Players, until you’re paid to play the game, your performance never overshadows your attitude.

Coaches, until the guys you’re coaching are paid, you should never allow performance to overshadow attitude.

I’ll admit, this is a fine line. And I’ll admit, that team chemistry doesn’t guarantee winning on the field.

Even so, players and coaches have a mutual responsibility to ensure that the team pulls together, works for each other, and gets along as much as possible. When that’s not the case, it may be time for someone to go, even if that someone is great.

Proverbs 22:10–“Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, even strife and dishonor will cease.”

I wish it weren’t true, but at the professional level, a guy’s attitude doesn’t mean that much. Everyone is there to do a job. Players, coaches, and teams don’t have to get along, and often they don’t.

But at the amateur level, I believe strongly in a different and better standard. As players and coaches, we should strive to get rehabilitate or get rid of the “scoffers,” those guys who care about no one but themselves. Again, this is a fine line.

Maybe it’s time to evaluate. Player, are you contributing to the contention, strife, and dishonor of your team? Or, are you working hard to ensure that those things are not part of the culture in your program?

Coaches, are you allowing scoffers to take over? Have you addressed it? If you haven’t, don’t be surprised when the culture of your program is ruined by the strife that started with one or two guys.

Lord Jesus, as a player, I give you my sinful nature, which has the capacity to ruin me and my team. Forgive me for my negative attitude and change me, make me like you. As a coach, give me courage to address the strife and dishonor I see in my program. Help me to do it with grace and compassion, seeking reconciliation above all. Amen.