Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coach Dad

"Children, this is a soccer ball." If you know your real football history, then you recognize the above quotation as a slight twist on the legendary saying of the great coaching icon Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers. Coach Lombardi challenged men who were considered professionals with this simple, "back-to-the-basics" statement.

Today, my sweet four-year-old daughter, Gabbie, begins what is sure to be her stellar athletic career at the Woodbury Heights Athletic Association 4-5 year old soccer clinic. She's been excited for some time now, even kicking assorted balls around our living room. To add to the fun, yours truly has volunteered to help coach the school of thirty or so shin-kickers each Saturday morning. The lone drawback is that I've never played a down...umm, I mean a quarter...urr, umm, I mean ANY soccer in my entire life. Needless to say, this should be very interesting.

Sometimes it's necessary to get back to "the basics". The stars of today's professional sports teams all started, with probably very few exceptions, as aimless dreamers simply learning the basics of their respective sport. The fundamentals of any skill, sport, or ideology are essential to long-term success and accomplishment. They are the critical building blocks upon which more complicated intricacies can be stacked.

As followers of Jesus Christ, sometimes we need to return to the basics of our faith such as the cross...the Scriptures...or, the glory of God. It's easy to be fascinated with dribbling behind one's back in basketball or performing a bicycle kick in soccer. However, without a solid mastery of the basics of controlled dribbling of either a basketball or soccer ball, such flashy skills will never be attained.

Does anyone know how many players can be on the field at the same time in soccer...(just kidding...sort of...)?


  1. Luckily for you, I watched the World Cup this summer. There are 11 total players from each team in real soccer, but probably less in a 4-5 year old league. I also want to say that I was very encouraged by your object lesson. It is good to remember that many great Christians started at the same place I did.

  2. Thanks, Tim. It's good to know that at least you and Laurie read my blog. We have about 30 little ones in the clinic. It's not a league (at this age). Thanks for the heads up. Good to see you last week!