Friday, June 4, 2010

You Need A Coach

While traveling with freeway Quartet on their recent tour in the Houston, Texas area, I had a thought I wish to share. The law requires children to attend school and there they receive instruction which will affect their entire life. Most students, cannot wait for graduation day and school to end, yet, there are some who have lofty goals and a desire to achieve . Whatever path one chooses, they all must become a “performer.” Every career can be successful, according to performance. Each student/performer, must make a choice to just “pass the grade” or excel. So what can make a difference? In my opinion, it is the willingness to accept a coach.

All students have a teacher who provides instruction, but that only equips the student with knowledge of technique and skill. It does not guarantee how well the student can perform said techniques or what level of skill is reached. This is readily identified by the grade given. Instructors play a vital role but more than instruction is needed to be successful. What pushes one to greatness, is an aggressive coach who will take a competent student/performer and push him to perfection. A coach will help a performer work towards achieving their full potential and bring out ability by identifying needs, then plan and implement suitable training.

The sports and entertainment world has many coaches. Every gold medalist had a great coach. Have you ever wondered if the coach was so good, why didn’t he or she perform for the gold? The fact is, the coach may not be able to physically perform but they know what it takes to make a great performer. A classic example is Michael Jordan who was a star athlete who decided to try coaching and he was a lousy coach. On the other hand, Phil Jackson was not a power player but became a star coach. These two men joined their respective expertise and became great.

Throughout the years, my husband and I have loved working with young people. We have taken several groups of youth on foreign missions trips, worked with them at youth camps, taught youth convention choir and, most recently worked with freeWAY Quartet. These four young men were all members of WAY (Western All-State Youth) Choir. There they received vocal instruction and were taught technique. After singing just two songs and seeing the great potential, I encouraged these four young men to record. I readily admit there have been times when the coaching my husband and I gave them was rough and there were days attitudes flared. However, through perseverance and the desire to sing to the best of their ability, these young men are now sought after accomplished vocalists.

In the spiritual realm, one attends church and receives instruction through various ministries that use the Word of God to teach technique and skill. The instruction can be received, the Word planted, and some will become “star” saints while others never rise above mediocre. The coach (pastor) sees potential and works hard to push the saint to excel but the choice remains with the saint - get angry at the pastor’s prodding or push through the rigors of hard training and achieve. The pastor only wants what is best for the saints, improved performance, and a desire to see them become great in the Kingdom of God. If only people understood the purpose and value of a coach.


  1. Yes! It's all about having a teachable spirit...I can relate well to this having gone through an intense music program in my undergrad. My professor's coaching pushed me to extreme emotions sometimes and total exhaustion, but it made the pianist I am today. Plus, I can coach others so much better now and it's given me the tools to help my students succeed.
    By the way, thanks for the email! Love you!

  2. Janell - you have probably seen the bumper sticker that says, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." There should probably be one that says, "If you have succeeded, thank your coach."

    BTW, I am very proud of you and your accomplishments. I love it when young people chase their dreams and make them a reality.