You’ve seen him, and so have I. The coach that makes everyone want to crawl into a hole…or strangle that coach! He’s the one who insists on getting the most out of his players, but on his terms. He’s the one who yells and screams at his team, and mostly at his own kid. You’ve seen him, and so have I.

Perhaps this coach assumes he is doing what is right, or perhaps he’s simply doing what was modeled for him, or perhaps he’s just rude. Regardless, he stands to learn something from Proverbs 15:1–“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (NASB).

The truth is no one, not even kids who can’t defend themselves or articulate a response, no one likes to play for someone who is harsh and rude. When dealing with players in youth league, high school, or even college, parents and coaches must remember that spiritual maturity must be evident in your coaching, even in how you speak to your players, and especially how you speak to your own child/player.

Speaking harshly only stirs up anger in those who are the target of the speech. No follower of Christ who is also a coach can justify such actions. Ever.

Thankfully, Christ died to set you and me free from the power of such sin that works to destroy us as people and coaches. By His Holy Spirit, we can be enabled to get the most out of players without berating them and stirring up anger within them.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, make me a parent/coach who speaks with gentleness to my children/players. Enable me to love them as you love me, even in how I talk to them. Amen.