Encouragement in Athletics
As you look to next year, there are many questions you’ll think about over the summer… What can I do to get the most out of my team? What offense will we implement? What defense? What formation? What’s my team going to look like? What will the competition be like?
In addition to pondering, recording your thoughts, and creating manuals for your team, there are more significant questions that can get left behind in the season.
Questions like… How will you teach gratitude, stewardship, self-control and grace?
How will we develop the mindset of patience, persistence, etc.?
How will you lead the athletes you have in a closer walk with Christ?
The first set of questions are where our talents and passions rise to meet with the athletes. The second set of questions deal with lifelong values that can take a backseat in the quick and sometimes hectic ride of life. If we fail to cultivate those values in our own heart or our own family, we will have a difficult time seeing and reaching the potential within our athletes.
Be Intentional to address these with the Lord’s guidance over the summer…and write down your thoughts! I’ve heard that “a dull pencil is better than a sharp mind” ...there’s truth in that!
- Mark your calendar: On Thursday August 16th at 6pm, we will have our annual Family dinner with our MCA coaches. Afterward, David Chadwick, Pastor of Forest Hills Church will be our guest presenter at our yearly “Night with Athletics” beginning at 7pm.
Mrs. Parker will be sending out contracts at the end of May for next season.
Be mindful of your opportunity to grow through the NFHS classes https://www.nfhslearn.com/
Looking forward to loving on our MCA community next year through athletics!
On Saturday, Brett and I were helping my dad do some painting. I’ve painted several homes, over the last 3 decades, as I used the trade to provide for my family. I painted the trim in the kitchen and hallway while Brett painted in the closets…they’re not as visible, nor would it matter if it were done to precision. As I was painting in another room, Brett said, “Dad, can you help me in here?”
I walked in and a bucket of paint was spilled all over the drop-cloth. (No, I didn’t make him do 50 push-ups.) To the right of the “blob” was a black Nike shoe dripping with freshly white paint…it was a mess. I grabbed the bucket, shoe, brush, a rag and headed to the kitchen. He cleaned his feet. We then took the drop-cloth outside to wipe off and let dry in the sun.
As we stood at the sink together to clean…me cleaning the brush and Brett cleaning his shoe… I asked, “What did you learn”? He said, “Placement is everything…especially when painting.”
We had a few laughs and in the moment, I thought…Placement IS everything.
- Where the player “places”, shoots or throws makes a difference. Wrong goal, bad result. Off to the right and no score at all. Any placement out of bounds doesn’t count.
- As a coach, where you place players makes a difference. Wrong placement and the outcome could be disastrous, whereas the right placement and excellence often follows.
God has made everything with a place and a purpose… (Proverbs 16:4).
Your placement at Metrolina may be less about you and more about what the Lord wants. I did NOT want to be placed at Metrolina as I was happy at Piedmont…I did not want to be placed in administration as I loved the classroom and coaching…I did not want to marry Michele as she was my best friend and didn’t want to ruin that. Looking back, I can’t imagine the blessings I would have missed had I not been in the right “place”.
I’m thankful you’ve been placed at Metrolina. I’m grateful to serve alongside of you in athletics helping to build His kingdom…what a place!!!
Growing up in what used to be rural Wesley Chapel, farms and woods occupied most of the land where housing developments and commercial property now exist. It was a simple time when riding my bike as a kid to my cousin’s farm was quiet and peaceful. (Currently, pulling the car out of mom and dad’s driveway on Weddington road near the McDonalds can produce an anxiety only exceeded by preparing to have a root canal.)
Doug Plyler and Paul Carter were two men who farmed most of the local land. (My father wasn’t a “farmer” but had a garden that could have provided enough vegetables to fill the produce section at Harris Teeter.) Doug’s two sons would spend time with me and my brother playing ball, fishing, and riding bikes throughout the area. However, there were some days and some seasons that we didn’t play or have fun as often as we’d like.
- During the harvest, laborers worked long days. Removing the crops from the field and storing them for future use or sale took the majority of the time. The effort was great in the harvest, therefore it would nearly be impossible to put forth that effort year round.
- During the planting season, fields had to be tilled and planted. Preparing the soil and planting had to be done in a timely manner thus the effort was great.
- There were days in between when fertilizing, applying herbicide, and weeding took up entire days. Farming, or “gardening for my dad” …was hard work!
Jesus said, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:48.
In farming, you can’t plant year-round, harvest year-round, prepare the ground year-round. God made seasons. “Coaching” has seasons…I’m thankful for seasons. You can’t compete in a sport every day year-round…nor could you coach every day…you need rest. With the end of the spring season in the next couple of weeks, comes an end to another year in athletics.
Together, we’ve served 469 students at Metrolina Christian this year in various athletic events. We’ve shared some unforgettable experiences with our teams that can never be replaced. We’ve served our seniors and help build memories knowing they will not return to play again. The extension of our teams in our service projects reaches far beyond our scope of thought. We’ve worked hard…for His Kingdom and I’m looking forward to better days ahead…in the next season!
“Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint” (Psalm 64:1). David said this…to God! Upon reading further, I believe David saw into the future problems with social media that began 2500 years ago. I may be taking liberties here but the parallels are incredibly familiar.
- “…they have sharpened their tongue like a sword” (v.3). These email senders, tweeters, and posters have craftily prepared for this cut. This speech will be used to cause damage, hurt, and inflict pain upon the one receiving. Mercy and grace are not a part of this speech as that would require no sharpening…just the Spirit of God.
- “They aimed bitter speech as their arrow” (v.3). Senders do not necessarily want feedback. They have one goal in mind…that their message reaches the appointed target. They want to get their message out there, thus they let it fly! They aim for their target…the heart and mind of the one being shot.
- “…they shoot from concealment at the blameless” (v.4). They avoid face to face. They’re unable to have a conversation…because that would require listening. Listening might cause them to reflect and that’s the last thing they want to do. They have taken the time to sharpen their tongue and aim with precision, therefore they believe they deserve to be heard…entirely without the interruption of being a listener. The social media platform is the perfect place for this. “No one can see me…unless I do a video that’s carefully planned and prepared…that probably requires several takes to ensure I look my best and sound pridefully enraged”.
- “Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear” (v. 4). Hitting the SEND button is quick and easy after the venomous message is crafted. The sender is safe in their eyes, as the evil can be done behind the screen. There’s no delay! It will be pointed, pushed, and posted.
David closes the Psalm by stating, “The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and take refuge in Him;” (v.10).
Maybe this week, we’ll be godly listeners, senders, tweeters and posters. I pray the Lord will speak to you and USE YOU to help others in their walk with Christ. Remember however, it’s hard to help others “walk” if we’re crawling...stand up and walk…as one…united in Christ!
George Muller, born in 1805, was famous for building and running orphan houses in England that cared for more 10,000 orphans in his day. His desire was to help others grow in their faith proving that if a poor man of “little” means yet large “faith “could provide for orphans by trusting God, God could move in other people’s lives to do great things.
He rarely told others of needs, believing that telling His Heavenly Father, the King of Kings, Jesus Himself, would suffice. The Lord did provide and it was in the many moments needing food to eat, coal to warm the homes, milk to drink, or clothes for orphans and workers, that the Lord provided just enough.
He never sought to borrow as he often quoted the Bibles reference to “Owe no man nothing…” (Romans 13:8). “I could buy a considerable amount of goods on credit but the next time we were in need, I would turn to further credit instead of turning to the Lord. Faith, which is maintained and strengthened only by exercise, would become weaker and weaker”. Mueller believed that if the work was from God then God would provide.
In looking at Mueller’s life, there are some question we should ponder. How much can my faith grow? If faith needs to be exercised, then what am I doing to grow my faith? Lastly, how will I move forward?
Some people would respond with…” All I need is a moment of faith…or…All I need is a little faith.” However, on several occasions, Jesus rebuked those of little faith. Matthew’s gospel provides 4 references when Christ rebuked “small faith” …
- when the disciples were in the boat with Jesus napping - Matthew 8:26
- when Jesus told His disciples not worry about what to eat, drink or even wear - Matthew 6:30
- when Jesus left His hometown doing only a “few” miracles because of their lack of faith - Matthew 13:58
- when Peter began to sink in the ocean - Matthew 14:30
So…. How will you move forward? Are you doing something now to exercise your faith? How will it grow? In our world of sharing concerns with everybody via social media or through conversation; why not spend more time with The One, Jesus Christ, who desires to see your faith grow. Pray your concerns to Him. Pray reminding God that His glory and His name are at stake for the generations to come. Pray seeking not to stop until He answers. Pray to Him…then others will see your faith and grow.