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The Power Behind the Coach

Hi Friends,

Every now and then there’s something that captures “all” of you in a single place. It speaks who you are, what you believe, and how you operate into one expression. It funnels you.

In the story I posted last week on the Fit2Finish website (my “professional” zone) has funneled me. A coach has ushered me in to the heart and soul he put into growing young men and women into creative, grateful, thriving young adults. The arena for the adventure was youth soccer fields and the duration, 47 seasons over nearly 20 years.

Team on 3The power behind this coach’s success lay in his self-imposition of one boundary: he didn’t cut anyone, ever. Every child was included and nothing they did was irredeemable. He mentored each one, according to their need, and that shaped a community he could never have foreseen or imagined into one from which he continues to reap incredible joy.

God is not mentioned and yet Christ resounds.

I hope you’ll read the article The Secret Behind Coach Chas Sumser’s Success. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to the Fit2Finish email “share” to receive weekly posts offered to the sporting community.

It’s my way of giving back to youth sports in thanks for what they (and their coaches) began in me as a child and continue to show me in new and amazing ways.

Thank you for reading.


Following the rules is so high school, grow up already

My name is Wendy and I am not a rule-follower. I just discovered this about myself. Call it an epiphany. All these years I thought I was a person that lived according to the rules. But no.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t go around looking for rules to break and havoc to wreak. I’m not a rule-breaker, per se. Just a rule-expander. I don’t like to be hemmed in by the rules.

I should have realized this in high school, when I got busted by the shop teacher for not having a pass in the hallway. Why did I need a pass? I was a student government representative, an officer in my class and a straight-A student. How could he question by right to be in the hall without a pass? Didn’t he know that people like me don’t break the rules? We expand them.

A hall pass, that’s for the other kids. The untrustworthy kids.

Mr. shop teacher, wherever you are, I apologize. You were right. I was in the wrong. I’m sorry.

Of course, that incident didn’t change the high school me. Just made me mad. I wrote some letters. Really showed them. But today it still speaks to me. Shows me the truth about me: I have always liked to use the rules for my own ends. Show me the boundaries – fine – but wouldn’t it make more sense to modify here and here?

Face to face with Christ himself I would probably offer a bit of advice about some updates needed to the scripture text.

Go ahead. Call me out on this if you want to. But I’m pretty sure that Christ would engage this conversation. No judgment. Because He knows that negotiation is what I need to find the line between fair and foul. And His ultimate patience allows me to keep searching for it. His great love for me knows the comfort I will feel when I find it.

But step one is admitting I have a problem. I’m not a rule-follower.

Can we stop now?

A wonderful woman I know sent a request to our prayer chain: she was being admitted to the hospital with an irregular EKG. Oh, my. I must pray. Five days later I see pictures on her Facebook page of wedding cake and a wonderful celebration. Guess I can stop praying now. I am guessing it was a false alarm and can see what might have disrupted the heart rhythm, but still…

Why do we alert God when we are in need but not celebrate with God when we are released from need? Over and over He satisfies our requests and we move on, forgetting to say thank you.

We get distracted, of course. I am totally guilty. I tell the group to get in plank position, start my watch shouting go, then wander about the group correcting form and speaking encouragement – totally forgetting the time until some poor diligent child, looks up at me red-faced and arms shaking and pleads, “Can we stop now?”

And I sheepishly shout, “stop!” Then I wonder just how long that 20 second plank actually went on.

We humans are a distractable bunch. Getting caught up in the good we are doing and the difference we are making, totally forgetting the whom of the good and the difference.

Oh, a few extra planking seconds won’t hurt them, right? Just like those few extra prayers won’t hurt her, right? In fact, God being God would probably just apply them to the new situation without telling us.

But I need the reminder that prayers go both ways, just like plank and rest. It’s in the rhythm of the start and stop, that we stay on course. The ask, then listen. The effort, then rest.

When I finally remembered to shout REST! to those 12 year old plankers I do think I heard one say, “Thank God!” I would do well to pay better attention to them and to the time.

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