what I am going to share tonight is due to a significant degree to those coaches who I have been associated with over the years – my mentors
we all stand on the shoulders of others. no one stands alone
consequently, the majority of the coaching philosophy that I ascribe to comes from my relationship with coach frosty westering who was the head coach at pacific Lutheran university for 30 years, though certainly other significant portions of the philosophy come from other coaches with whom I have worked and observed.
coach westering chose to coach from a biblical perspective, and we call it, “coaching biblically”
there are many philosophies of coaching, even within the broad spectrum of Christianity – there is lots of room to agree to disagree graciously about coaching styles and philosophies
what I will be saying tonight is not better or worse than another Christian coaching philosophy. it is simply what it is – “a” Christian coaching philosophy……”one of” the Christian coaching philosophies.
please feel free to pick and choose what you like or agree with – we are all accountable individually, and this is what I have come to believe is true
cole has asked me to share this particular coaching philosophy with you this evening, which evolves constantly even as I am also changing constantly
I will be speaking primarily to those of you who have a relationship with jesus Christ and who are committed to coaching as you believe he would have you coach. however, if that is not your conviction, these principles will still hold true regardless of spiritual orientation
it’s like gravity – whether you understand it at all or not, it still exists and will impact your future if you jump off of a cliff
before we begin, a couple points of clarification
1) difference between influence vs impact
2) difference between training vs developing
AS PROFESSING CHRISTIANS, WHEN EVALUATING OUR COACHING PHILOSOPHIES, THE FIRST ISSUE FOR US TO WORK THROUGH IS, “WHAT IS OUR IDENTITY”
WHO ARE WE – are we primarily…..
1) children of god – sons and daughters of the most high king and the living god, called to be representatives of Him on earth?
OR ARE WE
2) coaches and teachers and administrators and parents who simply call themselves Christians and go to church, but who are indistinguishable from the rest of the world?
THIS IS CRITICAL QUESTION TO WORK THROUGH IN OUR MINDS, for if being a child of god is NOT our primary identity, our coaching goals and focus will be different than if it WAS our primary identity
OTHER CRITICAL QUESTIONS THAT WILL IMPACT OUR COACHING PHILOSOPHIES AS PROFESSING CHRISTIANS
FIRST QUESTION – fundamentally, why are we here on earth? –
are we here live for ourselves and our families and to have some fun and make some money and do good to others?
or are we here to live for the praise of HIS glory, HIS goals and HIS agenda, even when in conflict with ours?
if we profess following jesus and coach for our glory, goals and agenda, then consider that God himself says in the scriptues about whose glory we are to live for;
1) I will not share my glory with another, and
2) you cannot serve at the same time god and yourself, and
3) if you love the world and the things of the world, the love of the father will not be in you
SECOND QUESTION – where are we going?
1) are we going nowhere – ceasing to exist?
2) are we going to heaven, to be with god forever or
3) are we going to hell, to live separated from god forever
Do we REALLY BELIEVE that there is a heaven?
Do we really believe that heaven is better than life on earth, in fact bettern anything we could ask or imagine?
Do we really believe that at some specific point we will be judged and rewarded based on the things said and done on our time on earth?
Do we really believe that our words and deeds will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each persons work. If what we have built survives, we will receive our reward. However, if it is burned up, we will suffer loss; we ourselves will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames (I Cor 3:13-15)
FACT – we are all going to die and we are going to be dead sooner than we think in most cases
THIRD QUESTION – what will burn and what will last of those things that we have said and done while on this planet?
will rings burn?
will trophies burn?
will plaques and other awards burn?
Our answers to those questions will impact why we coach and how we coach
BOTTOM LINE – why we coach and how we coach is critical because eternity hangs in the balance; for us, for the coaches we coach with, for the players we coach and for their families who observe how we coach
are our motives to win championships and create a legacy of success?
are our motives to glorify god whatever the cost to our reputation and career?
are our motives to glorify god whatever the results or whatever our record?
If we win championships and don’t teach individuals intentionally and strategically how to prosper in marriage and family and relationships and work, I would contend that we should seriously evaluate whether we should continue in this profession
1) trophies, rings, plaques + broken lives = doing an injustice to the coaching profession
2) championship pursuits and results should never compromise our relationship with god and our relationship with man
the commandment of god is, “go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS…..” (matthew 28:19-20)
QUESTION – do we have adequate VISION to impact the world for jesus through sport?
QUESTION – what is your plan to develop your staffs and your players intentionally and strategically to consider a relationship with jesus Christ and impact the kingdom of god in this world?
1) do you have a plan?
2) is it a good plan?
3) are you executing your plan?
FIVE PRINCIPLES FOR COACHING BIBLICALLY (decision making “filter”)
1) focus on the long term over the short term – (we reap what we sow – sow for eternity – love god and love people) –
coaching point – do we want a great wedding or a great marriage
2) focus upon the team over the individual (there is power in self-lessness)
coaching point – selfishness destroys, but selflessness builds. true for staffs and true for players
3) focus on the inside person vs the outside person – win their hearts
coaching point – if you win your players hearts, they will follow you wherever you take them
* my testimony – why I want to follow jesus with my whole heart (always there, only one who consistently has said I’m ok – unconditional love)
4) focus on the weak over the strong (protect those who are hurting – the non-players, the distraught, those of little talent)
coaching point – we are only as strong as our weakest link and we really do need each other (everyone is of priceless value to god and he will honor those who honor him caring for the poor and powerless – 1st Samuel 2:30)
PRACTICAL COACHING CONSIDERATIONS – OFF THE FIELDS OF PLAY (random thoughts – not in order of priority. these have been developed over time due to my observations as a consultant to athletic teams and coaches)
1) TEAM BUILDING – how do you build team chemistry and develop supernatural synergy (1+1=12)
a) cross pollinate at all times – color, position, age, starter/non-player, geography, poor/rich – integrate forcefully at all times and in every way imaginable
* cafeteria and team bus (who sits with whom)
b) be together / do things together / get the players together at every opportunity “outside” of practices and games – KEY WORD, “TOGETHER” (off-season key in this regard, as able. find a way to make it happen)
* do “non-sport” activities together as often as possible
* optional and voluntary events (pure fun) – movie night, video game championships, TV games, whiffle ball Olympics, bowling, skits, retreats (jesus went away with the twelve)
* KEY – unrelated to your actual sport
* coaches/other adults share the load of hosting – Greenville weekend nights – always an option
PRACTICAL COACHING CONSIDERATIONS – ON THE FIELDS OF PLAY
1) in the practice setting, learn by doing more than learning by talking (be on your guard against “stand around” instructional time”)
2) get more practice reps – drill work with long single file lines vs repping drills with multiple players going at once
a) yes, miss see stuff to coach vs players actually learning by doing
b) boring to players to stand around and wait and watch
BE CREATIVE (blocking, tackling etc – true in all sports)
3) coaching enthusiasm is critical – energy begats energy (the difference between hands in the pockets coaching vs “coaching on the run” – fun for kids)
4) the power of words – there are two ways to verbalize the same instruction; one builds, the other diminishes (“catch the ball”)
5) feedback is the breakfast of champions – people want to know where they stand and how they are doing
6) have high expectations of practice output (graciously demand maximum effort and focus at all times in all things (walk thru’s – UT)
* get them to “want to” vs “have to” – education bridges the gap
FINALLY – OUR RESPONSIBILITY – ABRAHMIC COVENANT OF GENESIS 12:1-3 – I WILL BLESS YOU SO THAT YOU WILL BE A BLESSING – it is god’s will to bless, even within the competitive setting (only possible by the spirit of god through coaches who wish to obey the scriptures and have god’s will be done and not their own)
4) bus drivers
5) equipment personell
6) cafeteria workers etc
* speak about, have them see it done, have them do it (four phases of mentoring – I do it – I do it you watch – you do it I watch – you do it)
PRAYER AS A NECESSARY COMPONENT OF IMPACT
this is a spiritual battle – for the scriptures say, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
the enemy is NOT the opponent – the enemy is the devil. his goal is to steal, kill and destroy the lives of men and women. and he is desires to use sport to do the killing, just as god is intent on using sport to save and transform mankind
if you are not praying in quantity with and for your staff or other leaders, there will be very little long-term impact, eternally speaking
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS (2)
1) to learn how to use prayer and the word of god to impact your coaches and players, as well as any other area of life on this planet
EM Bounds – “power through prayer” (and also, “weapons of prayer”)
2) to learn how to develop leadership according to the biblical model
Robert Coleman – “the master plan of evangelism” (god’s training of the twelve disciples through their relationship with jesus)
1) ask how to develop a plan – build your own
find someone who you respect and learn their plan
FOUR PHASES OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
a) information only
b) information with interaction
c) observation (with interaction)
d) implementation (with interaction – have a mentor coach)
2) HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE POST GAME LOCKER ROOM AND ITS IMPACT