Saturday, December 27, 2008


Well, Christmas is over and once again the all of the opened gifts are spread out around the house. As it is every year, the jigsaw puzzle is spread out in pieces on the coffee table in the process of completion (with just the border done) and the box top that reveals what the completed puzzle will look like is lying on the floor next to it for constant reference. Looking at that box top, I thought "Wow, imagine trying to put that thing together without having that picture to look back upon as a guide". I then realized that many of us attempt to live our lives (or at least parts of it) just that way. We attempt to walk through different areas of our lives without the top of the box to look at, or without a VISION of what we, or more importantly what GOD really wants the outcome or completed picture to look like.

As baseball & softball coaches, I believe that many of us lack an overall vision or "big picture" as to what we truly want to acheive with our teams and the athletes that we coach and influence. Therefore, we often miss the mark and fail to reach the full potential of the platform that GOD has given to us as a coach.

A vision is a destination. It is the big picture of where you want to end up. The clearer your vision, the fewer options that you have and the easier that it is when it comes time to make a decisions. Vision is a mental image of what could be and maybe should be in regard to the different areas of your life.

We are all within a few weeks of starting back with our teams and preparing for the upcoming spring season. I want to encourage and challenge each of you to start thinking about and praying about the vision that GOD wants for you as a coach for this upcoming season. As you begin to ask those questions and also draw on the resources that you already have, I believe that you will begin to develop a mental picture of what could be and what you believe SHOULD be the direction in which your team is to go this season. I believe that as the vision for your team becomes clearer, the options that you have as a coach will get fewer and the decisions that you will need to make will get easier. Remember..If you have the top of the box to look at, it makes putting the pieces together so much easier.

So, what is the vision for your team? What does the big picture look like? How does GOD want to use you as a coach? Here are three things that I believe will help each of you as you go forward into the beginning of a new season.

1) Begin to pray for GOD to give you a clear vision as to what HE wants to achieve through you as a coach this season. Begin to develop the top of the puzzle box.

2) WRITE THE VISION DOWN! Just a simple sentence or a short paragraph is all that is needed to say "Here is what I want to achieve with and through my team this season".

3) Act accordingly. Begin making your decisions based on your vision and do not stray from it.

I believe that through this process, you can fully achieve great things using the platform given to you as Coach.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

If You Get Along, They'll Go Along

God has blessed us all with many things, both material and immaterial. As we grow older and hopefully wiser, many of us begin to realize that what truly matters most during our short stay here on earth are the relationships that we cultivate while we are here. The loving bonds that we have with our families and the special bonds that we have with our close friends.

As coaches, we develop very special relationships with the athletes that we coach. Relationships that could influence our athletes as much and sometimes more so than any other person in that athletes life. Relationships that are built around trust. So...what can a coach do to manage and cultivate good relationships? Here are a few things taken from the book "The 21 Indispensable Qualities Of A Leader (Becoming The Person Others Will Want To Follow)", By John Maxwell.

1. Have A Leader’s Head – Understand People (how they think and feel)
Below are some common things found in people (coaches and athletes):
a. They like to feel special, so sincerely compliment them
b. They want a better tomorrow, so show them hope
c. They desire direction, so navigate for them
d. They are selfish, so speak to their needs first
e. They get low emotionally, so encourage them
f. They want success, so help them win

2. Have A Leader’s Heart – Have empathy for others and a keen ability to find the best in people, not the worst, by truly caring for others.

3. Extend A Leader’s Hand – Keep other’s interests in mind; focus on what you can put into people rather than what you can get out of them…they’ll love and respect you for doing so.

Remember coaches....Put the person before the player!