“Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze straight ahead.”
– Proverbs 4:25
Regardless of the level you coach, teaching athletes to minimize distractions is important. Anyone that has ever coached youth sports knows what I’m talking about. I remember a baseball game in which two of my 8-year old players got into a fight in the dugout arguing over who was going to put on the extra set of catcher’s gear. On another day, I almost blew a gasket when at the most critical point of a big game, I observed my right-fielder sitting on the ground building dirt castles! Distractions for athletes come in many forms: trash talking from the opponent, poor weather conditions, parents trying to “coach” from the stands, opposing fans, fear of making a mistake, and as previously mentioned, even catcher’s equipment and dirt. What often keeps our athletes from reaching their peak performance is not that they stop focusing, but that they focus their attention on the wrong things. As coaches, we must be prepared to help our athletes stay focused on the “right things”.
Distractions are also common in everyday life. We get caught in traffic, our children get sick, and we get that unexpected phone call or text at just the wrong time. For coaches, there is never a shortage of “free advice” being offered reminding us of what we could have done or should have done in last night’s game. Staying focused on the “right things” is something we have to be prepared for. Proverbs is filled with practical advice on dealing with the everyday problems we face. Proverbs 4:25 reminds us to walk with a single purpose. We are to look straight ahead, keeping our eyes on Jesus. We are to guard ourselves from distractions that might take us away from that purpose. Keeping our focus on Jesus is always the “right thing”! Are you distracted today? Get into God’s Word and “refocus”.
Heavenly Father, I ask your forgiveness for being so easily distracted. Too often my eyes and ears are focused on things that are simply not important. Help me to focus today. Give me your strength as I strive to keep my eyes on your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.