While players are usually in the spotlight, one Chicago Bulls coach's example shows them how hard work can overcome adversity. This is Assistant Coach Nate Loenser- in his own words:
Chicago Bulls Assistant Coach Nate Loenser
This is my eighteenth year of coaching. Coaching is teaching, and you're teaching your students or whoever you're working with about how to be successful.
I don't really think that the guys I work with really care that I have one, two arms, four arms, it doesn't really matter them. Ultimately if I can provide some benefit to them and help them in their career, then that's what being a coach and being a teacher is all about.
I was born this way, so I've never really had it any other way.
I played baseball, basketball, football and golf in high school, and whatever season it was, that was my favorite sport. It was just something that I had a passion for, and as I grew older I knew that I at least wanted to get into teaching. I started out as a high school baseball coach, coached high school basketball, and even been an assistant for football and been a girl's golf coach, so the same thing kind of applies there.
I think I was just fortunate as well to have two parents that didn't set any limitations, they just allowed me to be me, to be Nate, and to experience success and to experience failure. I had a lot of good coaches, especially growing up, and I liked how they interacted and how they inspired me.
It's bigger than sports too, I mean if you're in kindergarten and they're trying to teach you how to tie your shoes, and the teacher doesn't exactly know how to teach you. So at the end of the day I wanted to be sure that I wasn't dependent on a lot of people and I might just have to figure some things out, I might not look the same as other people, but ultimately I wanted to make the most of who I am.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Chicago Bulls Player
It's more than basketball too, I mean you see what he's been able to make it because of what he was given. I mean, you just have total and awe and aspirations to be someone, a man like that.
He's definitely help me to be in the position that I'm in today.
If those guys do well and they're successful, then as a coach you can kind of just stand back and let them shine.
You know I obviously spend a lot of time here, it's not just as fancy as putting on your suit and sitting at the United Center; there's a lot of work that goes into it, a lot of preparation.
I mean everybody sees, you know, the game-winning shots or the good parts of it but as a coach you also see the whole picture. When the lights are on and when it's time to compete, performing at that optimal level is obviously very very important, but also understanding that we're all human beings too, and we're all going to make mistakes. And the other person is going to try just as hard to compete against you, so there are going to be failures throughout a game, throughout a season.
Ultimately we have two choices: we can either make the most of the situation and move past it, or we let the situation get the most of us.
I think we all have our own stories. Mine happens to be a story that is, you know, what people see and is visual, but I think life is full of a lot of adversity whether you can see it or know about it or not is not the important thing. It's how do you keep moving forward, what do you make out of the tools in your toolbox.
You know my arm is only a part of me, it doesn't define who I am. But if it can help me, or more importantly, if it can help other people to inspire them to keep moving and to make the most of their situations, then that's a pretty cool thing.
Note: This story was edited for content