The Value of a Great Coach

What makes a coach a great coach?

Not everyone can coach. And not every one who coaches is a good coach. So when you find a coach who can coach AND is good at what he/she does, you are on your way to knowing a great coach.

Last night I attended our high school football boosters meeting. Our first born will be a freshman in September and will be playing football. So being part of the boosters is something that comes with the game.

The meeting was great. I’m excited for the season, and I’m excited to be a part of the boosters. But what really got me excited was the opportunity to hear from our new head coach.

After a long stretch of losing seasons, our school made the decision to look for a new coach. Their search led them to Mr. Coder.

I was greatly impressed by Coach Coder. Sure, the fact that he play college ball was great. And that he spent some time playing in the NFL was kind of cool. Even learning he play for the Philadelphia Stars, a team in the short lived United States Football League, neat. But what impressed most was Coach Coders desire to not only teach the boys how to play football, but to teach the boys how to be men.

As a pastor, you learn to pick up on certain words; words like integrity, respect, character, and maturity. These are words that we often use in work with men-the kind of work where we encourage men to live Godly lives; lives of integrity, character and respect.

Coach Coder spoke about the importance of teaching the boys how to be men of integrity, on and off the field and that character was something that they would need long beyond the football years. Having worked as a youth pastor for 23 years, I know the what Coach Coder is attempting to do. He wants to make a difference. Football has become his vehicle for teaching boys how to become young men. For most on the team, football is a high school activity. Few will play in college. Less then few will make it to a major league team. So thinking about the boys beyond the hallowed years of high school football is a quality that I respect and appreciate. And in my mind, that’s what makes a coach great.

I have four boys. Each one has a sport in which they have been blessed with talent and passion. We have had our share of coaches. And while their love for the game might lead the boys to play, in many ways it’s the coach who makes the experience one that’s either enjoyable or miserable. It’s also the coach who has the ability to influence and encourage. I’m happy to say, I glad Coach Coder is one of the coaches that my boys will have.

As for the 2013-2014 football season, I’m looking forward to all that Coach Coder will bring!

– jay

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