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Friday, June 20, 2008

Being and Doing

Somehow I got talked into... sucked into... blindsided actually into being a girls basketball coach this spring and summer for an AAU basketball team. At first I thought this would be great as my daughter is on the team and we could spend some quality time together. Then I thought this would be even better because my wife Rochelle was going to coach with me (she actually played basketball in high school and I am just an avid fan). How much fun I was going to have and what wisdom I thought I could impart to the girls! Hmmm, right.

What I know to be true is that by this point in these girls lives (most have been playing since they were 5) they know more about the game than I do. What they really need is someone to give a little guidance and direction, help them with some fundamentals, and encourage them along the way. I can do this... surely I can.

Problem #1, I am more competitive than I thought. Okay, I knew I was this competitive, I just thought I might have a better handle on it by this point in my life. I want to win and I want the girls to want to win as badly as I do. While this is a good thing it can be detrimental as well.

Problem #2, my daughter is on the team. She is a great player, and as a typical dad I think she should always lead the way and so I tend to put added pressure on her and sometimes take the fun out of the game for her.

Problem #3, I really do believe that the "game" is more important than the "win." I just let my competitiveness get in the way of that sometimes.

Problem #4, I am afraid I have taken out frustration on my new wife, and for that I am deeply sorry as well.

What does all this rambling have to do with anything? Well, as a Christian husband, father, leader, and coach I want the girls to love the game as much as I do. But I also have to work on keeping things in perspective. I am not just their coach, I am a Christian coach. I am not just my daughters coach, I am her dad. I am not just a coach, I am Rochelle's husband. I am not just a coach, I am a role model to the girls on the team, their parents, the referee's and the other teams we play.

This is where "Being" and "Doing" come into play. If I am (a being verb) all these things I have to do (also a verb) all these things. I can not just say I am a Christian coach, husband, dad, leader. I have to act like it as well. It can be tough too. The last tournament things got out of hand with some of our parents and I had to address them. I also had to apologize to the head of the organization and tournament director. The reason it was hard was because in some small sense the parents were right, but how we handled things wasn't. I represent not only myself, but my wife and family, my team, my girls, my parents to those around me and I have to "do" the things I say I am "being."

What does this have to do with you? I wonder if you have a false dichotomy going on in your life too. I cannot say I am something and not live that out at all times. I cannot put things like my Christianity aside when it is inconvenient and pick it back up later. I either am or I am not.

How 'bout you? Any taking off and putting on at your convenience? Are you "being" and "doing" who and what you say you are?

Oh, and here's a helpful hint. If you are asked to coach your own child's basketball team... RUN Forrest, RUN!!

Lead Strong,

Shawn

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