Earlier this year, through an unfortunate series of events, I was named the coach of my son’s basketball team. Before we get all excited and talk about ‘girl power’, remember that I called it ‘unfortunate’. I know nothing about basketball. Correction, I know that the ball goes in the hoop. And as San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker put it once, you “need to score more points to win the game”. That’s it. The end.
My son plays in a church league that is run by volunteer coaches. This is our second year to participate, and when we went for our try outs, I very casually mentioned to the director that I was happy to help if they needed it. Big mistake. A few weeks later when they emailed out the team rosters, my name was listed on the top of our team as coach. I didn’t mean to volunteer to coach- I was ready to sell snacks or something.
I tried my hardest to get out of it. I sent our team several emails explaining my inadequacies and conflicts with work, literally begging someone, anyone to take this responsibility from me. No bites. As desperately as I wanted to not accept this responsibility, I knew that my son wanted to play, and I knew that there were 4 other boys who were wanting to play as well. Without a coach, our team would have been dissolved and these boys would not be able to participate this year. So, I grudgingly tried to learn all that I could in a week before our practices started.
On the day of our first game, we walked in and met one of the kids who had not attended our first practice. I introduced myself to his dad and the dad began to tell me about how he played basketball in college. He said that he was unable to commit to coaching every week but would be happy to help me run practice. I felt so relieved.
Our first practice was pretty pathetic. Our second practice was pretty pathetic. Our team took a break for Christmas and New Years and on our first practice back from the holidays, I met another dad of one of the boys. He told me that he was unable to commit when the season started because it was the end of the year and he had an increase in his work responsibilities. He told me that since the new year, he was much less busy and would be happy to help as well. He and I ran practice that day and he had those boys training like I could have never imagined.
About mid-season, I was able to relinquish my coaching duties to both of these gentlemen. The team did great- and there was so much growth across 8 weeks. It was so fun to watch these kids start out as strangers and end as teammates. In my few weeks as coach, I got to know each of the boys and their families. And when I was finally able to sit in the stands and watch, it was so great to be able to cheer each one on by name. It was great to see their faces light up when someone other than their family cheered for them by name from the stands. As much as I had dreaded the experience, I was so glad that I had done it.
Ephesians 6:7 reminds us to “Do [our] work, and be happy to do it. Work as though it is the Lord you are serving, not just an earthly master.”
Colossians says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (3:17)