You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.
Enter into the joy of your master.”
– Matthew 25:21 (ESV)
In coaching and life, our perspective on success often changes as we gain experience. That’s probably just a nice way of saying we get smarter as we get older. One of the true success stories in high school football belongs to Coach Roger Barta and the Redmen of Smith Center, Kansas. Coach Barta is a legend in western Kansas and became known across the country as his teams put together a 79-game win streak and won five straight state championships from 2004-2008. When asked about his coaching philosophy Coach Barta said, “Respect each other, then learn to love each other, and together we are champions.” While winning football games is important to Barta, he emphasizes to his players and community the importance of working hard and getting a little better each , both as an athlete and as a person.
Success is defined as “the peace of mind that comes from knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” When we first begin coaching, winning is so important. If we aren’t careful, we can let the scoreboard consume us and determine the way we relate to those we coach. Coach Barta’s definition of success is to raise the town’s children well and send kids into life who know that every day means something. The Apostle Paul gave everything he had to every task. Yes, he stumbled at times, but he didn’t quit, drop out or give in. his faith never wavered. He worked hard and got a little bit better each day. When his life was finished, he heard the words we all long to hear one day, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Now that is true success!
Heavenly Father, help me to see success as You see it. Teach me Lord, to go beyond the scoreboard and to grasp the much bigger task You have called me to. Amen.