Who's Coaching the Coaches?

“A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime. So who’s coaching the coaches?” ~ Billy Graham

So who’s coaching the coaches? What a great question! According to the research the high school coach is the most influential voice in a young person’s life. You may take issue with putting a coach ahead of a parent in the influence department. But regardless of whether the coach is first and parents are second or vice versa, it accentuates the truth; the high school coach is an incredibly significant voice in a teenager’s life today!

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One of my greatest gifts was the opportunity to coach my own children.

Here I’m hugging Tavita after a big high school win.

Whatever comes after the words, “Coach says…” will be heard differently than almost any other words! Which begs the question; who’s coaching the coaches?

The 2 most obvious answers are the coach’s parents and the coach’s coaches. Perhaps you were among the 108 million people that tuned into this year’s Super Bowl. The top story line had nothing to do with the athletes playing the game but rather involved the two head coaches facing off that night. For the first time in history, two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh were on opposite sidelines coaching in the biggest sporting event in the world. If you ask either of them, they would give you the same answer. Much of their success they owed to their father, Jack Harbaugh, not surprisingly, also a coach. For most coaches, their first coach and trainer is one or both parents.

In the northwest, April 12, 2013 will go down as an important day. The day the coaching world lost two legends of the game; Frosty Westering and Marv Harshman both entered eternity. I won’t go into the details of their achievements… suffice to say the country is riddled with athletic programs modeled after the teaching of these two coaches. Ask virtually any great coach and he or she will tell you of coaches in their past who have shaped and molded their philosophy of coaching.

But this last weekend, we had the opportunity to be part of a speaking team at a Coach’s Time Out (CTO) conference, a ministry of Pro Athlete Outreach (PAO). CTO is attempting to be part of the answer to the question, who’s coaching the coaches? What a privilege for us to be part of a fabulous team. Jake Locker of the Tennessee Titans and Michael Keonen of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with their wives Lauren and Devin hosted the weekend and shared coaching tips from a player’s perspective. A room full of coaches, many with their spouse, gathered for a weekend of refreshing, recharging and teaching.

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Jake and Lauren Locker

In addition to the Lockers and Keonans, Gary Bell gave great financial advice from a biblical perspective, Joe Nu’u brought spiritual challenge and we spoke into growing strong family relationships in the midst of the craziness of coaching. The best part for us was knowing this room full of people will now affect hundreds if not thousands of lives this coming year.

CTO’s goal according to their director Joe Broussard and PAO director Steve Stenstrom, is to have a Coach’s Time Out within driving distance of every high school coach in America. There were twelve such conferences this year with plans to have seventeen in 2014.

If you have an athlete, rather than buying your coach another plaque for an overfilled wall, why not consider giving him/her something that will be super meaningful and have the potential of impacting more lives in the future (possibly your childs). Most of the cost for the weekend is underwritten by professional athletes and others who place a high value on caring for coaches and their families. If you’d like more information visit their website http://www.coachestimeout.org/.

I know my life has been heavily influenced by the coaches I have played for. But honestly I never stopped long enough to ask… who’s coaching the coaches? Now I know and so do you!