Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Faith and Fantasyland!

Posted by admin September - 21 - 2011 - Wednesday

This is a reaction to a couple of articles I recently read on “faith.” This is the Word of the Week (Faith) for our team so I thought it was appropriate.

A lot of people have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to goals and dreams. The saying, “If you believe it, you will achieve it,” is simply NOT true. Ever watched American Idol during the first try-outs? Some of the “singers” (and I use that term loosely!) are clueless when it come to their ability. They are awful! And when they’re told by the judges that they have no talent, these wannabe singing stars pitch a fit and say, “That’s just your opinion. I’m an awesome singer.” We all need a reality check. Faith is not fantasy. It’s not “mind over matter.” It’d be nice if the attitude of “I’ll just show up at the right place at the right time and my dream will come true” were true. But it isn’t.

Emerson once stated: “Shallow men believe in luck… strong men believe in cause and effect.” When our God gives us a dream, that’s different! We need faith to bring it to pass. So the question we need to ask ourselves is, “Is my dream from God? When it it, you will be provided with the necessary gifts, talents and resources to fulfill it. When God gives us a dream, He gives us all that’s needed.

and… this point really impacted me: The more UNrealistic your dream, the more you’ll be tempted to depend upon things that you cannot control (such as luck!) We need to balance the boldness of dreaming with the reality of our situation.

Yes, I agree that we need to reach beyond what we think we’re capable of; but, at the same time, base what we do on our strengths and other factors within our control. The more concerned we become with things we cannot control, the less we’ll do to improve the things we CAN control. And when we do that, we live in Fantasyland. When God gives us a dream, it will play to our strengths.

I have a team of young men who are as motivated and hard-working as any high school football team I’ve ever coached. Unfortunately, we have gotten off to a bad start. We are currently 0-3… while leading in 2 of those games in the 3rd quarter. We simply lack the skill-level and experience right now to compete for 48 minutes against the teams we’ve faced so far this season. We were the underdog in all 3 games and battled like mad… we just couldn’t finish. I know some of the guys are disappointed with our start. They had dreams of conference and state championships. What I’m learning from this experience is that we are constantly being tested and refined. We face a situation where we have to re-evaluate the goal or dream that we have and decide if it is a “realistic” goal or just fantasyland? My job is to continue to motivate, challenge and encourage these kids to prepare properly (mentally and physically), keep a good attitude and work hard during our preparation (practices) so that we are ready to give our best this coming Friday.

I would never want to be the one to dash the dreams of a teenager. Reality is the best teacher. God works through these hard times to teach us things about ourselves, life in general (life is a “test!”) and… Him. I know He is with us; guiding us; holding us up. God WILL make a way when there seems to be no way. As the Bible says in Isaiah, “those who trust (wait) in the Lord… shall RENEW their strength.”

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