bad coaching…

coach clipartaYesterday afternoon ESPN played video footage of the head men’s basketball coach at Rutgers University demonstrating quite the lack of integrity.  Coach Rice yelled obscenities at his players, homophobic slurs, through basketballs full speed at point blank range at his players, and much more.  As the minutes quickly following the report grew so did the outrage of people around our nation.  Sports reporters, other coaches, and everyday citizens began calling for the Rutgers coach to lose his job.  Even more enraging was the fact that we found out that the Rutgers University officials had known about this for months and had responded with a mere slap on the wrist of a three gams suspension and some counseling classes.   Finally after much public pressure the University fired Coach Rice this morning ending a shameful era of coaching at their college.

What makes me sad as I read and watched about all that was going on at Rutgers is that once again here is a situation where a coach was in one of the greatest positions that one could ever find themselves in, the opportunity to use sports as a way to mold and change lives.  Many studies have been done on our teens and college showing that within sports, the coach may be the most influential role model a student-athlete will ever have – more than parents, family, friends, or clergy.  And a coach is in the position to influence thousands of lives over the course of a career.  Coach Rice lost sight of this.  He put himself, his ego, and quite frankly his sinfulness above being an example of an honorable man to his players.  I am not saying players never do anything wrong and don’t need to be corrected or shown tough love, but their is a proper way for a coach to conduct themselves.  Coach Rice blew this opportunity and rather than being known as an honorable coach who shaped the lives of young men, he will be known as a total jerk.

Another thing that disappoints me about this story is the staff of Rutgers University, specifically the athletic director and school president, turning a blind eye to this situation.  In their roles as leaders they should have dealt with the situation swiftly and immediately and took the role of honorable leadership on themselves.  Instead their hesitancy to do the right thing led to Coach Rice being able to continue his abusive ways for months.  Unfortunatley this is all too common in sports.  Parents and staff put up with verbal abuse, poor leadership, lack of morals, lack of ethics, and all around terrible examples given by coaches all too often.  The chance of furthering little Joey or Susie’s athletic career all to often outweighs making sure they have quality coaches in their lives.  Sports related skills take precedent over quality human being skills.  Even sadder to me is the fact that Christian parents allow these poor examples to have leadership roles in the lives of their children.  As Christians we have an even higher calling to represent Christ to our students and make sure they are in situations where their relationship with Christ can grow and thrive.  Yet, the love of sport conquers this call to frequently.

Finally Rutgers gave in and did the right thing and removed a morally bankrupt person from their coaching position.  But they only did this after much public pressure and fall out.  What’s it going to take for you to make sure that your child doesn’t have poor coaching?  Hopefully, you will stand up and make sure this never happens.  And if you are a coach, please, please, please, realize the awesome place that Christ has put you in and take your job as a molder and shaper of youth to heart and be the example they need!  The challenge is great and one coaches must not fail!

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last day of coaching…

basketball1Tonight we have our final middle school basketball games of the season.  It’s definitely been interesting and rewarding/tiring at the same time.  Last night we played our last home games and while we didn’t walk away with any victories, the guys who have stayed with us this season played hard and played as a team.  I have no complaints about their efforts at all.   The biggest thing with coaching has been getting the opportunity to know these students and hopefully show them that we care for them more as a person than as a basketball player.  Yes there have been times of getting loud to motivate, but winning and losing have not been the main factors for anything we have done.  Hopefully we have helped put these boys on the path to becoming quality young men.  Please continue to pray for our students that the seeds Scott and I have planted will see some and hopefully all of them come to know Christ!

this week’s basketball update…

basketball11This week has been another interesting and exciting week of coaching middle school basketball.  Our 7th grade team is on a roll winning 3 straight games!  The boys have really came together and are playing hard.   Our last three games have not only been wins but have also been blow out wins.  Last night we had one of the most exciting games of the season for our 8th grade team.  This game was a loss, but when you think of what happened it was truly an exciting game.  Our team got off to a slow start with only three points in the first half and none of those coming in the 2nd quarter.  At the end of the 3rd quarter we were down almost 30 points.  In the 4th quarter  the guys turned on their energy and came all the way back to tie the game.  SMS scored with only 8 seconds left and we got off a good shot to try and tie or win the game, but it just didn’t fall.  Even though it was a loss we were so very proud of the effort the boys finally put forth!

We have one home game and one away game left on our schedule this Monday and Tuesday night.  Please pray for safety as we travel, but also for Scott and I as we have just a few more opportunities to share the love of Christ with our students this season.  We want to be good stewards of the time God has given to us to reach our team.  So please pray hard as many of the students need Christ!

basketball coaching update…

basketball1Last night we began the 1st of 4 home games that will help draw our middle school basketball season to a close with only 1 road game remaining after them.  This season has definitely been a learning experience on everything from working as a coach to learning how to work with the many emotional and maturity states that you can find a middle schooler in.  God has definitely been good to us and helped watch over Scott and I as we work with the students.  This week we had one of our students collapse after a game and need to be taken to the hospital for some treatment.  Thankfully the students was just dehydrated and needed to work on eating better foods and more of them.  We are also thankful for the safety God gave Scott and our student as they went to the hospital and back and for safety as I helped get the other teammates home.

Our team has shrunk over the season for a variety of reasons, but last night as we coached them it was exciting to see the guys who have stuck it out and how most of them are really starting to gel as a team.  We don’t have as many players as most of our competition but for the most parts our guys are  playing their hearts out and starting to really play good basketball.  Last night our 7th grade team won their second 7th grade game in a row, which is huge for us.

As our season come to a close over the next week and a half, please pray for Scott and I as we seek to leave a lasting impression on these boys that will hopefully lead them to Christ.  Pray that opportunities to share Christ verbally will occur and that in every situation our lives will reflect the love of Christ to our boys.  And lastly, thank you so much for all your prayers over the course of this season!

festivals and coaching…

The past few days have been a whirlwind of multiple things going on.  As I wrote last week, we just had our annual Woolly Worm Festival  here in Beattyville.  The Rec Center sold over 200 pizzas this weekend at the Festival and the center.  With things being financially tight for us right now this was a huge blessing.  In other news we were all blessed to survive the fried foods that we ate during the course of the festival as well!

The beginning of this week was also busy with middle school basketball games.  Our team was not able to pull out a victory on Monday or Tuesday night, but there were many positives to take away.   Keep praying for myself and Scott Brandenburg as we try to teach the boys to be more aggressive for the basketball and to pay attention to every aspect of the game, while at the same time trying to infuse a love of the game.  Sometimes in coaching it’s a fine line between bringing out intensity and killing fun.  Our guys need to have both and we

Maeven playing in the leaves at Meme and Pop’s

want to get them to that place.  Also pray for us as we try to just be Godly examples as well and that we will have opportunities to share Christ!

Our family is doing well.  Maeven is loving having her Meme and Pop living nearby in Winchester and enjoyed Sunday at their house playing in the leaves.  Judah is teething and drooling like crazy, and on top of that he has learned to crawl and is always on the go.  God has truly given us two great kids!

This weekend is going to be really busy with our annual Halloween lock-in at the Rec Center.  Please pray for us to be able to have the chaperone’s needed and also that God will begin to work in the hearts of our students before they even arrive.

Things are busy, but it’s easy to see God working right now.  Please just keep praying!

coaching update…

This past Monday we had our first game of the middle school basketball season as our Bobcats took on the Wolfe County Wolves.  Unfortunately, we didn’t pull out a victory.  However in all three games we saw lots of good things where our guys are starting to come together as a team.  The sixth graders are really having to change their mentality from a shoot first little league mindset to a more team oriented hustle mindset.  Through playing a team that had already reached that mindset the other night, I think our boys realize what they have to do and are ready to do it.  Our 7th and 8th grade teams did really well and pushed the other team, but came up just short.  I don’t think it will be long at all before they reach their first victory.

Tonight we are heading to Owsley County to take on the Owls.  Hopefully the first game jitters and nerves will have passed and our boys will be ready to go!  I will definitely post an update tomorrow.

No matter if we win or lose, I am thankful for this opportunity to work with our team.  Please pray that through coaching I will be a Christ like example to the guys and that I will take advantage of any opportunities to show the love of Christ to the guys.  Both Scott and I want to leave these kids with no doubt that we love God and care for them!