THERE IS a misconception according to Webb School’s head football coach, Kyle Turnbow, that football players at the private school don’t have difficulties to overcome. As a self-proclaimed recipient of a “storybook childhood” from a wonderful family, Coach Turnbow acknowledges that there are always going to be ups and downs in life. He finds playing football teaches resil- iency in a particularly applicable way.
One of the concepts Shelbyville Central High School alumni Coach Turnbow preaches to his players is to be the “first one up.” It is only a matter of time before a player gets knocked down or tackled in footballorlife.Itdoesn’tmatterthatyou got knocked down; it matters how long it takes you to get back up. The longer you stay on the ground, the harder it is to get yourself up and moving again.
Coach Turnbow’s football players come from all walks of life at Webb School and have experienced a wide variety of ways life can knock a person down. Coming from a broken family, being in a racial minority, or being an international student living thousands of miles from home, life can deal some difficult blows. Some players may have lost a close family member to terminal illness or dealt with substance abuse in their family. Life’s hardships take many forms.
Football has impacted Coach Turnbow by helping him to better handle both physical and mental adversity. As life gave him its ups and downs, football helped him build the skills to respond to it. He values teammates and how playing football taught him to hold his teammates in higher regard than himself. Coach Turnbow has personally felt the long-lasting connection of being on a team and getting to know teammates by going through trials with them. That level of intensity creates bonds that can stand the test of time.
How football is taught to ensure player safety has changed a great deal from the time of Coach Turnbow’s youth. Making sure concussion risk is minimized has modified some of how tackling is done and what is permitted on the field but the intensity of football is as strong as ever.The new teaching, tackling, and training techniques are impacting all levels of football participation from youth to professional. Protecting the brains of athletes is an important endeavor and there is a better understanding now of how to do that. Helmets have been modified to be safer and all of the Webb football helmets contain sensors with computer chips that report back to their trainer if they are hit with a certain level of force, particularly in a potentially damaging direction.
Coach Turnbow is honored to be part of the development of football players in Bedford County. When it comes time to step up and lead the next generation, Coach Turnbow volunteers himself to be “the first one up.”
Home games this season are August 27, September 10, September 24, and October 22. More information is available at thewebbschool.com -GN