One surprise tactic that I deploy in coaching my teams is having a referee visit our practice unannounced. As a coach, I ask the referee to check all of our equipment to see if any of our players are trying to create an advantage by using illegal sticks. Some people think I am taking it too seriously, or that it’s necessary to cut corners to win, but I appreciate the benefit of knowing that the equipment my players use is legal.
Freedom comes when we have a clear conscience from bearing guilt for doing something that we shouldn’t have. In 1 Samuel 24 a great passage of scripture unfolds where King Saul, seeing David as a threat, attempts to take his life. During the king’s pursuit of him, David is given a clear opportunity to take Saul’s life as he lay sleeping. Instead, he cuts off a corner of his robe, with the intent of showing Saul the power he had over him at that moment. Through this self-serving and wrong course of action David tries to gain power over the Lord’s king.
Convicted by his disrespect for Saul, God’s appointed king, David’s actions prove his character to Saul, convincing him that he is not the evil person that Saul thought he was. By aligning his actions with God’s perfect plan, David is able to go forward in freedom and with a clear conscience. This is one of the several lessons that can be learned from the many chapters of King Saul’s and David’s very unique and strained relationship.
I can’t imagine how it would feel if, after a game-winning tournament, a piece of our equipment had been intentionally modified to gain an advantage, resulting in shame for us all. If I align my coaching with God’s plan, I can prepare my players to not just play their best, but to play with integrity and a clear conscience.
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.
More information can be found at FCA.org.