Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Never Go Back”

Posted by admin January - 27 - 2015 - Tuesday

We had our church’s (Community Church @ Western Branch, by the way… BEST group of folks ever!!!) annual Group Leaders’ Retreat last weekend at a hotel on the oceanfront at Virginia Beach. The church was nice enough to pick up the tab!!! (We love our Staff Pastors!) The weather outside was not conducive to going up on the beach but what was going on inside in the conference room trumped the walk on the beach any ole time!!

Our Lead Pastor, Michael Brueseke (yes… that is how you spell it!!!), taught our training sessions from a book by Dr. Henry Cloud. It’s title is Never Go Back. The subtitle is: “10 Things You’ll Never Do Again.” WOW!!! After listening to Pastor Michael’s teaching from Dr. Cloud’s book, I knew I had to get a copy. I have only gotten into the first chapter and I’m already amazed at what the author is teaching. I feel that this book is so important that I wanted to go ahead and post this so those of you who are interested can get a copy. Of note… though Dr. Cloud is a Christian, the book is written for the general public. I would not classify it as a “Christian” book. Cloud is a businessman and writes from a businessman’s perspective. In other words, the information in this powerful book is applicable to anyone in any walk of life.

He shares in the Introduction that “… in the first part of this book, we’ll explore ten key realizations about behaviors and thought patterns that hold us back and keep us from our goals. When you actually ‘get‘ the principles in the first part of the book, and then implement the helps you’ll find in the second part, you will never want to go back to your old ways— you will be forever different.”

The principles that Pastor Michael taught on at the Retreat were: you will never again: 1- return to what hasn’t worked in the past; 2- do anything that requires you to be someone else; 3- try to change another person; 4- choose short-term benefit over long-term benefit (I heard it expressed as Short-term gain… long-term pain! OR short-term pain… long-term gain!); 5- * remember now… we are talking about “things we will never do again!!!) fail to ask why you are where you are; and 6- take your eyes off the big picture.

I had the opportunity at the closing of the Retreat to get up and share with the group which principle impacted me the most. I shared about: I will never go back to… Failing to ask why you are where you are! I explained that 4 years ago I knew that God wanted me coaching football at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. That was quite clear. I just wasn’t sure why! I’ve loved working with this great bunch of young men and enjoyed getting to know and respect a wonderful group of caring parents… but, I wondered if it went further than just me being blessed!!??!! We’ve had our up’s and down’s through the four years but we’ve hung together and always bounced back.

I shared with my fellow Group Leaders that the second year at NSA, one of our players suffered an unimaginable tragedy. He got home after school to find his mom dead on the kitchen floor of multiple stab wounds. He heard the car running in the garage so he dashed out there only to find his dad dead in the car from carbon monoxide poisoning… and bloody knife in his hand. The next year, one of our player’s mom died of cancer right after the season ended. Again, I tried to be there to comfort the young man and console the family. Finally, just this past season a second player lost his mom to cancer too. So much pain for such a small school to deal with. All of it on our football team.

Standing in the Reception Hall at First Baptist Church of Suffolk after the funeral this past fall, I commented to the pastor of the church (who is also our Fellowship of Christian Athletes Chaplain) that, “I just don’t get it, pastor. This has been overwhelming. I feel so bad for the families. I wish there was more I could do.” He looked at me and said, “Lew, this is exactly why God called you to be these guys’ head coach. You are just who God needed to be here for these boys in their time of need.” It was a “Holy Spirit Moment” for me. It became abundantly clear “why I was where I was!” God placed me there just for this ministry. I am humbled but at the same time proud to be the Head Football Coach at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

I finished sharing at the retreat and sat down… hoping that I had clearly expressed what this principle from Dr. Cloud’s teaching can mean for one’s life. I will never again fail to ask why you are where you are. I encourage all of you to read this book! More later as I finish reading it.

One Response to ““Never Go Back””

  1. Coach Y says:

    Great post coach, I will definitely check out the book. Take care!

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