“Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:16
In a recent conversation with a small group of veteran coaches, a very interesting question came up. Someone asked, “How should our athletes be different when they leave our program?” There is no quick and easy answer to a question like that! We know they grow in physical stature and knowledge of the game, but is that all there is? Most athletes spend at least four years in our program, so is natural growth and head knowledge all we have to offer? Surely there must be more. As our discussion continued, we came up with a solid list of qualities we wanted our athletes to develop while under our care. How to function as a team led the list. To be a good citizen, to appreciate the value of hard work and to accept responsibility for your choices also made the cut. We spent the next thirty minutes talking about our responsibility as coaches to teach these values to our young men and women. If not us, who?
Matthew comes right to the point when he says we are the ones who must show the way. Our light and our example can be the most powerful influence our athletes will ever experience. We are not just a football coach or a volleyball coach, we are a compass pointing to a better way. I must often remind myself that I can’t give away what I don’t have. If our own lives are not what they should be, maybe we have a little work to do there first. God is the only one that can clean us up and He will if we ask Him. We have a responsibility to go beyond the game planning and the scoreboard. God has called us to be change agents in the lives of those we serve.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to the needs of those you have called me to serve. May others see You through my actions today. Amen.