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I recently heard a sermon based on Genesis 26.  In this passage, Isaac went and dug up water wells to help his family get through a famine.  The wells that he went to dig were the same wells that his father, Abraham, had dug many years prior.  After Abraham had passed away, the Philistines in that area covered up the wells…and yet Isaac remembered where they were located and went back anyway.

This sermon was on Father’s Day. The Pastor used this to illustrate how as Dad’s we are often teaching our children things that we do not always realize at the time.

We are constantly “digging wells” that our children will come back to later in life. This happens whether we are doing this intentionally or not.

This is kind of like the old saying “more is caught than taught.”

Being Father’s Day, this was used to illustrate the importance of the influence of fathers…and it was a great message.   As I listened, I couldn’t help (as usual) but think about how this same concept applies to coaches.

A while back, I received a thank-you card from a former player, and it immediately reminded me why I coach.  It’s not for the wins (although I HATE to lose), the trophies (although they are cool), or the paycheck (although it does make me rich…ok that part isn’t true).

At the end of the day it is for the relationships built, the opportunity to give our players a positive experience, and to hopefully have a positive impact on the young men and ladies in our programs.

The card did not say anything about teaching skills, winning games, or playing time.  Rather, it was a simple thanks to my family (the true “heroes”). She thanked them for their support of my time spent away from them while I coached. And lastly she thanked me for coaching her.

To be truthful, I often struggle with whether I’m “doing enough” to make a positive impact on our players. It becomes easy to begin playing the “comparison game.”

But while looking to others for ideas is one thing, doing the comparison thing can quickly lead to self-doubt and becoming paralyzing.

The fact of the matter is that it is in our everyday actions of encouragement, being a positive role-model, acting with integrity, and asking for forgiveness when we mess up that we can have a positive impact on those around us. And we don’t need to be Knute Rockne to do that.

Not a single one of us can do any of these things perfectly, and we will all make mistakes.

Trust me I have made more than I can remember. We’re ALL human. Mistakes will happen. 

But while we cannot be perfect, we can certainly make a decision about what kind of coach we will try our best to be.

What kind of wells do you want to dig? 

(By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)

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