Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wisdom for Leaders

By Paul Banta


I know personally that I was real hard on my players from the sideline in many games.  Encouraging as well, but demanding.  I sent mixed signals.  I wish I had not coached that way.  It confused my players too much.  They saw me loving them with the passion of the game and not liking them because I was too strict.  I believe we could have won more games had I not sent mixed signals.  I think I know the answer before I get to give my account to the Lord.  I hope He takes it easy on me.  I'll just have to be prepared. 

I'm trusting God to be more loving to me than I was to my players.  It's Satan's job to try to cause you to be a complaining and critical coach.  Don't be into helping Satan do his job.  Satan is the enemy, not your players.  You need to fight him, not join him.  Imagine the amount of time you've spent in the past in criticizing your team.  That energy, used positively, could have been developed in unifying them.  You would have won more games.  I've been there and done that. 

When you make critical judgments about your players, six things immediately happen to you based on biblical principles:

1. You temporarily lose your fellowship with God.
2. You show your pride against God.
3. You show that you are insecure and not trusting God to help you get your job done through love.
4. You're held accountable and judged by God.
5. You harm the bonding of you to your players and team. 
6 .You're breaking God's heart.
Refuse to listen to information that is full of gossip and slander. Gossip is information passed on that will potentially destroy team unity. 

In Proverbs 26:20 it says,
"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." 
Gossipers have one thing in mind; destruction of unity. Gossip kills like a pesticide does to erratic unwanted roaches.  A gossiper plans out carefully how to hurt others and if not stopped right in their tracks, their words can kill the innermost parts of the emotions of a team or individual players.  You need to squash these threatening messages and you certainly are never to be part of them and encourage hurting words.  Your role is to listen to your players and team, and give words of encouragement and hope.  Gossipers can't be trusted and they need to be strongly counseled and may have to be removed.  They'll even gossip about you. 
In Proverbs 26:24 it says,

"A malicious person disguises himself with his lips, because in his heart he harbours deceit."  Verse 28 says, "A lying tongue hates those it hurts." 


Support the leadership on your team and mentor them to lead.  Be that model they will choose to follow.  Although all your players have a responsibility to get their job done and lead their part of the team, you have carefully chosen several key players on your side to help you lead and take responsibility to unify the team.  Meet with them frequently to achieve and support their helping you and their teammates. 


In Matthew chapter 18 we see that it's your responsibility to work out the faults of your players with them and come to an agreement.  You may even want to bring others into the picture to assist you.  Often small group meetings or entire team meetings can be used to work out individual or group problems.  Sometimes its better when others point out a conflict that maybe happening with the team, rather than you have to do it.  You'll be surprised how the person causing conflict will see a different picture about himself when the rest of team says, straighten up, mister.  Verse 19 of this chapter says, "If two people come together and ask for an agreement, it will be done for you both by my Father in heaven.  For several come together in my name, there I [God] will be doing it for them."  Sometimes coaches go to a third party first, rather than directly to the player who needs to be spoken to.  You're not very courageous or smart using this method.  It only makes matters worse.  You need to speak directly to the player you're upset with.  This should be done as soon as possible.


Please God and put a solid effort into this part of your coaching duties. Early effort will keep your team on target and keep them unified.  The truth is that your players are looking for love and a place to belong to express themselves to you and their teammates through the game.  Each player wants you to care for him and he needs you. Really, they are no different than family members in your household.  Players commit to you not so much because they love the game, but because they want to play for you.  What a great opportunity you have as a coach to nourish each player on your team, to bring about the unifying of each person you're coaching toward a common goal.  Even greater is the opportunity when Christ is emphasized and players come to know Him personally and grow like the Man [Jesus] they want to play for.  Your job is to image God through His Son to your players.  The road isn't an easy one but with His help and your passion for the game, you can do it. Serving the Master through sound Biblical methods to bring your players into oneness is what God has for your purpose.  Once you start to move to a more solid commitment level to serve God you'll see impacting taking place in your program.  You will have success beyond your imagination.  It's here where you'll start to realize that your impacting others comes directly from the Lord.  What is going to happen next is that Christ will turn your personal successes into significantly impacting the lives of those in your sphere. We'll be sharing that in our next two series. 
God bless and stay in the game,
Proverbs 3:5-6
Paul Banta - President/Founder of GSM International 843.235.3762 USA Office

Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

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