Each day of our teaching and coaching lives we are challenged to “empty the tank”. We are called by our vocation to give a full effort. We are human, and therefore some days are inevitably a little better than others. We preach to our kids, and many of us believe, the Lord knows what is on our heart. If we give our very best we glorify God and that is all that can be expected.
I try to greet each new day with enthusiasm. A day at the office will include the classroom, the weight room, the football field, and prayer. Each of us typically runs from place to place with a sense of urgency, knowing that there is little time to waste. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, so live in the present… Each of us knows that time is truly precious. After a busy day with our student-athletes, we look forward to a little rest and relaxation when we get home.
As the father of three young children, I have learned that it is essential to enter my home after work with the same energy and passion I had in the field. There is an old saying… “What I had I gave, and what I saved I lost.” It is important to give great effort during the day, but equally as important to give great effort at home. As a father and a husband, I find myself “conserving” my energy with my family at times. If I am to practice what I preach, I can’t save anything!
My family deserves the same concerted effort that I give the football team. When you are tired, beat up, and worn out, remember that your family still needs you! You are the “Hero” of the household and there are many days where you will need to put on a heroic performance. Not only does your family deserve your effort, but the Lord expects it. Luke 12:48 says, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Over the last five years, I have come to appreciate the impact that the gift of fatherhood and being a husband can have not only on my own kids, but also on the young men I coach. When our players see the love and service we give to our families, they can’t help but be positively impacted. I find no greater joy than having my wife and kids meet me on the field after a football game. I think this is also a great time for the team to put some perspective on the big win or the tough loss. Your family will cherish sharing this time with you and your student-athletes gain much from witnessing the love you demonstrate regardless of the game’s outcome.
Sports provide us with opportunities to model, in some small way, our Heavenly Father’s commitment to us. Jesus Christ gave it all on the “Old Rugged Cross”, and we are called to do the same for our athletes and families alike.