Gaining players’ respect is every coaches’ goal. Respect insures players listen when coaches speak. Respect keeps players trusting when understanding is not complete. Respect sustains credibility when critics, doubters and neigh-sayers grow loud.
If respect is so valuable, how can we be sure to earn it? Following three biblical principals will help insure a coach earns player respect:
1. Show players you care about them as individuals separate from athletic potential or performance. (1 Samuel 16:7)
2. What you require of your athletes…never compromise. (1 Cor 11:31-32)
3. Outwork your players. (Proverbs 14:23)
I don’t imagine Jesus looked at the prostitute caught in the act, Peter as the rooster crowed or your receiver who dropped the critical pass… with eyes of condemnation. Jesus looked at their hearts. Players know by the treatment of talented players as compared with the less talented and peak performers as compared with “goats” if coaches care about them as individuals.
Once a standard is set, moving the line only serves to confuse. Decide what is required, and stay with the requirement. God said we are to judge ourselves properly. If we don’t measure up, He doesn’t lower the standard… He disciplines us. Why? So we won’t be condemned with the world. Don’t lower the bar. Help ‘em jump higher!
If you know Jesus you are saved by faith, you walk in grace and you are set free by the truth. But as we learn in James 2, faith without works is dead. Work unto the Lord. Paul tells us in Col 3;23 that grace leads to a work ethic. Our players work hard. Have a blue-collar mindset. As God’s word tells us, “there is profit in all hard work.” Outwork ‘em!