What Do Coaches Make?

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

I came across this great story a while ago which perfectly illustrates the life and mindset of a coach. I have been a coach for 30 years and I think this tale hits the subject right on the head. I hope that it inspires you as much as it did for me. 


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, tried to explain the problem with college athletics. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to be a coach?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about coaches: “Those who can’t play, are those who coach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a coach, be honest. What do you make?”

Having a reputation for honesty and frankness, the guest replied, (At this moment Coach Ridder was FIRED up and getting after it!) “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids run through 90 minutes of practice and sweat. I make kids turn dreams into reality.”

“You want to know what I make?”

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them cooperate.

I make them competitive and respectful.

I make them show all their work in front of hostile crowds and perfect their acts of sportsmanship.

I make them understand that if you have the will to follow your dreams, should anybody try to judge you by a mistake you made you must pay no attention because you tried and gave it your all.”

“I make teams from individuals who work together to build success.”

He paused and continued. “You want to know what I make?” I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I MAKE LEADERS, I MAKE OTHER PROFESSIONS POSSIBLE.”

Then he asked the CEO, “What do you make?”


It makes you think doesn’t it?

Where’s Your Focus?

Photo Credit: Coach Rose in action with one of his teams "TRP!"

Photo Credit: Coach Rose in action with one of his teams “TRP!”

Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Coach Rose is one of the founding members and contributors to this site, “The Team Huddle.”  He was also the opposing coach of the high school that I used to attend and I remember him distinctly as a man and coach who not only enjoyed his craft of coaching but most importantly loved the Lord.

In today’s article, Coach Rose will share some his thoughts about his personal life, coaching career, and what him become the man that he is today. It is our hope and prayer that the following commentary will be a blessing and encouragement to you today!

My coaching career began many, many years ago, in 1976 (Far longer than I would like to admit!) Over my 35 year coaching career, I coached high school boys’ baseball, and basketball, girls’ softball but mostly boys and girls soccer. I started coaching at a small Christian school in Connecticut the same year I graduated from The King’s College (Briarcliff Manor, NY). I remember the nervousness I had as I started with the 18 or so young men. There were many questions I asked myself during those weeks leading up to that soccer season. Would the players respect me? What skills should I work on the most?, etc.. The main one however was, how do I motivate my players and what should our goals be?

I had played many different sports as a youth under many coaches. It wasn’t until college, however, that I was privileged to play under Christian coaches. Hearing the devotions they (and the older players) presented, gave me more wisdom as to player motivation. Also, about that time, a Christian author and coach (Wes Neal) came out with a book called: “Total Release Performance” which basically introduced the concept for athletes of competing in athletic competition with Christ as your focus and giving everything you had (practices, games, etc) for him and NOT worrying about pleasing anyone else but Him with your performance. (Of course this is a very simple breakdown of the content of the book. To get the complete picture and process, I suggest you buy the book -especially if you are a coach!) Though the book was written in the 70’s, the philosophy for athletic competition and participation is of course still the same today. It is based on Col. 3:23 which says, “Do everything heartily as unto The Lord, not as unto men”. I don’t think I would be amiss in saying that “pleasing men” is the focus of most coaches and players when they compete.

My first teams would yell “TRP” (Total Release Performance) as their opening game chant after we prayed in our huddle just before heading onto the field. (One funny story with this: my 3-year daughter at that time asked me one day why we yelled “1,2,3 Champagne” in the huddle!?) apparently what we were yelling was hard for others to understand, so that gave us the opportunity to explain to them what TRP was all about.

I would tell my players in tough games, under tough circumstances, “If Christ could leave heaven and live among us and suffer and die an agonizing death for our sake, the very LEAST we can do is compete wholeheartedly in all we do for Him. Whether playing an away game that your parents can’t attend, or playing during cold or rainy weather, or when your boyfriend (or girlfriend) has  broken up when you’ve or you failed an important test, when you step on the field, your job is to be totally committed to giving your absolute best effort for Him.”

Over the years, this became not only my athletic and coaching philosophy, but my life’s as well. Though totally applicable and perfect for sports, it should be the goal of ALL we do in our Christian walk also. (When my kids were young, we took that chant concept and would yell, “1,2,3 Family!” before we all headed out the door to school and work! My 2nd daughter has kept that tradition with her two and four year old boys, yelling “1,2,3 Family” and then “Go Jesus” before they tuck their boys in at night.  :).

Keeping Christ and HIS ultimate sacrifice for us as the focal point of our life should be our purpose in our daily walk as well and by doing everything, “heartily as unto the Lord”, we can glorify Him and also see and follow His will for our life.

Is this your life’s philosophy? Do the circumstances you have from day to day, affect your service and testimony for Him? My prayer for you today is that you can learn to live and perform in all you do for Christ and not for men!