Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for April, 2013

God is Committed to YOU!

Posted by admin April - 24 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off on God is Committed to YOU!

When I get 2 unrelated people or sources saying the same thing to me, I start paying close attention! This is often when God is speaking to me— not in an audible voice, but through people or circumstances which I call “God-incidences” rather than coincidences. Here’s the gist of what I was hearing:

Be careful around people who don’t value themselves, because they’re incapable of valuing you.

Look for those people who enhance you, not inhibit you; who fertilize your mind, not pollute it. These are the people who will either fortify your faith or destroy it. These “enhancers”, when you’re around them, will help you see your best qualities and you will be nurtured by the words that come from their mouths. When you encounter someone who says you have nothing to offer, be sure to laugh… cuz it’s impossible to hear a joke and not have a good laugh!

When God created you He stepped back and said, “it is good. You are my masterpiece.” So I want to encourage you to stop entertaining negative opinions. Each of us has so much potential that we need to think in terms of possibilities, not negativities.

Don’t let past failures or regrets block you from this realm of possibility. God’s unconditional love is not based on your performance. So we shouldn’t run our life based on success and failure.

I have decided that I have found my “Life Anthem.” I’ll ask for it to be played at my funeral. It encompasses how I want to live my life and how I would encourage you to consider living yours! It’s a song by one of my favorite Contemporary Christian singing groups, Point of Grace. I call it “Turn Up the Music” but the real title is “How You Live.” It’s worth an internet search for the lyrics and listen to the song while the lyrics are on the screen. “Cuz it’s not who you knew or what you did, but HOW you live!!!” That’s when your life counts for something of eternal value.

What (Who) are YOU Living For?

Posted by admin April - 16 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on What (Who) are YOU Living For?

I had the good fortune to be invited to speak to our Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy last Friday. What a great group of kids!!! It was especially gratifying since 10 or 11 of my football players showed up to hear me speak. I tried to emphasize a couple of key points to them while using my life’s journey as an example. Some of it as a good example and some of my journey as how not to do things.

One thing I emphasized was to be sure to build a fire wall between who (or Whose) you are and… what you do! Too often in our culture, we define people (and, more importantly— ourselves) by what they do; i.e., their job, their title, their success rather than WHO they are. It is particularly hard for athletes (and coaches!) because the newspaper is going to post your results on Saturday morning for everyone to read. We have a tendency to “define” ourselves by whether we win or lose. Win and we feel good about ourselves. Lose and our self worth takes a nose dive. You’re going to experience a life-long roller coaster ride if you live like this. A roller coaster may be exciting at an amusement park but it can be devastating in real life.

I shared one of my favorite Bible verses with the group to point out how God can “smooth out” that ride. Oh, there will still be bumps and curves but it’s a ride that is a lot more pleasant. I used the analogy of the Carrie Underwood song, Jesus Take the Wheel. Too often we keep God on the closet shelf until we need Him. We’re in the midst of a crisis and THEN we call for Him to “take the wheel.” It’s often too late. The Bible verse I shared was Philippeans 4:13, “I can do all things… through Christ! Who strengthens me.” I CAN, THROUGH CHRIST! He gives us the strength (on a daily basis— heck, on a moment to moment basis) to get through the up’s and down’s of life. We have to trust Him to take control and we walk with Him. Trust— it’s all about trust!

Trusting my life to Jesus gave me a purpose that I had never experienced before. Whereas my purpose before becoming a Beleiver was to be sure that I was being served, it slowly began to change as I let God’s Holy Spirit work through me. (See Romans 12:2) Now my purpose is this: “He died for me; I’ll live for Him.” Everyday, it’s Jesus that I live for. Everyday, I follow after Him. Everyday, I’ll walk with Him, my Lord.

Jesus has made my journey less burdensome and He can do the same for you! Each day becomes an adventure as I wake up and say, “Good morning Holy Spirit! I can’t wait to see what You and I together can accomplish!!!” You can have the same thing. Just let Jesus “take the wheel” of your life!

Happy 36th birthday to my wonderful son! The Virginia Tech Massacre occurred on his 30th birthday. He was on campus (he works at VT) when it all broke loose. I am proud of my son— for WHO he is!!!


Posted by admin April - 9 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on WIN FOREVER!

My Defensive Coordinator passed along Pete Carroll’s book Win Forever and I started reading it yesterday. He’s very candid about his lack of a philosophy of coaching early in his career which he directly related to his being fired from both the Jets and Patriots head coaching jobs. That time away before being hired by USC afforded him the opportunity to sit down and “self-reflect.”

Carroll said that it was in re-reading Coach John Wooden’s books that the lightbulb came on in his head. If you have not read Wooden’s books, you need to! Whether you are a coach, businessman or woman or student— Wooden’s wisdom will help you not only be more successful in your worldly pursuits but will wake you up in your soul. Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and the subsequent definition of success that he coined are powerful tools to aid us in our search for success and significance in life. Check it out.

Coach Carroll points out that having a philosophy helped him focus on who he was as a coach. It forced him to prioritize his professional and personal values. I shared with one of my players last night in a text about priorities. He’s an outstanding athlete and an excellent student. But… with springtime in the air (at least here in Tidewater Virginia— pray for our friends in the Rockies! More snow!!!), his thoughts and emotions have turned to “hanging out” with a young lady. I shared with him that girls are great but don’t let a dating relationship throw you off track. I shared with him a statement that was given to me years ago: “The MAIN THING is to keep the Main Thing, the MAIN THING!!!”

But… you’ve got to know what, or who, is the “main thing” in your life before you can keep it the main thing. For me, that “Main Thing” is my relationship with Jesus Christ. When I spend time developing THAT relationship, everything else falls into place. I am getting involved in the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes again. If you are a Believing coach, you need to get an FCA huddle started at your school. FCA has its “Main Thing” right where it needs to be!

Are YOU keeping your “Main Thing” the main thing in your life? Please feel free to write me and tell me about it!

An Attitude of Gratitude!

Posted by admin April - 2 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on An Attitude of Gratitude!

Author Barbara Johnson writes: “I was frazzled; I was running late and had to stand while riding the bus to work. My attitude was going downhill fast when a cheery voice from the front of the bus announced, ‘Beautiful day, isn’t it?’ I couldn’t see the man but I listened to his commentary as he described the lovely scenery… this church… that park… a firehouse. His grateful attitude lightened the load of everyone on the bus. Then as I got off the bus I glimpsed at the speaker: an average-looking man wearing dark glasses and carrying a white stick!”

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God.” We don’t necessarily thank God for trials, but we thank Him in them. Gratitude is like a boomerang. It blesses the recipient, makes a 180-degree turn and comes back to bless the person who first displayed it. It’s been said that whatever crisis you are going through in your life, before it came your way… God made sure you’d be able to endure it. The Bible tells us that others have gone through the exact same thing (the reason we reach out to others who are hurting— to minister to them)… and made it through victoriously. God has promised to ‘make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Trials and “escape ways” are inseperable. But the devil doesn’t want you to know that. So, every time you go through a test the devil tells you that there’s no way out. You need to know that when the devil keeps pressuring you, it’s always an indication that “the way out” is getting ready to be revealed. We need to do what God tells us to do: “Rejoice!” One of my favorite Bible passages is in the Book of Nehemiah (8:10): “The joy of the Lord is my strength!” When we have His joy, it gives us strength for the journey. Amen? Amen!