What is the goal of a coach? What is his job? Should he drive his team by cracking the whip?
Today, here in the Dominican Republic, I saw a great picture that got the questions rolling in our van full of coaches. A man was going down the street with his oxen pulling a load. He was at times really cracking the whip on the oxen. Not only was it a great cultural picture (since we do not often see oxen yoked together in the states); but it was also a great sports picture and spiritual picture.
The initial analogy that came up was dealing with the use of the whip. Of course we were discussing the times as a coach that we have to crack it.
I made the following observation: As long as the oxen are yoked and going in the same direction (same goal) then the whip is simply a way to speed that up or keep it moving. Therefore the coach’s job does involve at times cracking the whip.
But then it dawned on me that the farmer was also the guy that placed the yoke on the oxen. Therefore it reminded me that the coach’s job also includes setting the direction/goals of the team – unifying them. It would be very hard to crack the whip in the process of putting on the yoke; that needs to be a time of peace for the animals/team…
As a Christian coach the goal should not be winning games/championships nearly as much as it should be everyone striving to honor God in effort and attitude – or as my good friend Terry Primm put it: “Playing to make God famous!” (Colossians 3:23)
And this is also the reminder of our responsibilities to be careful who we are yoked to… Our “teammates” (be it a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, business partner, best friend, etc.) should be equally yoked with us. In other words we should have the yoke of the Word of God guiding us and keeping us on the right path; along with at times the Holy Spirit cracking the whip of conviction!
2 Corinthians 6: 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?