a tongue to cheek old rustic smell-perhaps that was what he was seeking, now the young man for the first time was looking at him, and the old man thought: “Good Lord, he’s got a heart, not as big as I’d like it to be, but a heart, maybe we’ll still get a confession.” Then he sat back too, in his chair as the young man had done for hours-emulating him.

2

This time he was watching the old man with such an expression that the old man ceased talking, he sat there, erect on the hard wooden chair, waiting for him to say what he needed to say. The old timer seemed to have embodied some old timeless wisdom, affinity for what was kept deep inside a person, and slowly moving it upward, as if by its own momentum-upward gravity, taking a piece of him out of his orbit, and then another and another until he had it all, he had told the voice in the corner-in private, “I can lie as well as the next man, matter-of-fact, without batting an eye, easily, quickly, but to be genuine, and detached, and truly empathetic, is the secret in persuading the soul to cleanse itself, and sometimes when you get a person on a roll all you really got to do is shut yourself up, shut your mouth and listen, permit him, give him permission to speak. And it seemed as if it was working. Because for the first time the young man stirred, moved, clasping his hands onto the chair with emotion.

It was obvious at first the young man did not remember what he did. “You shot quickly, but slow,” said the old man, as if to remind him, refresh his brain, and tranquilize his recall.

Now the young man said, “If I live to be seventy, like my father and his father did, I’ll not remember that shot.” (The old man saw that that he was trying to look upwards as if trying to picture it, but couldn’t; or at least he said he couldn’t).

“You mean, because of the shock of it, you’ll never hear that shot, nor remember you hitting her gun-butt in the head. Then you were standing over her, she lay on the wet cement floor of your basement, while you were shaking and jerking.”

“I wasn’t shaking or jerking,” the young man said.

“Yes, perhaps not, how would I know that anyhow.” Now he knew the boy’s memory was coming back.

“If she wasn’t dead, she was after you cut her up like a deer in pieces, with her feet cut off at the ankles, so you could put her into two suitcases, head down in one, as if it might jump out at you.”

The young man that did that moved his head to his right side, away from the old man, his throat taut and dry.

“You must have felt her smoking blood on your person; somehow you whipped those hands of yours clean.”

Inside of the young man’s head, that was all black, was now gray, it was as if there were two boiling rocks ready to collide and cause an earthquake. The old man was now wiping his hands over one another.

“After all that, having had had a taste of blood, the true Neantherdal hunter was born. I mean there you had been sitting in your basement, day after day, week after week, perhaps three weeks to my understanding, according to a neighbor’s report, waiting in the dark for her footsteps across those old boards above you, waiting for her to return for her cloths and leave you forever for a better man. You had had nothing to do now but wait, a standby murderer, remain drunk and calm straight and not tremble. You did all right.”