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Old 01-11-2016, 10:08 AM   #2266
Big Daddy
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Default 1.11.16

Memorize That Playbook
Jarret Myers

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Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.–Psalm 1:2

Set
Football players come to camp and are handed a binder filled with plays, formations, and adjustments built to withstand any opponent during the season. A lot of work, foresight, and detail went into putting together what could be a championship playbook. However great a playbook may be, though, it is useless without memorization and proper execution.

Athletes are expected to memorize most, if not all of the playbook—to understand the concept, intention, and correct application of every play. That is because during the course of a game, things don’t always look like they are drawn, and players may have to make adjustments. To do so requires more than memorizing plays—they practice, study, watch films, and redraw them. A coach doesn’t say to meditate on a play, but that is exactly the intention.

In the desert, Jesus fended off Satan’s temptations with three words, “It is written.” When Jesus quoted Scripture, He didn’t have a Bible handy—just like a player can’t carry the playbook on the field during a game. He had the words hidden in His heart and knew the concept and when to apply it. The Bible is our championship playbook, written to withstand every scenario the enemy or life can throw at us. But, if our noses aren’t in the Book, we won’t find ourselves in the game.


Go
1. Have you ever been in a game and did not know the play? How did that feel?
2. Have you ever been questioned and didn’t know Scripture to back up what you said?
3. What passage of Scripture will you memorize and meditate on this week?


Workout
Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 12:24; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Overtime
Lord, thank You for providing a playbook for my life. Forgive my disobedience when it comes to memorizing and meditating on Your Word. Please help me be more disciplined and discerning. Lord, I ask that You use me for Your glory. Amen.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:41 PM   #2267
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Default 1.15.16

Forgiveness Surgery
Jackie Taylor

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“For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don't forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”
- Matthew 6:14-15

Set
Any athlete who competes long enough will experience an injury. Some injuries sideline them for a day or two, some a week, some a year, and some are career-ending. But every one of them is difficult to deal with and must be treated. Some even go so far as requiring surgery.

Just as physical injuries require treatment, so do emotional injuries. Crutches, bandages and ice packs won't heal these emotional injuries. Sometimes, the only solution to these is the surgery of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not approving or excusing what someone did, and it's not necessarily reconciling with the person who caused the injury. It's not pretending you aren't hurt and it is not forgetting what happened.

For example, if you have surgery on your physical body, you have a scar to remind you of what took place. Emotional scars exist as well, even after the surgery of forgiveness. Over time, the scar's prominence fades, but if the scar is bumped, the pain returns. For that reason, we can also understand that forgiveness is not a one-time thing. You may have to forgive a person over and over again until you feel relief.

In life, we should forgive because God forgives us and commands us to forgive one another in Ephesians 4:32 and Matthew 6:14-15. Why does God ask us to forgive? Because He knows that forgiveness is the only way to break the power of anger, bitterness and pain. The difference between "bitter" and "better" is the letter "i." I get to choose which I become.

In Romans 12:19, God says that vengeance is His, not ours. That means we can let God deal with the other person because they are not our responsibility. Our responsibility is simply to forgive. Refusing to forgive only hurts us and allows the injury to fester until its poison seeps in, spreads and shuts down my effectiveness for Christ.

Today, don't allow unforgiveness to sideline you. Submit to the surgery of forgiveness and let the healing begin.

Go
1. Whom do you need to forgive?
2. What is keeping you from releasing this person to God?
3. When will you undergo the surgery of forgiveness?

Workout
Romans 3:23 Romans 12:19 Ephesians 4:32
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #2268
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Default 3.21.16

Hope for the Brokenhearted



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“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Luke 4:18–19

Set
As a coach in a low-income school, I see my players go through very difficult times. Many have no father at home, and they endure a mediocre educational system in a drug-infested neighborhood. These kids have to work twice as hard just to break even. It is hard not to internalize the problems of our players. Because the environment in which they live provides little or no hope, we find ourselves wanting to step in to solve their problems. However, we typically find ourselves feeling helpless. From time to time coaches find themselves serving as father, mother, lawyer, mediator, and mentor to their players, surrogate roles that press down with lots of pressure and responsibility.

Christian coaches, however, find comfort and hope in Jesus Christ. Christ crosses all barriers, even socioeconomic ones. I might not fully understand the situation these kids face, but I am convinced that Christ cares for the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the underprivileged. I am convinced that if my life is hidden in Him, my players will be able to know more of Jesus’ love through me as well as hope and comfort. For that reason, feeling hopeless is not so bad, because it causes us to put our hope in Jesus, who is always there to help.

Go
1. How well do you know your players? Do you know what their home lives are like?
2. What was Jesus’ mission in this passage? In what ways do you care for the poor and brokenhearted players on your team?
3. Are you confident that if your life is hid in Christ, then your players will see an amazing difference in your care and love for them both on and off the field?

Workout
Extra Reading:
Isaiah 9:1–7; 61:1–3

Overtime
Father, help me today to love those players on my team who are poor and brokenhearted. Help my heart to be broken by their situation and to offer them the best I have, and that is Your love. Please, Lord, let them see You in me. Amen.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:13 AM   #2269
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Default 3.22.16

Cosmic or Cosmetic?


Ready
A king’s heart is a water channel in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses. — Proverbs 21:1

Set
Aside from my father, the most influential man in my life has been my coach. He was always very clear about the fact that, regardless of the issues that accompany academics, athletics, and disciplinary measures, he cared about me and valued me as a person. One of his many memorable sayings was, “When you fistfight or curse, you have run out of ideas.” Later I had the unparalleled honor of teaching with him for a short while, and he went on to found the FCA chapter for which I have now been Huddle Coach for twenty-one years. At the time of the Huddle’s birth, Jesus had just changed my life, and that’s when the coach asked me to co-sponsor. One year later he took another job, leaving the Huddle to me. “Just let Jesus lead through you,” he encouraged; nevertheless, I was scared to death.

Kids often have x-ray vision in that they can see through phony talk rather quickly. I knew my coach was not being phony, so I determined to follow his advice and let Christ lead. My part was to pray and to cultivate concern for the players and for my leadership skills. This was ultimately a spiritual battle. I wanted the leadership to be cosmic, not cosmetic.

How about you? Does your style of leading reflect not only the strength of Jesus, but also His courage, humility, and patience? If we want to exhibit Christ to those in our care, we must seek to be like Him in all we do and say.

Go
1. Is your leadership cosmic or cosmetic, whether it’s to your family, your students, or your athletes?
2. In what practical ways do you show spiritual values to your family, your colleagues and your players?
3. Do you too often “run out of ideas,” as my coach used to say, and let your words and temper fly?

Workout
Extra Reading:
John 13:15; Titus 2

Overtime
Heavenly Father, I want to be an authentic Christian. Chisel me into the image of Christ, an image that those within the orbits of my influence will recognize as the image of Jesus. Help me to reflect Him in my actions, leadership, and love. Amen.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #2270
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Default 3.24.16

Don’t Miss Them
Sherry Smith

Ready
Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.

Set
I wonder sometimes if we coaches miss opportunities to really know our athletes. The stars quite naturally stand out, but are we missing something about the remainder of the team? Do we often overlook the athlete who works hard every day just to be noticed by us? When we think about it, we had a great example of a person who took great care to bring individuals to himself. Christ’s life on earth serves as the ideal of how we are to treat every individual on our team, and focusing on Him is crucial because we are prone to forget that an athletic team is made up of more than the stars. Each member is important.

Anyone choosing to be a part of a team must accept responsibility to build up and encourage everyone. Let’s be careful not to focus on the stars. Sometimes a simple pat on the back is all it takes to show we care. Jesus reaches for us before we even ask. Aren’t we to do the same? Yes, we are to follow His example and show compassion for all of our players. Jesus loves us, and we should do the same for others.

The reason we are given talent is for the glory of God. That means each person is uniquely designed to glorify God in a special way. This truth helps us remember that everyone on the team has a contribution to make and is therefore worthy of our attention.

Go
1. Are we teaching our athletes to encourage one another by our personal example?
2. How do you view the members of your team? Pray for grace to model Christ’s love to them.

Workout
Extra Reading:

Overtime
Lord, please help me appreciate every member of my team. Help me make them feel important and needed to make our team complete. I pray that others will always see You in our behavior on the court and off. Amen.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:57 AM   #2271
Roger Dorn
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Found this on youth sports FB page.


Worth the read... For everyone especially parents and coaches


In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”



Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.
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