“I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.”
– Proverbs 4:11 (ESV)
Mother’s Day is special! Though my mother is no longer physically alive, she is very much alive in my heart. She had a tremendous influence on my life and I am grateful for everything she did to make me a better person. One of the things I remember most was her patience with my love for sports. We spent hours discussing the batting averages of my favorite baseball players. She lovingly sewed number 44 on the football jersey I received for Christmas one year so I could wear the same number as my professional football hero. Mom was as excited as I was when we made our annual summer pilgrimage to see the Atlanta Braves play. I don’t know if mom loved sports, but I do know she loved me. She willingly gave her time and support to things I enjoyed. We talked endlessly about sports, but we also talked a great deal about the things that are important in life. She shared her wisdom and helped keep me on the right path during my youth.
As coaches, we too have countless opportunities to teach wisdom and to help our athletes stay on the right path. Are we making the most of those opportunities? Are we making ourselves available when they come to us seeking answers to difficult questions? Are we concerned abut their spiritual development as much as we are their athletic development? Are we there for them when they need a helping hand and encouragement? While winning will always be important, so is being a positive influence, a good listener and a spiritual leader to those we serve. Do we love our players? Are we looking solely at the physical gifts and talents of our athletes or are we looking at them the way God looks at them—with love.
Heavenly Father, thank You for mothers and all those who have poured themselves into the lives of others. Teach me to be a better encourager, a better listener and a better leader to those in my care. Teach me to love others in the same way You love me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.