In 1991, I explained my investigative theory in my first law enforcement textbook that I wrote, entitled Criminal Investigation: Forming Reasonable Grounds. “There are no coincidences, only connections”
If you believe in coincidences, you’ll make a lousy detective. If you’re trying to solve a mystery and you find a coincidence, never ignore it by classifying the circumstances as coincidence. A coincidence is defined as “circumstances that seem connected but they aren’t.” The definition is a paradox because of its contradiction – circumstances seem connected because they are. If it seems like a connection, it is a connection until you prove otherwise with hardcore evidence. Shrugging off a possible connection as a coincidence is the mark of short-sighted investigative skills. Amateurism. Its the manifestation of gullibility or laziness or both. Letting potential connections slide as coincidences is the leading cause of unsolved mysteries. The same principle applies to our personal lives when we’re trying to figure out what path to take.
Every mystery leaks its solution. All you have to do is open your eyes, your mind, and your heart to finding the connection in what others believe are coincidences. Treating every coincidence as a connection until you prove otherwise will guarantee that you never get accused of being negligent in your quest for the truth. These same principles apply to every other profession, to solve every professional or personal problem.
Two weeks after I wrote that coincidence-connection theory, a series of events led me to being hired as a volunteer head coach of the Sir Winston Churchill High School varsity football team in Hamilton, Ontario. It’s a long story. I could have shrugged it off as wild coincidence but I didn’t. The events leading to that hiring didn’t just happen. Everything happened for a reason. I was led to Churchill through a series of path-crossings where people who I had coached, only for short time in the past, connected me to the Churchill athletic director. I questioned my sanity for coaching for free and driving two hours both ways to coach a program that was down in the dumps. I questioned my sanity for returning to high school coaching after I had made the leap to post-secondary.
After my hiring, I had a team meeting in the spring to introduce myself, my team goals/objectives, our off-season strength training program, and our team code of conduct. I told the team to tell me their personal goals because their goals became my goals. There was no email, no Internet, no social media, no cell phones, no texting. I insisted on face-to-face meetings only. At the end of the meeting, a player walked down from the top row of the gym stands, and asked to speak to me. He said, “My goal is to get a scholarship at an American Division 1 university.”
“Which one?” I asked.
“What’s your name?” I asked
I told him that his goal was now my goal. We shook hands to finalize the deal.
Churchill had never won a championship. There was no winning culture. Leon won a starting running back job. I installed a hyper no-huddle offense that traveled in one gear only – warp-speed. We got stuck in high-gear regardless of the score. I taught only 5 running plays. Each running play had a one-word code name. Leon was assigned only one running play where he was given the ball to run with. Just one play. He was a blocker on all other plays. Leon’s play was called a “counter-gap.” We would run it only to the left. Many running backs would complain that one running play wasn’t enough. Leon didn’t. He carried the ball and helped carry the smallest, least naturally-talented team I’ve ever coached to an undefeated championship. Leon became a “3X” runner. He averaged 11.8 yards per carry, almost three times more than our pre-established goal. He helped our team score over 3X more points than it allowed. All with one running play.
The next season, I asked for our team to be re-assigned to the highest division, to compete against bigger schools. After three seasons, Leon raised the bar by setting new career running and catching team records that become our new standard.
I sent film to a number of Division 1 universities who decided to recruit Leon. He chose to follow his heart and his passion by becoming an artist. In 1993, Leon drew the cover for the second edition of my Criminal Investigation book. Leon is now a professional artist. On Dec 19, 2013, he was named the CBC Artist of the Week http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/news/look-at-this-the-graffiti-portraits-of-street-artist-eklipz
Last week, I hired Leon to draw covers of my next two books – 4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2. Both covers are incredible. Masterpieces. They will be released in the near future.
I’ve often questioned my sanity about why I coach football. But there’s a reason why we do what we do. We’re called to effect change, to make an impact, to experience our own change, and to have an impact made on us.There’s a reason why I coach even though I don’t understand it sometimes. The reason is that nothing just happens. Everything happens for a reason. The true reward of coaching is this – lifting up a team from scratch lifts you up. There’s no greater reward than putting up ladders for others. That’s the core essence of the soul of a lifter – lifting reciprocity. Lifting lifts. Who we lift, lifts us. #keeplifting. May we never stop following our hearts because that’s where our souls lead us to.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com His books include: 4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur. He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. And a new 8-volume interrogation book series, soon to be released. He has also written the first of a new children’s book series that is intended to inspire children and make them happy.