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  • Writer's pictureCory Kundert

What I Learned - Mike Flanagan - Episode 34

Leave it to an English teacher to get me back into writing! I know first hand the kind of impact Mike Flanagan has had on his students. Although I did not have him as a teacher, I saw the energy he brought to the classroom. You could feel it throughout the entire school. I also saw the time and effort he put into coaching me and my teammates in middle school football. I've been following Mike's coaching career for years. He's had tremendous success and certainly made an impact on the Black Hawk Girl's Basketball program.

Here are three things I learned from Mike during our conversation on episode 34 of Wisco Legacy

Follow Your Dreams

In seventh grade, Mike knew he wanted to be a teacher and impact youth. He had many impactful people around him that led him down that path. Teaching can be a thankless job. People do not get into teaching for money, they get into it to make an impact on children's lives. Mike has certainly done that in his time as a teacher. I always get excited to see people follow their dreams. I had dreams that I never pursued. Do I regret not pursuing those? Sometimes, but I'm very happy with where I am at in life right now. I am so excited to see Mike continue to follow his next dream and become Principal at Darlington Elementary/Middle School. Keep making that impact, Mike!

The lesson here is to follow your dream. Don't let people discourage you from living the life you want to live!

Learn from Every Opportunity

Every opportunity is a learning moment. Throughout Mike's career, he's had many opportunities to learn and grow. He learned a great deal from the incredible staff and administration in the School District of Monroe. He also began to develop his coaching philosophy in his time in Monroe.

When you think of coaching, you tend to think of the impact a coach can have on an athlete. I don't always think about how student-athletes can impact their coaches. I asked Mike this question in our conversation and he gave an incredible answer. Student-athletes - you are making an incredible difference in your coaches lives. You may not realize it, but you are.

The lesson here is to make every opportunity a learning opportunity. I've been given many opportunities in my life (career and otherwise) to expand on my skills and abilities. I've spent time with people to hear their perspective and gain understanding. I'm a life-long learner, so it was easy to meet with people to gain understanding and perspective. Life is what you make of it. I strive to be the best that I can and I lean into people and resources to learn and grow from that.

Have a Great Support System

Coaching is tough on a family. The nights, weekends, travel and preparation that go into being a high-level coach is incredible. For 15 year's, Mike was the head Girl's Basketball Coach at Black Hawk. For 15 years, Mike's family supported him and his pursuit of his dream. He had to miss important events with family, which is always tough. They were the first to congratulate him on winning and the first to be with him after defeat.

The lesson here is to surround yourself with people who support, encourage and believe in you.

That's a wrap on the first article of What I Learned! If you liked this article, please fill out the subscribe form on my website to be the first to read it: Subscribe Here.

I will be going back and writing articles for all of the episodes on Wisco Legacy. Next week, I will return to where it all began, episode one. On that episode, I talked about my 100 pound weight loss. If you haven't listened to it, you can find it at the links below.

Thanks for reading!


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