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Developing Our Young People

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You know I started this like I probably start most things in my life. I wanted to do something but I wasn't really sure how to do it. So I started it hoping someone else would step up and carry it through. Or maybe I just thought God would do it for me. Either way not much has happened.

I have a very strong opinion on where we should be leading our young people I just don't know how to accomplish that. I mean if it really came down to it I wouldn't even probably come out and say that I am a christian to anyone outside my immediate circle of friends because deep down I know I am lacking in so many ways. But that's kind of the point isn't it? We are all lacking in so many ways as adults. We keep moving the line for what is acceptable and we slowly fade back to our sinful ways. So what exactly do we expect our young people to do? If we as adults can't even figure it out how are we to develop young people with strong moral character? The hardest thing for me is giving up that control to Him. Wanting what God wants not what I want. It's just seems like an impossible task to me sometimes.

I don't know about you but I have serious doubts about my priorities. I have no doubt about my faith. I believe in a greater being. My confusion comes from me and my actions not from our God as his actions. Paul said it perfectly in Romans 3:28 - A person is made right with God through Faith. Not good works, not suffering or study. I think that I am a good father as we go to church, my kids attend Sunday School and we discuss God (Occasionally). But if I compare the amount of time we have spent as a family attending youth sports functions - practice, camps, games, and training in the backyard and I compare it to the time we have spent become closer to our God it makes me realize that my priorities are way out of wack.

If you look at society as a whole it is probably the same reflection. The Sports Training Industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. In our town we have these sports training centers all over now, along with personal coaches for all the different sports. I think we are on the wrong path here. Youth sports is supposed to be something that our kids play for fun. It is supposed to teach them about committment, team work, responsibility and it is supposed to be about developing good character, but these days it seems to be more about creating the next NFL, MLB or NBA star.

Let's get real, what are the odds that any player you coach, including your own child, is going to play professionally? Probably not much better than your chances of winning the lottery. Even if one of them does make it, they can only play for so long and then what? Speaking for myself I am trying to realine my priorities and focus on something more important than a future NBA contract. I want my sons and daughter to sign a long term contract with God. I want them to know about the God who loves them so much that he sent his only son to save them.

No promises but I am going to try and do a better job of getting this part of the forum going. Maybe with a little encouragement from all of you we can take all of our kids in a better direction whatever that may be.

IC,

Schann

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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
You know I started this like I probably start most things in my life. I wanted to do something but I wasn't really sure how to do it. So I started it hoping someone else would step up and carry it through. Or maybe I just thought God would do it for me. Either way not much has happened.

I have a very strong opinion on where we should be leading our young people I just don't know how to accomplish that. I mean if it really came down to it I wouldn't even probably come out and say that I am a christian to anyone outside my immediate circle of friends because deep down I know I am lacking in so many ways. But that's kind of the point isn't it? We are all lacking in so many ways as adults. We keep moving the line for what is acceptable and we slowly fade back to our sinful ways. So what exactly do we expect our young people to do? If we as adults can't even figure it out how are we to develop young people with strong moral character? The hardest thing for me is giving up that control to Him. Wanting what God wants not what I want. It's just seems like an impossible task to me sometimes.

I don't know about you but I have serious doubts about my priorities. I have no doubt about my faith. I believe in a greater being. My confusion comes from me and my actions not from our God as his actions. Paul said it perfectly in Romans 3:28 - A person is made right with God through Faith. Not good works, not suffering or study. I think that I am a good father as we go to church, my kids attend Sunday School and we discuss God (Occasionally). But if I compare the amount of time we have spent as a family attending youth sports functions - practice, camps, games, and training in the backyard and I compare it to the time we have spent become closer to our God it makes me realize that my priorities are way out of wack.

If you look at society as a whole it is probably the same reflection. The Sports Training Industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. In our town we have these sports training centers all over now, along with personal coaches for all the different sports. I think we are on the wrong path here. Youth sports is supposed to be something that our kids play for fun. It is supposed to teach them about committment, team work, responsibility and it is supposed to be about developing good character, but these days it seems to be more about creating the next NFL, MLB or NBA star.

Let's get real, what are the odds that any player you coach, including your own child, is going to play professionally? Probably not much better than your chances of winning the lottery. Even if one of them does make it, they can only play for so long and then what? Speaking for myself I am trying to realine my priorities and focus on something more important than a future NBA contract. I want my sons and daughter to sign a long term contract with God. I want them to know about the God who loves them so much that he sent his only son to save them.

No promises but I am going to try and do a better job of getting this part of the forum going. Maybe with a little encouragement from all of you we can take all of our kids in a better direction whatever that may be.

IC,

Schann

All Christians struggle with just that. Once you identify yourself publicly, you have greater accountability and of course danger in damaging your witness.

I have few illusions any of the kids I coach will play anything more than High School football and that goes for my own kids as well.

I view youth sports and coaching as a great opportunnity for reachng lost souls.

By my actions as a coach, by our actions as a team that is known for being run by a Christian, we witness passively but positively.

I had a guy that worked for the gas company turn on gas for me in town last month, he reffed our championship game in 2005, he knew what we were all about etc.

I plant the seed with all the kids, they know where I stand in word and deed ( not perfect by any standard).

The kids may respond now, they may respond years from now, but they know the DEal, Christ died for them and they can choose to accept or reject the Grace offered.

In most cases none of use will affect anyone as deeply other than our family members than when we coach.

I still remember my youth coaches names and what they were about 39 years later.

It is a great platform, dont be afraid to be bold, many of the kids you will never see again after the season is over.

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Schann,

I love this post. I share some of the same frustrations as you. I know one of my ultimate goals is to create a Christian based recreational facility. It just seems like there is always some battle I am fighting.

But back to your post. You said some very profound statements, and I agree with you. I will say this though. I am a proponent of allowing Christ to shine through you. We all fall short, but if your heart is in the right place, and you sincerely want (and allow) God to use you, then your actions will speak louder than your words or past mistakes. People will notice something different on you. And like davecisar said, you will be someone these kids look at 39 years down the road. I think sometimes we stay stuck on our past mistakes and can't move past them. Don't let that discourage you. Sounds like you are a role model to your kids, as well as others. You are providing them both with a foundation.

I admire you, and others for what you do. I am a father of 4 boys, and this will be my first year coaching. I look forward to saying I have been coaching for years, and assisting young men grow to be the men God called them to be. I may not have the platform right now to minister to them with scripture, but I will make sure that I lead through example, and teach them principles of character. You never know what your words of kindness may do to change those children's lives.

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I may be young and may not have the life experience as many as you do but I believe firmly that God and sports does mix. God can get glory through our performance. But it's rather difficult to maintain that fine line. I think as more and more time pass, the more and more need for people who care increases. We have so many people in the kid's life that tell them what to do and what not to do. They don't need more people setting more rules. What they need is strict discipline and the knowing that someone cares in their life. I think that speaks a greater multitude than any sermon that can be preached Sunday or any Bible Study that can be taught. The fact that adults who shouldn't care caring is fulfilling the Greatest Commandment. I think if we can communicate that message in whatever we do, that message sticks forever.

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Schann,

You have a great post here and I hope it continues. I have some thoughts on Christian Coaching. I agree that youth sports has lost a lot of what I believe the original intent was. I doubt the original intent was to Make Tomorrow's Professional Players. And like you said only a very minute amount of kids actually make it to the professional levels. Youth sports is supposed to be fun, help the kids get exercise and learn values and principles that will help them with their lives in the future (teamwork, discipline, dealing with failure) etc.

As a Christian I look at coaching as a ministry. We have the opportunity to influence tomorrow's leaders through coaching. In the same way that Christ died for us and teaches us through the Word and modeled the way we should live in his life, we too have that same opportunity for our players. Some leagues may forbid the name of Jesus or proselytizing out in the open, but we can still show Jesus' love through our words and deeds. I coach Little League and their motto is "I trust in God". This give me an opening to talk about the Little League pledge and what it means to trust in God. I also wear different shirts and hats that have Scripture or Bible Verses on them and when I coach I teach about eternal principles that come straight from the Bible.

That being said, we should never lose sight of our roles as husbands and fathers. We need to minister to our families as well. God is calling us in Malachi 4:6

He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers

To turn our hearts to our children. We cannot neglect them. We have to teach them. We can teach them to play and watch baseball via a biblical perspective. Youth sports is a great vehicle to do this. But, we need to be teaching them not only on the baseball field but always - Deuteronomy 11:18-21

"Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..."

We need to be teaching them at all times. Not just in baseball but always. Throughout their lives.

I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop here for now. That's my two cents and I'd love to hear what others have to say.

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To all the Christian coaches out there. I wish you guys a blessed New Year. We know there is nothing magical about January 1st, but since it is the start of a new year, let us start some new habits that will help us as Christians and coaches. I hope everyone commits to a devotional and study time each day with God. Start out with something small, maybe 5 minutes a day if you've struggled with this in the past. God will reward you and you will be blessed for it. He says in Joshua 1:8 - This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Isn't that what we all want? To prosper and succeed in God's eyes, so that when we are all done He can say "Well done good and faithful servant."

Here's to a new year and new habits and disciplines that will help us with our family and our players.

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