Youth Ministry

Coaching Essential #2: Speed Kills

I've learned a lot coaching high school football that I'm trying to implement into leadership in ministry.  Our goal in sports is to help an athlete do a fundamental movement in shortest amount of time repetitively.

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Everyday in practice we begin doing the exact same movements.  Over and over.  Everyday.  The fundamentals are critical to coaching, including observation and feedback.  The three go together like peanut butter, jelly, and bread.

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I apologize for that video.

However, I have to ask you, are people getting those three things out of you?  Are you coaching the fundamentals every day that includes observation and feedback.  Are you aware of the fundamentals in your organization or business?  Do you yourself practice the fundamentals in front of other people.  I can show a kid how to pass block but he's better off if I demonstrate how to pass block.

Every pro athlete and professional coach knows that speed kills.  I can promise you that if you "speed" through the fundamentals it will kill your people.


Who are you dancing for?

I attended a Harlem Globetrotters game over the weekend and of course had some observations. First, not a single player is from Harlem.

Second, the whole event proves that people will always pay to see creativity trump the average, or in this case, no one was there to support those poor Washington Generals.

The last observation snuck up on me during the halftime show. A local dance team, consisting of boys and girls from the age of four to 20, performed in front of everyone. They were really good and it's always fun to see little kids dance hip hop; that of course is why I was such a fun kid (oh yeah, me + refrigerator box at recess + soundtrack of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo = a new blog titled "Adventures Where Little Red Headed Kids Pop'n Lock'n Don't Belong")

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I know I just jeopardized loosing you as you try to figure out what the crap just happened in that video and what is a boogaloo? I was talking about the dance team!

What I noticed, as these kids performed, is that the coach of the team sat in a chair on the sideline of center court. I don't know this woman personally, but we connected as her kids danced because she was so happy watching them dance! She was clapping to the beat, laughing, enjoying watching her kids dance, and yelling out encouragement as they went by. I don't know if anyone else even noticed her, but I did! I was thinking about the amount of time and energy she invested to teach every kid, even the youngest kid, every single move. She also was the creative force behind the choreography, the costumes, the timing, and even building a team of people who helped her coach. But when it came time to be in the spotlight, she was sitting on the sideline cheering. Although the teams performance was to wow the crowd, the coach had to wow her team, which she did simply through the expression on her face, her posture of leaning forward in her chair, and her encouraging words as they moved. She was having fun!

When they finished dancing I was thinking to myself about how we, as leaders, are intended to help others move. We have to help them do it creatively, offering them a challenge, and letting them add to it with their own unique passion. Do our faces show our people how much we enjoy watching them move? When was the last time you spoke encouragement into someone? When was the last time you cheered for your team? Don't get lost looking for the crowd to cheer for you because the applause lasts only a few seconds. Instead, delight in the opportunity to be life long relationships with people you coach to move and have some fun for crying out loud!

Leadership Prayer

So right off the bat I feel like this may lack some pizzaz (thank you Perfume Pizzaz for teaching me Pizzaz) but let's have the conversation anyways. I was on a personal retreat last month and Psalm 111 jumped out at me during my time.  One particular verse stood out, verse six,

"He (God) has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations."

As a leader I hope you have a set of what I call leadership prayers.  This verse stood out to me because it reminds me that it is God's nature to give us "places" that don't belong to us to demonstrate His power.  In my line of work I feel like this towards our local high schools.  I'm praying that God would take over the lives of kids in these schools as a demonstration of his power.  What "land" are you praying for because God loves to wow us as his people?

Again, if this lacks pizzaz for you this is what I do, just sing "leader-ship prayer" to the same rhythm of the chorus to "Birthday Sex."  Yep, now it's in your head all day and 10 of you will probably never read this again, "He said sex?"

Lessons from the SNOW-APOCALYPSE 2011

The SNOW-APOCALYPSE of 2011 here in Missouri proved herself to be legit. She threw two nasty punches: the first being the almost two feet of snow she dropped; the second was that I would have to use a SHOVEL to clean it up. However, since my brain never shuts off, I thought of some comparisons between my experience and yours! 1. The work can seem overwhelming. This was my view when I opened my garage.

2. If we, or you expect someone else, to do the work then the right tools are required.

3. If we want to create change we need, and people need, guided tasks. There was no way I could clear the drive instantaneously. Stop expecting it out of yourself as well as people.

4. When we lead, be willing to fail in front of people, or in my case, fall down. No really, I slipped on ice and fell down; in front of God, my neighbors, and two boys who were cracking up 50 feet away.

5. Remember to stop and celebrate. As much as I would have liked God to make it snow into a mini mountain next to my driveway and keep it off my driveway, he chose me to be involved. We celebrate his work and my work; we're a team. We call ourselves "Thunderstruck" since "Sons of Thunder" was taken by Peter and Andrew. (I know, Bible humor foul)