As I prepared to enter the batting cage outside the field one day during my senior year of high school, a barrage of choice words flew my way from my head coach. Wondering what I had done, but not wanting to upset him further, I nodded, took it, and proceeded to take batting practice.
Later, he pulled me aside. “Look, you didn’t do anything wrong, but these guys gotta know you can get ripped, too.”
Proverbs 9:9–“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning.”
By the time I was a senior, I had been taught well by my parents, coaches, and church leaders. I did my best to operate with wisdom. But I wasn’t perfect, and I and those around me needed to know that.
Consider this, if you’re a player who has learned wisdom and integrity…
There’s always more to learn, so never assume you’ve arrived or are perfect.
The moment you stop seeking wisdom is the moment you are no longer wise.
Wise people receive instruction, rebuke, and guidance with humility.
If you’re a coach…
Give some of your best instruction to the guys who don’t seem to need it. Trust me, they do, and you’re doing them and your team a favor by continuing to build greater wisdom into them.
Don’t be afraid to reprimand or criticize a wise player. He might not have caused you a big problem, and nit-picking isn’t the point, but help him sand off even the subtle rough edges of his character.
Tell your players the “why” behind what you’re doing. Some won’t care. Some won’t understand. Some will love you for it. That last group is your target.
Lord Jesus, give me wisdom upon wisdom. Help me learn in humility from those wiser than me. Use me to impart your wisdom to the players around me. Amen