Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016 - Steal Space

One word of explanation can make a huge difference as a coach in getting across a concept… With my 5/6 grade girls I coached this year (who by the way won their conference tourney Saturday to finish off an undefeated season) I regularly reminded them to be “greedy girls” that wanted every loose ball and rebound. Yet if not careful the choice of those words can create poor play in other areas…

Because my team knew I wanted them to aggressively go after the ball, and due to being very amped up in the championship, the girls started trying to get the ball when the other team was dribbling. You may be wondering why that is a bad thing… well let the coach tell you.

On defense you can often hear coaches yelling for their players to stop reaching or for them to move their feet. Aggressive players tend to come along side opponents and reach in which most often results in fouls being called. And that actually started happening in our tourney Saturday and a couple of our better players got in foul trouble.

So I started being very deliberate with my words. I told my girls that we “don’t play shoulder defense” but instead “it’s all about taking one more step than the offense and beating them to the spot they want.” I told them instead of running shoulder-to-shoulder they should “get in front and be able to read her numbers.” Instead of just yelling for them to stop reaching I told them to “stop trying to steal the ball and instead steal space”(meaning they should beat them to the spot they want on the floor.) Players that are playing “shoulder defense” and trying to steal the ball are giving effort but not playing smart; It is all about positioning and effort!

Now let’s apply this principle to our Christian walks. Can I urge us all to “stop reaching and instead be able to read their numbers”? Again you may wonder what in the world I am talking about…

As the church we are very good at “reaching”; we reach our hands to our wallets and to put money in offering plates… we may reach our hand out our car window and give some money to someone in need…

Yet I want us to get in people’s space and be able to read their numbers (actually look in people’s eyes.) We need to put ourselves into people’s stories… feel their pain… Today We LIVE (Love Intentionally Value Everyone)! We cannot do that unless we pay attention to being intentional!

Here is my Biblical support… and it all revolves around one word in a command from Jesus… He intentionally used the word “into”… Check it out:

Matthew 9:36-38
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them (are you moved with compassion for people), because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers INTO His harvest.”

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t reach into our pockets or out our windows to help; to the contrary the Scripture does call us to reach in that way (and ministries like InBounds that are support-based appreciate that.) Yet that is not to be in place of the actual call that “laborers” are those that actually go “INTO His harvest.

Today We LIVE!
Don’t just go alongside someone, actually get INTO people’s lives!

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