“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
Every one of us can recite the names of coaches that have had an impact on our lives. These men and women believed in us and instilled the confidence in us to attempt things we didn’t think we were capable of. If you were creating a Mt. Rushmore of Coaches, whose faces would be there? When you finish answering that question, take a minute to think about how these men and women coached. What did they do that made them special in your eyes? What did it feel like to be coached by them? Now, let’s look at another important question. What does it feel like to be coached by YOU? Odds are most of us never spent much time thinking about that. In his book, Inside/Out Coaching, Joe Ehrmann states that his highest values as a coach are empathy, kindness and service to others. Let’s go a little deeper.
- Empathy – Empathy creates the foundation for a player to feel known, understood, and accepted for his/her authentic self. Empathy allows me to see what my players see, what they feel, and walk in their shoes.
- Kindness – Ehrmann teaches his players that kindness has a ten-word vocabulary. One word—“Please.” Two words—“Thank you.” Three words—“I love you.” Four words—“Can I help you.” This vocabulary is one of affirmation and lets his players know he believes in them.
- Service – Service to others is empathy and kindness put into action. No matter how well we communicate, players gauge what we really value by our actions.
Ehrmann concludes that once a value is actualized, it becomes a virtue: a character trait of moral excellence. My value is empathy—the virtue is to empathically understand by players. My value is kindness—the virtue is showing kindness toward my players at every practice. My value is service-the virtue is serving others beyond myself.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the calling to coach. Help me understand the impact I have on the lives of others. Mold me and shape me today to be more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.