Tag: coaches lives

Athletes Who Choose

Athletes Who Choose

athletes who choose

An educator made a comment recently as we discussed the transition to e-learning and the impact on older students. It’s one I hadn’t considered before. She said past a certain point in a child’s education teachers do not educate, students choose to learn. Her point was that a teacher can stand and give a lecture, require as many assignments as necessary for a concept to become second nature, and even if a student completes the assignments correctly that doesn’t ensure they’re learning.

We Absorb What We Want to Retain

Think about how many songs you know the lyrics to and how quickly you can recall the melody to sing along when you hear the song on the radio. Do you pause to consider the story of the lyrics? Are the words sinking in as you’re singing them? Or are you enjoying the melody? Depending on the genre of music you prefer this may not be a big deal. However, I’ll pause with me to imagine a room full of elementary age summer camp children singing the latest Justin Bieber hit Yummy. (Or can we say Yucky?)

This same principle applies to athletics. It’s always an athlete’s choice to listen. Coaches can have players watch film, repeat plays until they become second nature, run them through drills, and try to show them the bigger picture of the game plan. But if an athlete only focuses on how the play will impact them at that moment the team will find themselves in a disappointing or shall we say yucky situation.

Athletes Who Choose to Engage

Athletes who choose to engage in the process of learning the why and how will find themselves at a much greater advantage than those who simply memorize the plays, call signs, or running routes.

Athletes who choose to stay in the weight room to encourage their teammates after their lifting session rather than hanging off or stepping out to of the room keeping their attention focused on themselves will build team connections. Relationships are built over time. Leaders establish themselves as they build teammates up rather than tearing them down.

Athletes who choose to engage in the classroom let themselves up for success. Students with higher GPAs will find college much more affordable. This extends the opportunity to continue their sport after high school.

Athletes who choose to engage will find themselves enjoying the journey. Sure, the daily grind of practice is rarely defined as fun every day. However, the people who are more than teammates, those who become brothers, they make the experience memorable.

Athletes Who Choose to Be Coachable

Athletes have the opportunity to engage with their coaches and continue to learn about their sports rather than deciding they know enough to get through the game. Coachable athletes aren’t satisfied with their technique or speed. Rather, they know that with the help of an outside perspective there are adjustments that can be made to improve their abilities.

Coaches see the big picture, they have more experience to lend to the the big picture on the field or court. They understand the physical, mental, and emotional game. They also understand the strategies necessary to compete. When athletes choose to believe their coaches voices are ones to engage with beyond absorbing the information great things happen.

Just like my educator friend explained about students, at some point an athlete must choose to continue to grow. This isn’t a decision anyone else can make. However, athletes who choose to engage will thrive.

Praying in Dark Seasons

Praying in Dark Seasons

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today. Here’s a preview:

“‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24 NIV).

A friend recently texted and asked me to join her in praying for a miracle. She sent me a list with specific dates and a few details. As each day on the calendar arrived, we messaged to touch base. I prayed expectantly, hopefully, anxiously, and tearfully as the weeks passed.

Many times, a message with an update would leave me speechless. Disappointment is never easy to respond to in a text, and then we would learn a few days later that hope was still on the horizon. As I cried out for my sweet friend, my prayers continued to come back to a few sentences: “God, she needs to see you show up here.” “She needs to see you create beauty from ashes.” “God, she needs a miracle.” “God, please!”

The more I prayed, the more I realized that where I was praying “she” in the depths of my heart I was whispering “I.” The truth is that I also longed to see a miracle. I wanted to see God create beauty from ashes.

Dark seasons weigh heavily on us. In the Bible, we learn about the lives of Joseph, Naomi, Ruth, and Job, just to name a few, who all go through long, hard times. We also see God show up in their lives and move in amazing ways. Joseph, for example, acknowledges that his years of slavery in Egypt were for a greater purpose.

Keep reading over here

How to Get through the Hardest Seasons

How to Get through the Hardest Seasons

How to Get through the Hardest Seasons

“This season is sucking the life out of us.”

“I don’t know how much more we can take.”

“I don’t even know what to say anymore.”

Recently these sentiments have crossed my messages and I’ve found myself passing along the same advice a few times. It seems that for one reason or another this year is a particularly exhausting one for coaching families.

Those that have winning records are still dealing with parents who are angry over playing time or have coaches on staff causing chaos. Teams with losing records are just downright exhausted and this has left many coaches’ wives feeling the tension in the stands and at home.

Football is often all-consuming for a family simply because of the long hours coaches put in between practice, film, weight room, and team building. This doesn’t even include the requirements of a high school or middle school coach’s teaching job which usually makes up the majority of his salary.

It’s important to remember that just because something takes up a lot of calendar time does not mean it has to consume every aspect of your life. Hard football seasons do not need to be life crisis seasons.

Life is About More than Football

It may not feel like it during the season, but your husband is more than a football coach. When the season is hard and things require you all to dig a little deeper and give a little more it’s important to remember that there WILL be an end to the madness. You will get your weekends back if only for a little while. You will have a reprieve from football practices and the critical fans in the stands who can’t understand that the play on the field that was poorly executed was likely not the supposed to go that way. And while watching film doesn’t seem to ever end, the need to breakdown film in the middle of the night will also stop in a few weeks.

Try to create time and space for things other than football:

  • Try to create space to talk about things other than football during the day. As if something funny happened in class or talk about a podcast you listened to that day.
  • Find a show to watch on Netfilx together or take a walk and enjoy being outside away from an athletic field.
  • Consider planning a weekend away to decompress after the season and talk about the fun things you will do when you are away.
  • Save up some spending money and invest in a hobby other than football. Does your husband like to hunt? Send him on a guys trip. Does he collect something? Create space for him to add to the collection and time to go find a new piece. Does he like to build things? Find a new item you need him to create.
  • Find time for him to spend with your kids. Head to the park or go swimming.
  • Remind him that he is more than a Coach and every part is important.

Make Time for Church

The easiest thing to give up when life is hard is church. It’s easy to convince yourself that Sunday mornings sleeping is better than going to church where you have to face people asking questions about Friday night’s loss. But in reality, you will all feel better when you take time to stop wallowing and focus on God.

Does your church offer small groups? Are they at a time when you can attend? If you can, make this a priority. It’s worth it to be around people who will help you focus on God rather than football as much as possible. If your church is like ours and the times don’t align consider seeking out an FCA Chaplin. You may be able to meet over a lunch hour or after practice.

Remember Your Why

“People don’t buy “what” you do, they buy “why” you do it” – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is famous in the marketing world for encouraging people to “start with why.” While his original premise was about helping people understand that they have to believe in the greater purpose behind the mission of a company, the reality is we the same applies internally.

We need to have a larger purpose behind why we are doing something or we are unlikely to stick with it when things get hard. If coaching is about wins and losses it’s not going to stick.

If football is about influencing the next generation you start to see a greater why. When coaching includes teaching principles of life such as how to dig deeper and band together when things are hard or how to communicate as a team, step up and be a servant leader, and model integrity even under pressure then it’s likely to keep everyone focused on the bigger picture.

Extend Grace to Each Other

While nothing will make a tough season “easy” a shift in perspective can make it something you can endure. The great thing about sports that at the end of every season the record resets. Hopefully, the team will be motivated to work harder in the off-season. But not before you get some well-deserved rest and quality time as a family first.

In the meantime, remember you guys are the Hometeam and regardless of what’s happening on the field and at practice, it doesn’t need to affect what happens in your home. Choose to speak with kinder words to each other. Choose to give each other space when you need it, and find ways to laugh together.

Understand that there will still be hard days. Choose to love each other through them. For better or worse wasn’t added in wedding vows by a former coach that I know of, but that commitment certainly applies in this situation!

We all have hard seasons in our careers. Some are more public than others. In the long run, even the most public and powerful jobs are just that, jobs. So hang in there and remember, the record book will reset in a few weeks.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

Favorite Gifts for Your Favorite Coach

Father’s Day is next week! There are so many awesome coach themed gift options these days. Today I’m sharing gifts of all ranges for your favorite coach on Father’s Day.

Here are my Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Practical Gifts for His Career

Rocketbook I’m always looking for a way to curb the scrap paper doodles. The great thing about the Rocketbook is that it’s reusable AND transfers doodles from paper to computer.

Polarized Sunglasses Every coach who coaches outside needs excellent quality sunglasses. WebMD explains ” The sun gives off UV radiation that you can’t see or feel. In small doses, it boosts vitamin D. But too much of it can cause problems like sunburn and skin cancer. It can also damage your eyes.” So don’t be afraid to grab a few pairs and spend a little money.

personalized clipboard

This personalized clipboard/dry erase board is adorable but also increases the chances of your husband coming home with his whiteboard after the game!

Check out this engraved whistle too!

Gifts for His Hobby

What does your favorite coach love to do in his few minutes of free time? Fish? Hike? Read? Play video games? Head to the movies? Create a gift that tells him you understand he needs to rest and relax.

  • Fill a tackle box with fishing supplies and buy his fishing license for the year.
  • Pack a bag with snacks and plan a great day hike.
  • Get him that headset gamers say is a must have even though he will barely use it.

Time Away

When your life feels like non-stop crazy one of the best gifts you can give is time away. Block the calendar and sneak out of town with or without the kids. Even driving 30 minutes away can provide an opportunity to explore new restaurants and have a date without interruptions!!

There you have it! By the way, I don’ t have any affiliate links in this post! Just one girlfriend helping out another! Hope you have a great Father’s Day with your favorite coach this year!

Why I Don’t Pray for Wins

Why I Don’t Pray for Wins

A discussion about praying for winsWhy I Don't Pray for Wins came up the other day. The consensus of the group was that while God isn’t a good luck charm, he always wants the “good guys” to win and can intercede if we pray hard enough. I took a deep breath and bit my tongue as I pictured the scene from the movie Bruce Almighty. 

If you’re not familiar with the movie it’s worth watching. The part I pictured is where Bruce is given the powers and responsibilities of God. He takes a shortcut on dealing with prayers and answers yes to every prayer from every person.

Chaos begins as everyone who prayed to win the lottery does, so they each get something like a penny. Multiple people are offered the same jobs and so on.

The point is, that we can’t assume when we want something that we’re the only ones praying for it to swing in our favor. Additionally, it’s likely that both sides view themselves as “the good guys” since that’s a subjective view in a world where all sin is equal.

The truth is that God is not a good luck charm, nor a puppet. And just as he has free will, he has given us the gift to choose what we do and how we do things, it’s why a relationship with him is the foundation of faith. And that is also the reason I don’t pray for wins.

Winning as an Answer to Prayer Means:

  • Weightlifting doesn’t matter
  • Practice is a waste of time
  • Players don’t need to be coachable because it doesn’t matter what technique they use
  • Working as a team is irrelevant
  • Cheating shouldn’t be penalized (I mean, if that gets the win then God is okay with it!)

You get the picture right? Besides the fact that it’s very likely both teams have someone praying for a win when it comes to athletic competition we cannot take a passive role and expect God to step in and give us what we want.

How I Pray

I don’t pray for wins, but I still pray for our team and for our competitions.

  • I pray our players will stay injury free
  • I pray those that are injured will heal correctly and quickly
  • I pray our team will play their hardest
  • I pray the coaches will stay healthy
  • I pray for excellent discernment for the refs
  • I pray for safety traveling
  • I pray the players will apply themselves in the classroom

I cannot control which team is stronger. That’s determined by the amount of weightlifting the players do in combination with their age and genetics. I cannot control which team keeps their cool and which one acts a fool and frankly, teams that pick fights and play cheap do not deserve to win even if they pray. Finally, I cannot control which players are academically ineligible. So instead of praying for a win, I pray that the effort of preparation will reveal itself with every competition. 

Ultimately isn’t that what should happen in an athletic competition? Don’t we all feel better when the team that plays better on that day wins? So, instead of blaming God for a loss let’s take a step back and encourage our athletes to do some self-reflection. What is in their control that can improve the chances of winning? Let’s start there, and let the rest of the details fall where they may.

 

The High School Side of Signing Day

The High School Side of Signing Day

Football and Family Coaches Wives are not single parents

Even with the addition of an early signing day in December the beginning of February marks the time when football families around the country rejoice. Hopefully, with players announcing their commitments team numbers will look strong enough at this point that families get their coaches back for a few additional hours until spring ball starts.

 

This is our first time on the high school side of things, and this year it’s pretty anti-climatic. Players have either decided they won’t play football in college or haven’t yet committed to a specific team.

On the High School Side of Signing Day

On the high school side, there are a lot of opportunities to help players and former players connect with the teams and colleges that have the potential to be a good fit. Since the average guidance counselor will see a student less than 1% of their total time in school, a coach is going to have a better idea of what direction to point a student.

Additionally, it’s likely that over the years relationships have developed between coaches who recruit the same areas of the country. This means that high school coaches can learn about the way football programs are run. Coaching philosophies change with coaching staffs, and some players will thrive where others will wither.

Leading up to signing day at football coach can also tell a recruiter who they should avoid. Is your kid known to cause division? A recruiter wants to know that so they don’t waste their time.

The Actual Signing

One of the fun things that a high school coach may be invited to participate in is a signing day picture or announcement. Since some levels of football don’t allow college coaches to be in pictures and it’s nice to have a high school coach present.

It’s a fun ceremony that symbolizes the changing of the guard for the player, but for the team, this happened months before.

Hello vs. Goodbye

Regardless of when a player makes a college commitment or where they choose to continue their career, it’s a big deal for the player and his family. The opportunity to cheer former team members on is always fun, and the high school signing day is one way that happens.

Ultimately, signing day on the college side is about saying hello and welcome to the family. On the high school side, it’s about saying goodbye. We all know the difference in emotions between a hello and a goodbye. Some goodbyes are easier than others, but in athletics it’s unavoidable. On the high school side we celebrate what was and say see ya later which makes signing day less exciting for this coach’s wife.

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