Yesterday you were challenged to pray for the athletes under your care. More specifically, to put a plan in place to pray for them. But how are you supposed to know what to pray for them? Great question!
You need to know—at least at some level—what is going on in their lives. That requires you to talk to them about life beyond sport. These conversations are most effective outside of practice and within the confines of your office.
The second habit of a servant coach involves checking in with your athletes.
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul challenges the church at Philippi to "look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." That's what you are trying to do by checking in with your athletes. You are looking out for their interests by showing you care about their life beyond their sport.
When he first joined the Detroit Lions, Coach Caldwell took the players out to dinner by position groups and peppered each player with questions. From what their favorite books and movies were to other questions about them as people. He wanted to know them. Why? So he could serve them better.
He was looking out for the interest of others. Coach, how are you doing in this area?
Habit Forming Challenge: Schedule a 30-minute slot with each of your players over the next month or two where they can meet up with you. Ask them questions about their life outside of sport. Coach, get to know your athletes. After they leave, write what they said on their note card so you can pray for them for effectively. Don’t get overwhelmed by this! You do not need to meet with every athlete in the next week.