Volume 23, Issue 35 | May 7, 2024

A Change in the Seasons

Each May brings with it the anticipation of summer and the bittersweet end to another school year. For many coaches, teachers and administrators, there's also a bit of exhaustion. We love the grind of the season and the energy our student-athletes bring to our schools or programs, but we also look forward to the opportunity for rest, a chance to re-charge and prepare to go again.

Of course, for those who lead teams or leagues in the summer, the season is just beginning; longer days and rising temperatures bring doubleheaders and postgame trips to the local ice cream shop... at least for the youngest among us. Many coaches now also have added responsibilities with summer workouts or competitions.

Wherever you find yourself this month, this time of year offers an excellent opportunity for gratitude, reflection and preparation [if you're out-of-season, add rest to that list]. First, take a moment to step back and thank God for the many gifts you have been given, from your family and student-athletes to the memorable moments or little victories you've experienced throughout the past year. Make a list! Putting our gratitude on paper helps us to see just how much we have to be thankful for and offers important perspective. Next, use this list as a starting point to reflect on the past year. What were your greatest successes or failures? Where did you grow as a coach or leader? What goals did you set for yourself and what progress did you make toward those goals? You can do the same thing for your team or program, taking stock of both your own personal development and that of your student-athletes.

When you have taken some time to reflect, you may find yourself energized and ready for what comes next. However, it may still be wise to prioritize rest before jumping back into preparation. Remember that both physical and mental recovery (rest) is an integral part of high-performance, we can't give our best if we don't take time to let our bodies heal. That's true for both student-athletes and the coaches and administrators who serve them. Once you are ready, the summer months are a great time to prepare for the coming year. Ponder new goals and commit to ways that you and your athletes can GROW in 2024-2025.

Each summer provides a terrific opportunity to reset, re-energize and re-commit to the work that God has entrusted us to do as coaches, administrators and leaders. If you give your attention to the four exercises above, the next few months can become a great foundation on which to build in the year ahead. Enjoy the journey and the sunshine!

This issue marks the final Coach Note for the 2023-2024 year. Following a break for summer, we'll be back in late August with another year of coach, parent and athlete notes. Have a great summer and thanks for all that you do!

Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ~ 1 Timothy 4:7-8

A Prayer for Coaches

My Lord Jesus Christ, inspire me by your example to coach in a Christ-like way. Help me to serve these children whom you have allowed me to lead, just as you served your disciples. Help me to demonstrate love for each child on my team, just as you loved all who followed you. Help me to teach these children not just to how to play and compete, but how to live. Grant that I may be patient in developing the talents of each child, encouraging in failure or defeat, hopeful in the face of adversity, and faithful in passing on the faith through all that we do. Lord, you created each man and woman in Your image. May I always remember that I am called to be as Christ to those I lead and grant me the graces I need to coach as You desire. Amen.

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