Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013 - Individual vs Team Goals

When I was still a HS coach I had a few times where I was faced with a difficult decision concerning how to utilize players. By this I mean it was hard philosophically… you see one goal of coaching a team is obviously to win games; therefore the obvious choice of how to utilize a player is determining how he will most help the team to achieve this goal. The problem is that at the high school level a young man that is 6’4” or 6’5” tall will most of the time be needed as a front court player. At the high school level this young man will most often be used as a “big.” Seems like a simple choice for a coach… But what if this young man has dreams of college ball? At that height he is nowhere near being a “big” and will most certainly only have a shot as a wing player (a guard.)

This is where my dilemma would come in. Was my goal going to be just the team winning games or was it going to be to consider the individual player’s best interest? I will confess that I am a “player’s coach.” I was always concerned with trying to help individuals achieve goals. I remember telling kids that if they would work hard at the skill sets they needed to play at the next level, I would play them at the position they would play at the next level. But in the deal I would also tell them if they didn’t work hard at that I would put them at whatever position I felt most helped the high school team. (I know some may want to argue my philosophy… yet the reality is that my players still tend to have great relationships with me and seem to be “winning” in life – which to me is more important than just winning games…)

As I sat in church yesterday Pastor Joel was sharing more in our “Parental Guidance” series. He was encouraging parents to truly find out the individuality of their kids that is “knit” in them by God and to nourish that instead of forcing them into a mold the parents create…

I love the fact that God sees and loves us as individuals. I love the fact that we are all unique. I love the admonition to parents to view their kids in the same way. I have 5 kids and can tell you that they are all different; different interests, different personalities, different gifts and talents…

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go…”

Joel gave a twist to this verse I had never considered. We obviously see the need to train in the Word (God’s ways) as is stated throughout Scripture. (See Deuteronomy 6:4-9) But there is also more to this verse… it is not a blanket one size fits all statement.

Apologetics Press words it this way: “Children, even in the same family unit, have differing personalities and abilities, and do not respond uniformly to instruction. The phrase ‘in the way he should go’ actually verifies this fact…the ‘way’… (in Hebrew refers) to the singular characteristics of each child. Parents (are to train) their children in the way paved by their unique dispositions…”

Do you see this duel truth in Proverbs? Our training is to center on teaching God’s ways (the overall team game plan) in light of the unique creation of each child (each player’s unique path.)

I highly endorse groups like Uniquely You that provide personality testing to help us understand ourselves, others, and how we relate to one another. In fact I am working on providing InBounds Ministries’ Total Player Academy Personality Profiles that have been created by Uniquely You to help coach and player relationships (parent/child, teacher/student, etc.)

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