Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

LET THE GAMES BEGIN…

For over twenty years in my life November has meant the start of high school basketball … not the season but the preparation. Whether I was officiating or coaching … it’s basketball time. When the season ends I’m tired, ready to hang it up, dreading it approaching in September when I think how my schedule will fill up … especially now between my ministry duties, administrative duties, and my daily live talk radio program. Now I have to squeeze after air practices in and prepare extra programs for game nights when I’m with the team. BUT once October rolls around I start getting the itch. Trips to Sports Authority, tweaking our play book, watching videos for ideas for new plays, talking with other coaches, lining up special clinics for drill work for my players, and getting to know new players are all part of the process I love.

This year is hard. I have had winning teams when I was in New York. I had losing teams. I had teams that won it all and teams that lost it all. I have coached young men with no athletic ability and a few that had exceptional athletic skill and giftedness.

I have coached my own sons. I have coached other people’s sons. But they are all my kids.

This year will be hard. Try Out’s finished last night. All day student athletes walked by the school office window anticipating the posting of “The List.” You know “The List.” The one that contains the names of those who will wear our school colors and play Varsity HS Basketball. The young men who dream of winning a championship. The guys who will put it all on the line for three months.  They will sacrifice free time, try to get homework done on school buses coming in late from a road game, subject themselves to encouragement and wrath from the coach, and cry when, as a Senior, they play their very last game.

What makes this year hard is two factors. First, I have some incredible talent on the team. I am not kidding nor embellishing. I have enough ability in these young athletes for two starting teams with bench players who can bring it. I have been doing this for twenty years and have NEVER had this kind of pool to draw from. Second, my daughter is a starter on the Varsity girls team. She’s a Senior. Her final hoorah. But one of “my” players is also a Senior. This young man has been used by the Lord to be a special encouragement in my life since he was a Sophomore, and I nervously stepped back into a classroom to teach Bible after having been out of the ministry. Always an honor student and a passionate athlete, he blossomed last year during my first year as the Varsity coach here after a year off to coach JV. He pressed administration to let me return to the classroom the next year. Little did either of us know God would open the door for me to be the administrator and then a month later the youth pastor.

Now, he is one of my student leaders in our worship team on Wednesday nights. I love him like a son.

So, as I get excited to get this season rolling … it is bitter sweet. It’s a reminder of how God weaves people in and out of our lives to benefit us and us them. WIN with Character! LOSE with Class! PLAY with Heart! Let’s Go TCS Lions 2011-2012!

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