Selfless Integrity

Many coaches may dream of championships, Gatorade baths, or being carried off the field by their players. Those moments are great, but can be quickly forgotten. There are some moments that can be even greater, helping to change a perspective of others for a farlonger term.

On Saturday, at our FCA Invitational Lacrosse Tournament, I observed a particularly heated game. The two teams competing knew each other well and brought out the very best in one another. You could sense the intensity throughout the parents, players, and sidelines. At the precise instant the game reached its boiling point, a great moment in coaching unfolded.

A huge goal was scored to take the lead, and pandemonium ensued. The referee had both teams lined up for the ensuing faceoff.

Only our FCA coach realized our opponent had two defensemen on the field instead of three. As the referee was about to start play, the FCA coach shouted to the referee to wait. The official, irritated at the coach shouting, turned around with an aggravated look on his face. He yelled back, “What?!” Our coach then informed the coach of the other team that he was short a player. The coach from the opposing team looked at our coach in disbelief. A huge smile came over his face. He looked at our coach, still stunned, and after a momentary pause and simply said, “Thanks.”

The faceoff was finally started by the referee with the correct number of players on the field. I couldn’t have been prouder of the integrity of our coach in this critical moment of the game.

Integrity is not always easy, but I believe our society in unknowingly hungry to see it being lived out. In the heat of the moment, sometimes it may be easy to look the other way, take the easy road, or act with one’s best interest in mind. I am thankful for the integrity of our coaches and the example they set to all who watch them.

Although this moment was not seen by all, it was seen by the other teams’ coaches, the players – the future of our game. When we live with integrity, we stay in God’s plan for our life. Not only do we benefit, but all whom our lives touch reap the rewards as well. As coaches, some of the moments of great success we see can slip by those with inattentive eyes. The masses may never see the small victories won in the midst of the details of our daily game, but they are seen very clearly by our heavenly Father.

He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity. Proverbs 2:7

Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

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