An Assistant Coach

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 11, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As God has been continually growing me in leadership style positions, I have been learning both responsibility and humility. I still have so much to learn about how to be a true leader, but God keeps putting me in positions where I can learn the task of leading, when I never really imagined doing so until the last few years. In six years as a substitute teacher, I was often put into “long term” classes where I practically played the role of the teacher instead of merely a glorified babysitter. But in all my years in the school system, nothing has done a better job for me to prepare to teach and coach than working with my head coach at our local fencing club, Salle De Long.

Two years ago, I took the coaching seminar for the sport of fencing and thrived. I learned more about how to teach in those 40 hours of training than in all of the “continuing education” and “teacher in-services” I had done prior combined. A year ago, I began to volunteer as a helper and coach at the club, and this fall I was hired as an assistant coach. I started just working with the beginning adult classes and now I have been moved on to being the Epee coach. As of writing this, I have only been working there one day a week, but my head coach is talking with me about doing two days a week for 2019.

My head coach has done a spectacular job with me. She has been excellent in pacing my growth, helping me, encouraging me, correcting me where I need it, and supporting me in other endeavors. She readily works around my current schedule and I would have a hard time finding someone better to help me become a coach in my current circumstances than what I have right now.

But my relationship with my head coach gives another clear image of a Christian leader’s relationship with Christ. As an assistant coach, I have to support, uphold, and enforce the club’s policies in all areas including dealing with new recruits, problem students, discipline, and even the agenda for the week/month. Right now, I am not at liberty to create my own lessons for teaching Epee tactics without at least clearing them through the head coach. I am to coordinate with my head coach on what topic to teach, make sure I understand what drill needs to be taught, and assist in many other areas as needed. I also evaluate my students in their performances on the given drill after some time. I still have a lot to learn, but I am having so much fun with it. I am also learning more about the sport than I ever did before. Little makes you learn a subject more than teaching it.

As a growing Christian leader, my responsibilities are not that different. My “head coach” is the Holy Spirit. As Jesus was completely submitted to his Father in every way, I need to follow that model. As his “assistant,” I am to support, uphold, and enforce the policies of the Kingdom of Heaven in all areas. That means teaching new believers the basics of the faith, dealing with discipline of those under my charge, and focusing on teaching the “agenda” of what God wants me to teach at that time. The best posts I write for Worldview Warriors are those which God has clearly guided me to write in the time he wanted them written. As I approach completing my 5th year teaching a Monday evening Bible study at my church, I often do not know what to teach for a given topic until God reveals what he wants taught. If I stray from what God wants taught, then I can run into trouble and he may pull me from my assignment if I stray too far away. Now, even in fencing, I don’t always coach the right thing to the full extent and sometimes my head coach will come in and correct me or make a small tweak to what I was doing. The same is true with God. He’ll gently give me a pointer here and there to fix what I am doing. I just need to heed his instructions, though at other times, he’ll give me a proper spanking.

The big thing the head coach emphasizes is being on the same page with me. She has had dealt with some others (and still does to some extent) who prefer to do their own things rather than submit to the formal training she is offering. So she and I constantly talk about where we are and what we are thinking because she wants me to carry on the vision that she has, and I want to make sure I am passing on the correct information and know my duties. It is easy for me to get excited and start sharing beyond where I should simply because I have the knowledge, but if I am not watchful, sometimes it is not always accurate, despite my hatred for hearing false information from being spread out.

As a Christian leader I need to do the same. I need to be on the same page as God, and the only way I can do that is that private one-on-one time with him. There are times where God wants to emphasize one point, and then later he wants to emphasize another. He will never contradict himself, but he will tell us what he wants us to learn at the given times he suggests.

I work with another assistant coach as well. There have been times where he and I have had to work without the head coach on presentations or running the club. So we have to coordinate with each other just as much as I do with the head coach. We bounce ideas off each other, support each other, and work together towards a common goal. The same should be true of all Christian leaders. We each should get together and work together towards the common goals God has laid out for us. One of the best moments I had with unity was when I was in college, the four major Christian student organizations would unite for “Holy Week” leading to Easter weekend. But once it was my turn to become the student leader of my organization, the others had changed leadership as well and they refused to cooperate with me or the others. Each wanted to do their own thing. It all fell apart and little if anything happened. That grieved me.

Coaching has been a blast for me. I want to start my own club at the school I am working at, and I am waiting for the right opportunity to approach my administration about it. Likewise, in my spiritual walk, I get frustrated when I have so much God has given me and I don’t have a venue to pour it out. That is one of the greatest pleasures I have had in working with Worldview Warriors, and Jason has been great in giving me the freedom to write what God leads me to write.

Do you have a coach or mentor in your life? Jason DeZurik wrote about having a Board of Directors to help guide you and direct you. This is the same concept. Coaches play one of the most critical roles in a young person’s life. I have had very few models to showcase to me the true athlete/coach relationship until this last year at best, so I am still learning as I go. I want to be the kind of coach and teacher that my students will always look back and see as a major influence in their lives. And I cannot be that kind of mentor unless I am a student of the best coach and teacher: Jesus Christ. Learn from him. He is the best teacher there is.

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