Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What Not to Give Up This Lent: Being Coachable

Catholics everywhere have said "I never expected to give up this much for Lent!" I don't even need to ask. I already know I will hear an "Amen." 

As much as we may have given up in terms of our day to day routines, creature comforts and personal freedom this Lent, there are somethings that I keep close. One of those is starting my day with a video reflection by Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic—a spiritual exercise I would like to recommend to anyone, in particular coaches and athletes. 
Kelly's "Best Lent Ever" series is widely acclaimed and quite popular. It should be, as his message is personal and practical. Kelly is inclusive of Catholic tradition—teaching and integrating it in a meaningful way. So while I have given up sweets for the second year in a row this is not something I have had to give up! Rather, I would like to pass it on! Though we are but two weeks away from Easter, please know—coaches, athletes and anyone else who is interested—,it's not too late! Let his reflection on Australia's first saint serve as the portal. Why? Kelly has found a way to relate Mother Mary McKillop, discipleship and coachability into one singular reflection.

Every coach hopes that the young people on their team will be coachable. We use this word often because to be an athlete who is coachable is a necessary good. This quality allows for a team to flourish. It makes what is a demanding job, enjoyable! I never take an athlete who is coachable for granted. 

An athlete who is not coachable can derail forward progress. They upset the chemistry. Eventually me first/selfish-Steven/selfish Susan takes the life out of what is already deemed a grind.
The benefits of being coachable extend far beyond the court, track, trail and field. Being coachable makes us good disciples. What might that mean? And, why is it important. According to Kelly
One of the things that makes a good disciple is the willingness to be coached, to be coached to a better place, to be coached to become a better disciple, to sit at the feet of Jesus, sit with the Gospels, read about the life and teachings of Jesus, pray about life and teachings of Jesus, and allow Jesus to coach us to live at a higher level, to live in new ways, to put our lives to the best and highest use every single day. And the saints had this. The saints were coachable.
If you think about what are the essential elements of coachability, it largely comes down to humility. How humble are we? Because it takes great humility to allow ourselves to be coached. If you look at any aspect of human life, the best of the best, the champions at anything—they love coaching. They love coaching because they love getting better at whatever it is that they do. And this is true in sports, it's true in business, it's true in every aspect of life. Champions love coaching.
And so a question I want to lay before you today is how coachable are you. When was the last time you really opened yourself up and allowed Jesus to coach you in a particular situation? When was the last time that you opened yourself up and said, “All right, Jesus, I've got this situation. I really need your help. Lead me, guide me, coach me. I'm open, I'm available, I'm coachable. Show me what to do”? Because it's that coachability and excellence, they go hand in hand. Whether it's on the sporting field or in the spiritual life—that coachability and excellence—they just go hand in hand.

Take heed as we prepare for Holy Week. 
  • Do you understand what it means to be coachable? Ask others what they think.
  • Are you willing to be coached? 
Coaches: model humility. Encourage your athletes to be humble.

Invite Christ to coach you. No better leader.

Even though we may have had to give up more than we could have ever bargained for this Lent, let time with and reflection upon the Word of God not be one of them. How's that for coaching?!

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