Three Things Parents Should Say to the CoachDecember 3, 2016
By Rob Globke
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” - 1 Timothy 2:1
I wrote about this in a previous article about players and coaches, but the same can be said in this instance as well. I believe 1 Timothy 2:1 is a great reminder for all the hockey parents out there.
I especially appreciate the final two words in that verse… “all people”.
What a challenge Paul throws down to his young apprentice Timothy! A challenge that we would do well to heed also. Parents, be thankful for your coaches even when your child may not be getting the ice time you think they should be getting. Parents, be thankful for your coaches even if you don’t think he’s the most wholesome guy. Parents, be thankful for your coaches even if you don’t have a clue as to what kind of system he might be running. Parents, be thankful to your coaches even if he has not always treated you in the best way. Oh, this is so hard. If you truly believe God is the Sovereign Lord who controls all things, you must submit to the truth that he has placed or allowed your coach to be the coach. Some seasons, this is easy and you readily give thanks to God and the coach. In other seasons, this almost seems impossible.
While I’m not advocating you be thankful for evil, I am suggesting you strive to look through a lens of thankfulness when looking at your coach. I truly do believe when you do this, there will be slivers of reason for you to give thanks to the person who takes the time to coach your child. I encourage you to take what might be the harder step and voice those reasons of thanks to this fellow human being. You just may find that over time, slivers turn into cracks, and cracks to chasms as the peace and love of Christ shines through you as a bright light in a dark place.
What Do You Need?
- What steps can you take to be more thankful with the coach?
- How might showing thankfulness to the coach change your heart?
- How might showing thankfulness to the coach be an example to your child and family?
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10:45
I regularly have to remind myself the magnitude of this verse. I don’t consciously say, “Of course Christ died for me. After all, I’m a pretty swell guy. I’m not like that guy over there.” But, to my shame, there are times when my life is lived as if this is the case. It’s easy to look at the speck in another’s eye. It’s easy to say I deserve to be served at least a little bit. Then, I remember the truth that Christ gave his life for me, served me in the ultimate way, despite the fact I wasn’t such a great guy. This truth totally changes the game.
Now let’s think about this in the life of a hockey parent. You may say you are paying a good deal of money to have your son or daughter play. So, it’s only right you are served well. It’s not your job to serve on top of what you are paying. Maybe your son or daughter carries the weight of the team’s production. Then, it’s only fair that you are served by others. It only seems right others should pick up the slack in other areas. Or, you could look at the other side to this coin and say, “I don’t like the coach. I don’t agree with his style or personality. I’m just going to show up and make it through this year. After all, with the way he is acting, he doesn’t deserve any help!” In both ways, you are not living like Christ at the rink. This is not the way he operates. He didn’t just say you should serve others. He lived it. What kind of parent will you be at the rink? I hope you will seek to be one who is willing to ask, “How can I help?” Even if it means asking it to a man who rubs you the wrong way. Even if it means you are giving more than anyone else is giving.
- What can you do to serve the coach and the team?
- Who can you recruit to help you and work alongside you?
- Have you thought about the amazing truth of how Jesus Christ has served you?
Please be Honest
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
While I don’t want to be accused of taking this verse out of context as it is talking about matters that pertain to doctrine of the christian faith, I do believe it has some carry over to life at the rink. Hockey parents can have a tendency to have these itching ears Paul talks about in 2 Timothy. No one wants to hear their child is not cutting it. No one wants to hear their child isn’t good enough to be playing on the power play or at the next level. I certainly don’t look forward to the day when I have to face a certain truth about one of my children. It is not a pleasant experience. So, there is a temptation for hockey parents to accumulate for themselves teachers (coaches?) to suit their own passions. There is a temptation to go to a team with a coach who will just tell you what you want to hear. There is a temptation to only hear what you want to hear from your current coach.
The truth sets things free. Even if it doesn’t always “feel” so freeing. Lies are the opposite. They keep things chained under a heavy yoke even though they feel life giving at the time. While it is not your responsibility to make your coach tell the truth, imagine if you gave him the green light to speak honestly with you. Do you think this might set him free a little bit? Instead of being weighed down by the pressure of what to say in order to make you happy, he might be liberated to give you feedback which will help your child actually grow as a player. Telling your coach to be honest with you takes great courage. It takes a willingness to face what might be some difficult things. Yet, it ultimately is what’s best for everyone involved. The sharp and sour sting from a truth is far better than a sugar coated lie. Set your coach free by asking him to be honest with you.
- What messages / signals have your actions and mannerisms been sending the coach?
- Would you rather have the coach be honest or tell you what you want to hear?
- Are you honest with those people in your life? Why or why not?