How do we show great love for our players? One important way is how we greet our players when they come to practice, a meeting, a weight lifting session, etc. How did you greet your players the last time you met with them? Did you greet them all warmly, or just a select few? We need to do a better job of this. We need to clearly communicate our “Great Love” for our players every time we greet them.
From the very first greeting, our players need to know that our love is not based on who they are, how big or fast they are, or what they can achieve athletically. It is not dependent on who their parents are or their status in our community. When they are good we love them and when they are bad we love them. When they work hard for us we love them and when they don't work hard for us we love them. They need to be constantly reminded that our love is unconditional and not based upon their “on field” performance as a player.
We need to love each and every one of our players. They are not just a number amongst the dozens of other kids on our roster. Each player desires a personal relationship with their coaches. They long for the time when you simply talk to them, when you ask about their family, their grades, their hobbies, their goals, and when you speak to their hearts. They want to know that you are concerned about every single aspect of their life.
The other night after a weightlifting session, when everyone had gone home, I started thinking to myself about who had come to weights and who had not. As coaches typically do, I was feeling anxious about missing a few of the team “stars” from weightlifting that night. You know, the favorites. But then I got to thinking about all the guys that did come to weightlifting. Did I greet them all and thank them for showing up? Did I talk to each of them personally to find out what’s going on in their life this summer? Did I miss an opportunity to counsel a young player because I was too lazy to get around and talk to each of them? Surely I had more time that night to strengthen our player’s souls as they were strengthening their bodies.
I am going to do a better job of showing “Great Love” to each and every one of the players on our team. I am going to commit to doing a better job of warmly greeting our players by name, and of telling them each just how much we appreciate them being a part of our team. How about your team?
By Randy Traeger