Today’s post comes to us from Dennis Scott. Coach Scott is currently the head golf coach at NCCAA Division I Bob Jones University. To list Coach Scott’s accomplishments would be a blog post in and of itself; to learn more about him click here. Many of you are already familiar with Coach Scott and his work with the Coaches Sports Philosophy Network. If that’s the case, then you may have already read this article on his blog. However, we would encourage you to read it again, and participate in TheAthleticDirectors.com #thankacoach activity. Instructions are at the end of the article! Looking forward to hearing from everyone.
Odds are that if you’re reading this, you once had a coach that made a lasting impact on your life. It probably didn’t take long for the name of a coach to pop into your mind, did it?
Someone once told me,
When you stop to think, you will start to thank.”
Recently, I received a thank you note from a former player I had coached in college. Now he is in a key leadership position in ministry and it was a blessing to read how God had worked in his life and brought him through some difficult times. He was thanking me for some fellowship we had during those rough circumstances in his job and how those few days together had been an encouragement to him.
After reading his note, I was also challenged to think about people for whom I should be thankful. My thoughts were brought back to my high school golf coach, “Hack.” Yep, “Hack.” What a great name for a golf coach!
His real name was Mr. Harry Ramseyer, but very few people called him Mr. Ramseyer and no one dared call him “Harry!” A few athletes called him “Coach,” but most of us who knew him and loved him, just called him “Hack.” That’s what he wanted us to call him.
What an impact he had on my life! He was always willing to confront and correct bad character which had often manifested itself in bad behavior. One time he told me,
You’ll never be a good golfer because you can’t control your temper!”
He was right. I didn’t know how to “rule my spirit” on the golf course and that carried over to other areas of my life.
As a Christian, I was convicted and challenged by that thought. I wanted to be a good golfer and began to realize that I couldn’t dwell on that last shot whether it was really good or really bad. Getting angry or frustrated with an unfortunate result, which sometimes happens even after a well-planned and well-played shot, causes all golfers to lose focus. Hack was telling me I had to forget about what had just happened and prepare for the next shot.
Hack’s willingness to confront my frustrated and sometimes angry spirit on the golf course made a huge difference in my life.
Sad to say, I didn’t even think about my testimony as a believer and my responsibility as a coach until years later. Quite a few verses speak to this topic; here’s two:
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. -Proverbs 16:32
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. – Proverbs 25:28
God convicted me of my own anger and frustration as a coach and led me to claim a coaching ministry verse which was to become a constant reminder to me and has been now for over 30 years of coaching.
God used James 1:20 to challenge me about my purpose in being a coach. It became my life verse for my coaching ministry.
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
If you also read verse 19, the Bible reminds us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.”
Through these verses, I began to realize that if I was going to have an eternal impact on my athletes, I couldn’t be spewing my wrath over them when they made mistakes or didn’t do things exactly the way I wanted them done.
My whole perspective on coaching changed. In order to make an eternal impact on these young athletes I realized that I needed to model Jesus Christ before them. At the same time I also needed to biblically confront wrong attitudes and bad behavior in order to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord through the experiences of athletic competition.
This is one of our goals at CSPN. We hope coaches will consider how God can use them to make an “eternal impact” on a new generation of athletes.
Thank you Hack, for the difference you made in my life.
TheAthleticDirectors.com #thankacoach activity
TheAthleticDirectors.com encourages you to tweet a thank-you to a coach that made a difference in your life. Do it even if that coach isn’t on twitter. We’d like to see the impact that coaches like Coach Scott’s have had on our current generation of coaches. Tweet @theADsonline and use the hashtags #ADgrind and #thankacoach!