Coach Walk’s Corner

I’ve listened to Ordell present leadership development talks for years. I’ve finally convinced him to record some of his thoughts about the coaching life. On Coach Walk’s Corner, Ordell answers questions from coaches and shares his wisdom and insights about the challenges coaches face on and off the athletic fields. Ordell brings with him over twenty years of coaching experience combined at both the college and high school levels.

What I love most is that my husband is that he understands the tremendous impact coaches have on the generations of athletes they encounter and he doesn’t shy away from speaking directly about the need to press into the mission and ministry of coaching.

Lies Christian Coaches Believe: God is Part of MY Team

Key Coaching Ministry Take-Aways:

Coaches get their roles reversed with God’s role and get trapped in the cycle of thinking that God is part of their team rather than rulers of the universe.

Coaches can take a posture of expectation with God that they shouldn’t be asked to do difficult things. “I’ve paid my dues, you owe me.”

Coaches need to remember that their vocation is a calling. Every player God places in your path is a Holy Interruption.

Lies Christian Coaches Believe: God is Like Santa Claus

Key Leadership Development Take-Aways

Many times we interact with God is like we believe he is Santa Claus. “He’s making a list, checking it twice, finding out which coach is naughty or nice.”

We may not say it out loud, but our actions reveal we think that this is how God works: If I behave then I get what I want (which for coaches is to win.)

Reading through the book of Proverbs alone it’s easy to assume that our world generally moves at a cause-and-effect pace.

Lies Christian Coaches Believe: I Don’t Have Enough Time

Key Leadership Development Take-Aways

It’s time to take a hard look at your calendar and ask yourself one question: Does your schedule reflect faith, family, then football?

Just because you say “Faith, Family, Football” doesn’t mean you’re really faith family football.

Time is the real indicator of your values.

Seeks first the kingdom of God. And all these things will be added. We must have a relationship with God, not a transaction. We cannot have a legalistic mindset.

Lies Christian Coaches Believe: What You Do Determines Your Identity

Key Leadership Development Take-Aways

This week Coach Walk spends time talking about identity. Coaches often tie their identity to the scoreboard even if they think winning isn’t the “most” important thing. When the losses come the truth comes out. But for Christian coaches God there is a different standard.

Ephesians 1:4-5 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Lies Christian Coaches Believe: Winning Improves My Witness

Key Leadership Development Take Aways

Lies Christian Coaches Believe
Lie Number One: Winning improves my witness. No, it doesn’t. Winning gives you a bigger microphone.

Top 3 Ways to Truly Improve Your Witness

  • How you live your life when you don’t think anyone is looking improves your witness.
  • The testimony of your influence in the lives of your players improves your witness.
  • Your secret prayers are what empower your witness.

You may win while serving God. But you cannot serve God and winning.

How to Hire the Right Fit

Key Coaching Philosophy Take-Aways

How do you hire the right people for your culture?

First, get rid of the basic questions.

Figure out how people think and then ask questions they aren’t expecting.

Present Scenarios

  • Example: You’ve never coached the goalies. If assigned that role how would you go about learning how to be competent?
  • Take the toughest scenarios you’ve dealt with as a coach or heard about and create questions based from real life situations.
  • Take time to figure out how to you ask questions in such a way that there are no right answers.

What is an Afterglow?

Hey coaches, what do you do with your team after the game is over? Do you have a structure? An Afterglow is a great way to pull the whole team together to celebrate individual and team success. Depending on your school, you may even have the opportunity to include the fans in the stands.

Key Coaching Ministry Take-Aways:

Not only is an Afterglow a great way to celebrate players that are overlooked by people who don’t understand the nuances of the sport but it’s a chance to acknowledge players publicly in front of their families.

How Can Coaches’ Wives Best Support Coaches?

We covered a lot of subjects in this two-part interview. Today Coach Walker and Beth and answering the question “How can coaches’ wives best support coaches?” We talk about this question as it relates to life on the field, as ministry partners, and at different points in their careers.

Key Coaching Ministry Take-Aways:

  • The head coach gets to define the terms of engagement.
  • Don’t get caught up with definitions. Cultures use the same words but have different meanings.
  • Unspoken expectations are premeditated resentments.
  • This program is a family. Learn what the head coaches’ definition of family is.
  • Work to really learn and understand what the head coach’s expectation.

Be Committed to:

#1 No spouse drama.

#2 No crowd drama.
You have your own opinion but when you share it outside the program people will assume it’s the coaches’ opinion.

Wives as Ministry Partners Can Significantly Support their Husbands:

  • Choose to be ministry partners
  • Help him team build
  • Birthdays reminders
  • Parent communication
  • Co-lead
  • Be their support, not their protector

PS- Coach Walk mentions a resource Lessons from the Sidelines. You can learn more here.

What are the things Players Should Leave a Program Understanding Part 3

Key Coaching Philosophy Take-Aways

Whatever you emphasize and talk about most is what your players will understand when they leave your program.

7. Hater’s Manifesto (“Hated it”)

People fill what is lacking and they deflate what is full… so be humble

8. Selfless Not Selfish

Babies think the world revolves around them. If they don’t learn it doesn’t, they will destroy their relationships. 
Philippians 2:4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
If you are the kind of person who can be selfless- meaning you don’t just consider your own interest but the interest of others you will have many prosperous relationships.

9. Figure it Out!

Accept full responsibility for your life with no excuses. The buck stops with you. Figure it out!

No matter what happens in your life take full responsibility, with no excuses. When you are responsible, you have an opportunity to change any circumstance. When you don’t take responsibility, you leave your circumstances in the power of someone else who may or may not fix it. No matter what, Figure it Out.

3 Questions to Get You Started:

What are you talking about the most? Ask your players and coaches in your self-evaluation process.
What are your buzz words? 
Are you testing them? 

What are the Things Players Should Leave Your Program Understanding? (Part 2 of 3)

Key Coaching Philosophy Take-Aways

4. Love is a Verb

You see a need, You have resources for the need, You Act 

Jam 2:15-16 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day: stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

5. Uncommon Work Ethic

The work is finished when it is done correctly; not when the clock expires

Players should understand that a great work ethic is not tied to a clock or attempted repetitions. An uncommon work ethic is only concerned with the question “Was the job complete correctly?”

6. Adversity Reveals

Adversity exposes the real you. Do you fight or flight? Learn to be a fighter.

Adversity is a great teacher. It will reveal what kind of person you really are. We may think we are the kind of person that doesn’t quit. But you will only know that when you face real adversity. You may think you know how to persevere. But you won’t be tested until you face adversity. Players should understand how to treat adversity as a teaching tool to learn how to persevere. Adversity is a reality of the human experience. Let’s learn how to persevere instead of learning how to be a quitter.

What are the Things Players Should Leave Your Program Understanding? Part 1 of 3

Key Coaching Philosophy Take-Aways

Whatever you talk about most is what your players will understand when they leave your program.

  • It doesn’t matter what posters you put up
  • It doesn’t matter what handouts are in your playbook
  • It doesn’t matter what you say to parents

If you aren’t constantly talking about those things, players are not likely to leave your program with an understanding of what you care about as a program. In this video, Coach Walker presents 3 key points of his coaching philosophy.

1. Courage or Coward

You’re only enacting courage when you’re afraid. The coward uses fear as an excuse. The courageous move forward even though fear is present.

We all have fears, anxiety, uncertainty in some area of our life. However, that is not an excuse not to act. We want the player to be courageous in spite of the fears that have.

2. Attitude Of Gratitude

When you fail to express gratitude you communicate ingratitude.

I want players to understand the power of gratitude and how it works. If you fail to say thank you or show appreciation for something someone else has done you are likely communicating ingratitude to that person. That’s probably not what you want.

3. Commitment over Comfort

Your feelings are the enemies of your dreams.

Our feelings and emotions are always changing. Motivation comes and goes. Don’t rely on your motivation to act. If you do, your feelings will become an enemy to the goals you have. Feelings aren’t behaviors. You can always act in a way that is counter to how you feel.

Culture is King

Are your team captains and your team leaders always the same people?

Ideally, however, what do you do when the main influencers on your team aren’t leaders? 

You better have influence on the people who influence your culture.

How Do You Balance X’s & O’s with Ministry?

Key Take-Aways for Leadership Development

  • Ministry is the Job. But you are paid for the X’s and O’s. This can be a challenging thing to balance if you don’t keep ministry as your foundation.
  • Winning is an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. Even when you win you will eventually be criticized for how you win.
  • When you have the choice, hire ministry oriented coaches.
  • Then train and evaluate them.
  • Schedule ministry first then build your X’s & O’s around it.
  • Coaches without a ministry mindset will get in the way of your team’s vision.
  • Learn to clearly articulate where you are headed.

Coaches! Looking for the Perfect Gift for Your Wife?

Check out Lessons from the Sidelines:

lessons from the sidelines book cover

Public life can be lonely, even when you are living on mission. We all need a cheerleader from time to time, and Lessons from the Sidelines aims to be just that. As the wife of a football coach, Beth Walker encourages women whose families are in the public eye to pursue their own callings even as they support their husbands’ careers and ministries. Through her own personal stories as well as interviews with other women who are also living just outside their husbands’ limelight, Beth shows it’s possible to do both.