Sunday, August 7, 2016

Being Coachable

Before we begin today's topic, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those of you who have subscribed and began to follow my blog. It means a lot to me to have your support as I go through this journey! If you haven't subscribed yet, please do so on the main page of or click here

Here we go!

Though I have only been coaching basketball a few years at this point, there are a few things that have stuck out the most in terms of what it takes to be a successful coach. I believe that one of the most important traits a coach could possess would be that he/she is coachable. Well...that may seem a little counterintuitive. Wouldn't something like strong leadership, courage or perseverance fall under the category of "most" important? The truth is I'm not sure, but from my experience, the more coachable I am as a coach, the more coachable my players are as athletes. Jesus taught his disciples how to be coachable, I think he demonstrated what it meant to be coachable through the example he set in his prayer life. He is constantly seen throughout the bible praying, asking God for direction and remaining humble. Jesus in turn strived to teach his disciples to do the same. Let's take a closer look at what it takes to be coachable in our daily lives:

1. Being coachable takes humility. No one has done anything great on their own without making mistakes. We need other people around us who we can seek advice from and ask for help. We need other people to be willing to point us in the right direction when we seem to steer off the path. We must be able to listen without trying to figure out what we are going to say back to defend ourselves and accept what others might observe in us. When we make mistakes we need to be willing to own up to them, we have to learn how to take responsibility of our own actions then strive to get better from there. Some mistakes that we make may be difficult for us to see but through humility and a willingness to be taught, we will grow from our shortcomings. I'm not saying that others are always right when they point out what may be a mistake of yours but if we aren't even willing to hear them out then we are already defeated. Consider what Paul had to say about humility in his letter to the church in Philippi. Philippians 2:3-8 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!"

2. Being coachable takes initiative. John 13:15 says “I set the pattern for you, that, just as I did to you, you should do also.” Jesus took initiative by telling his followers to follow his example. He tells them that he has laid the foundation. He is referring to the fact that just moments before he took the time to wash each individual apostle's feet. Knowing that he is the Son of God, he brought himself beneath his followers to display humility. (Refer to point #1 about humility!) The washing of the feet was supposed to be the house servant's job, yet Jesus decided to take on the role of a servant and wash the feet of his disciples. What example are we trying to set as coaches and then telling people to follow? We have to be willing to stick ourselves out there to public criticism, being proven wrong or even embarrassed. We need to ask questions, seek out answers, and then try to make changes without anyone having to tell us to do it. That's what it means to take initiative. Opening ourselves up to that kind of vulnerability can seem frightening, but that is what it takes to be a great coach. If we are the ones seeking out the help, then that will help us to be much more coachable and less resistant to change. If it is other people always telling us what we need to do to get better then it becomes more difficult for us to take ownership of the things we are trying to correct.

3. Being coachable takes trust. Trust is important in any relationship but especially in coaching relationships. Individuals who don't trust one another make it extremely difficult to be coached. Coaches want to trust the people they coach and vise versa, but if we don't let go of the any negativity or bitterness we may have locked up inside, then that is all we are going to see in each other. Jesus' disciples trusted that Jesus had their best interest at heart and that's why they desired to listen to him. They built trust over time that lead to outstanding coaching relationships. Proverbs 27:9 "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." 

We are all capable of being coaches because we all have God's Word to pull from and use to coach one another (Hebrews 3:12-13).  The moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment we should no longer be coaching, there is no room for that type of attitude when people's future are at stake.

What are some other traits that you believe are necessary in order to be coachable? Comment below! 

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