“I can’t count on the guys I can’t count on.” He said the same thing during every preseason speech to his team. With curious looks, they wondered what he meant. To their confusion, he explained, “If you’re a guy who proves you can’t be counted on, don’t expect to be counted on.”

He knew the Scripture was true in Proverbs 10:26–“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy one to those who send him.”

The coach understood what God was saying. Things like vinegar slowly eat away at the enamel of teeth and things like smoke are irritating to the eyes. Over time, both the teeth and eyes are rendered ineffective and useless.

In the same way, players allowed to be lazy, to lack desire, and to do their own thing slowly eat away at the effectiveness of the team, slowly cause irritation to the entire program.

Guys who prove, on or off the field, they are aren’t worthy of trust won’t be trusted when things are on the line.

If you want to be a guy who can be counted on, it requires character, perseverance, and hard work. Every day. The guys who can be counted on for that can be counted on for more.

Such qualities aren’t glamorous or even exciting, but they are what God builds inside those who surrender to him. And they’re what every coach wants and needs.

Lord Jesus, develop in me the kind of character that you can use, on and off the field. Amen.