Complete Game has partnered with the Colorado Dugout Club, the high school baseball coaches association. As a part of that partnership, CG will be producing a series specifically for high school coaches. As this special series draws to a close, we hope these posts have served to unite, encourage, and resource the baseball community in Colorado and across the country.
It’s playoff time. As the saying goes, “the cows are in the barn.” Coaches and players across the state have done all they can to prepare for the moments to come - the elimination games, the moments of passion and excitement, and the trophy presentations. May is in exciting time for baseball in the state of Colorado.
During this time of the year, it’s incredibly important for us to recognize and remember where we are placing our identities as coaches as the season draws to a close. If your identity as a man and as a coach is based on the outcome of your season, odds are you’re going to judge yourself as a disappointment. Five teams will win a baseball state championship, while over 300 started the year on the diamond. Outcomes cannot dictate our identity.
Throughout the Bible, it seems that God is far more interested in humans engaging in inside-out living, keeping our identity centered on Christ. The heart is where God desires to dwell. He’s not looking at the outside, but the inside. As David is chosen by the Lord for His purposes in 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord says to Samuel, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
As a coach and as a leader, you control two things - the atmosphere you create in the program and the habits you’ve allowed to develop throughout the year. Has the atmosphere you’ve created reflected the joyous overflow of your heart? Are you building intentional, loving relationships with our God and with your athletes to an effort to build your atmosphere? Are the habits you’re trying to create within the players based on living ideas? Do those habits reflect Paul’s thoughts to the Philippians: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8)?
Whether your season is coming to an end or playoff intensity is set to rise, seek to get your team to compete WITH the team in the other dugout and not AGAINST that team. You’re each playing the game and drawing out the best in one another. The greatest athletes in the world understand this idea and it draws out the beauty in a competition. Your players and your coaches are going to rise to the level of their training. You might as well create a beautiful atmosphere and enjoy the day, win or lose. Continue to find new ways to live an inside-out life with Christ at the center of your heart!