Friday, September 27, 2013

Effort and Attitude by Coach Ireland

Today, in a meeting with our coaches, our men's soccer coach Jon Ireland shared from his coaching philosophy to our group.  Effort and Attitude were his buzz words and he shared that those are two things that every student has which they have complete control over.  There are a number of things that athletes have very little control over:

...how the opposing teams acts for example
...perhaps the referee makes a terrible call and everyone sees it
...injuries can really put a damper on students

The list could go on, but we as humans simply don't have control over everything.  Nor should we.  However, we can control how hard we try and how we treat others around us whether we face easy or difficult circumstances.  I know Coach Ireland gives 100% effort and he always represents a Christ-like attitude.  We are blessed to have a man of his spiritual discernment and desire among our staff at York College.  In only his second year, I see growth and no matter what the wins/loss column says I believe this program is on an upward trajectory.  I believe that because he believes in effort and attitude as it pertains to his Christian walk, his faith in Jesus.  I know he'll never quit on that and he believes in our mission to transform students lives through Christ-centered education and his goal is to equip students for lifelong service to God, family and society.

Effort and Attitude
...when the opposing team acts without character it shines even brighter when our student-athletes keep their cool
...when the referee makes an obvious bad decision, realize that sometime in the near future the call could go the other way and even referees are human (believe it or not)
...even through injuries its possible to be a very valuable team member

All of this reminds me of the scripture about imitating Christ's humility, here it is:

Philippians 2
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of
you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ
Jesus. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kaizen

Its Friday!

Which mean's its coffee break for our coaching staff.  We don't always have coffee at our "coffee breaks" but we always use it as a weekly time to reconnect as a coaching staff.  We have a bi-weekly meeting which we call coffee-break; Tuesday and Friday we jam all the coaches in my office; it gets tight in here.  On Tuesdays we might talk about something technical like how to do expense reports but on Friday's its more spiritually centered.  One of the very unique aspects of working at York College right now is the unity among our coaches.  We really support each other, give advice, help work through issues and mostly we are mutually encouraged by each other.

At our coffee break today, Coach Brian Walth shared his coaching philosophy with our whole group.  I'll not write out the whole philosophy here but the underlying theme focuses on helping students become better people rather than just better baseball players.  One term he used that his team uses is a Japanese word/concept called "Kaizen" which means "small incremental improvements each day."  If everyone on the team focuses on getting incrementally better each day and does so, by the time the season rolls around they'll be more equipped to handle any opponent.

Last week at our coffee break, Coach Madole shared a portion of his philosophy, which they call E2...stands for Expect Excellence.  This team is wanting to improve and do better but history is not on their side so Coach wants to change their expectations as a group and expect to be excellent...in everything they do on and off the court.  I expect them to be excellent because I know they are focusing on that from the beginning.

However, the most encouraging thing we talked about today in our meeting was prayer.  Coaches shared how they cultivate team prayer and how they disciple players to someday lead prayer who had never prayed before.  A student that one day entered the program and the coach thought they'd never make it and one day here they are volunteering to lead the team in approaching God...it's happened, its happened a lot here.  Guys like Dylan Connolly and Greg Smith (both of whom now coach here) Reggie Johnson and Alec Abend were names that were mentioned today. These are examples of transformed lives and really the fundamental principle of why York College exists to transform lives through Christ-centered education (which can take place in sport) and equip students for lifelong service to God, family and society.