Bottom of the 9th - Well-Coached
by Keith Wahl
"Follow me, as I follow Christ" - 1 Corinthians 11:1
Itâ€™s difficult to grasp as a young player how deep the compliment of being â€œwell-coachedâ€ truly is. While it is a compliment to the player to be sure, it is a deeper, generational compliment as well. If a coach tells a player he is â€œwell-coached,â€ it is a compliment to him, his coach, his parents, and so on down the line. Receiving this compliment secures oneâ€™s place, in many regards, in the fabric of the game of baseball itself. It's proof of alignment and humility in one's life.As a coach, receiving a compliment from a peer about one of your teams or players being well-coached is incredibly humbling. Just a week ago, a coach at one of the schools where we have sent a couple of our players asked me about this yearâ€™s seniors, while commenting that it was clear that our alums were â€œwell-coached.â€ In what is known and referred to as a â€œthankless job,â€ having a peer tell you that your players are â€œwell-coachedâ€ is a confirmation that youâ€™re doing something right in the game.
At the same time, there are days on the field where players don't display what they were coached. We had a "skill day" recently on our field where a number of players departed from what they were taught and deferred instead to pressing, making more mistakes than they normally make, and scuffling their way through the video session. While there was not a college our professional scout within miles of the field, the video cameras on the field proved to be enough pressure for a number of our players to experience a level of failure not normally experienced in normal practice situations.
One of my coaching mentors would always refer to Jesus Christ as the â€œmaster coach.â€ In many ways, I have come to agree with this statement, if for no other reason than to acknowledge Jesus as the greatest teacher in history (and teaching and coaching are inseparable, for those of you outside of this craft). It begs the question - am I proving myself to be â€œwell-coachedâ€ by the â€œmaster coachâ€ and reflecting Christ throughout my daily walk?
Throughout the â€œWell-Coachedâ€ series of Baseball Chapels at Valor Christian High School in the next two months (Fridays at 5:00 p.m.), we will seek to learn and explore the markers of a person who is â€œwell-coachedâ€ by Christ, our Lord and â€œmaster coach.â€ In a simple list, those markers are:
- Forgiving others the way we are forgiven by Christ - Loving others the way are were loved by Christ - Disciplining others the way weâ€™ve are disciplined by Christ - Giving grace the way that we receive grace from Christ - Ministering reconciliation the way we are reconciled with Christ
Weâ€™re excited to learn more about and find more opportunities to forgive, love, discipline, give and receive grace, all while ministering reconciliation with Christ through the game of baseball. Join us on Friday nights at Baseball Chapel, and read our Bottom of the Ninth devotions the next couple of months to deepen the message as well!
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