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Coach’s Corner

Wanda Smith writes about the value of coaching
On the Front Porch by Wanda Smith

My favorite sport to play and watch is fastball. Bar none. There are so many benefits to playing a sport such as fastball; team building and teamwork, leadership skills, decision-making skills, mental health benefits, total body conditioning, making social connections, and dealing with adversity. I am thankful both sweet peas have had the opportunity to learn this sport. 

Now in her third year, Lil Sweet Pea has had her love for the sport rekindled due to skillful and firm but fair coaching this year. She had struggled due to limited practice and play on the field in times past so was reluctant to join again this year. Thankfully, she was embraced and encouraged, and then trained up in more advanced skills.

What I appreciated was that she was given permission to fail. Of course, she will make mistakes; she’s only learning. She was also put in positions that pushed her comfort zone. Early on in the season, I heard a repeated phrase come from her coach’s mouth: “I’d rather see you strike out swinging than just stand there.”

What an intelligent way to coach. Lil Sweet Pea and her teammates were all given the coach’s blessing to try new things, even in the game setting. This set them up for more confidence as they continued to play. As the season is nearing completion, we’ve seen players tagged out and several hot box attempts to get stealing players out. It has amped up their confidence, concentration, and teamwork. What a great way to end a season!

This kind of coaching provides freedom to try and then eventually succeed at a higher skill level. It goes without saying that if someone you are trying to please or play for expects perfection, you’ll be worse off than before you started. We all know what it’s like to try to please someone who cannot be satisfied. Instead of them seeing the 10 skills you manoeuvred correctly, they see the one thing you did wrong, which will only tear down any self-confidence you had at the start.

Our confidence is built through loving instruction, support through the growth period, and an encouraging word at the end no matter the outcome of the situation. It comes back to placing value on the person instead of the outcome of the game. Yes, it is nice to win. Yes, it is nice to succeed. But in reality, the value of one’s life should trump performance in any and every situation. 

I’ve shared this before and I’ll share it again: “Your value is not based on your performance.” This goes for anything in life. The value and sanctity of life is so important. We all need to feel valued. We all have a deep desire to be valued by someone. And above all, we need to know we are deeply loved and valued by our Creator, God.  

He reassures us that: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart...” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Just to remind you... your value is not based on what you look like, how old or young you are, your occupation or career, or whether you’re rich or barely getting by. Your value is not based on what truck you drive, what clothes you wear or what your house looks like.  

I have news for you. Your value is based on what Jesus did for you on the cross! He died so you could live an abundant life full of purpose and meaning. Your Heavenly Coach knows the next play. Trust Him!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.     

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