April 28, 2022
I’ve had my share of good and bad coaches during my athletic career, and I’m guessing most of you have too. Swimming has always been my primary sport, but I also played basketball, soccer and ran track growing up.
In middle school, I had a coach throw a stopwatch at me because I was talking during swim practice. It hit me in the chest before it broke on the pool deck. [I never told my parents because they most likely would have told me that I deserved it.] I had a different coach refuse to let me out of the pool during practice, even though I told him I was about to throw up. Sure enough, I threw up in the pool, and he yelled and belittled me for doing so. And because many old school coaches never thought hydration was important, my teammates and I were prevented from drinking water at track practice in the Texas heat because it was a “sign of weakness.”
Those coaches fall into the not-so-great category. I’m sure some of you have even more negative coaching experiences that you could share.
Fortunately, I had more good coaches than bad coaches. Before you read further, I encourage you to think through what makes a coach either good or bad in your eyes.
I believe that good coaches…
Are competent and patient
Point out weaknesses and growth areas in helpful ways
Take a genuine interest in their athletes as people, not pawns for their glory
Promote good sportsmanship
Listen to their athletes
Bring out the best in their athletes
Constantly look for ways to improve as a coach
I believe that bad coaches…
Lead with negativity
Lose their cool easily
Over emphasize winning
Don’t value personal development as a coach
Are motivated by fear
What if you took a “coach approach” to how you interact with people? And of course, I mean behaving like a GOOD coach. Review that list again. How would this improve your roles as a father, grandfather, husband, friend, co-worker or boss?
Good coaches bring out the best in their athletes. Do you take the same approach to the people God puts in your path? Do you see this as a role you should play?
Men, if you’re not already, I encourage you to take a “coach approach” to your life. Think about the language you use. Do you build up or tear down?
Consider the following “coaching verses.”
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
-1 Thessalonians 5:11
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrews 10:24-25
Men, let’s be good coaches for the people God puts in our path.