The X's and O's

January 19, 2015



(Dedicated to Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney – 2014 Grant Teaff Coach of the Year and Coach Art Baker – 2014 Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award)

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
– 2 Timothy 2:2

Who can’t remember those childhood days when the neighborhood kids got together for a backyard game of football. We divided into teams, decided who would play what position and then began to make up our own plays. Plays could be drawn up in the dirt or the quarterback could simply tell his receiver to run down the field twenty yards and head toward the trash can. As coaches, we are sometimes obsessed with the X’s and O’s of the game. We go to clinics, read books and pick coaches’ brains to come up with plays that can make our team better. While the plays are important, so are the athletes we teach to execute those plays. Are we providing the spiritual strength our players need? Coaches have the opportunity to influence and change lives. Coaches can be the great “multipliers”! It’s up to us to teach in such a way that will strengthen and encourage others to carry on as competent teachers when we are long gone.

The Apostle Paul knew his time was short and he had faithfully taught Timothy to carry on the ministry. Timothy was also responsible for preparing others to carry on as teachers of the gospel when his days were over. 2 Timothy 2:2 is telling us the importance of making disciples. As Christian coaches, we should teach the game, but also provide the spiritual strength our athletes need. We should strive to share the truths that will make them faithful men and women, who in turn will be able to teach others how to live for Jesus Christ. I have heard it said this way, “We can choose to be role models OR parole models. Think about it!

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