Ever had a coach that made an impact on your life? One that you haven’t forgotten over the years?
My favorite coach of all time was my 9th grade JV Basketball coach, Kevin Creekmore. I was excited to make the team and ready to play. However, at first, I didn’t see much playing time. I was frustrated because I wasn’t getting to play. I didn’t know what to do. My mother told me that I needed to go talk to him and ask what I could do to get more playing time.
I remember being so scared to ask him why I wasn’t playing much and how I could change that. No one likes to have to ask a coach why he doesn’t play you. It could only mean one thing…you aren’t that good.
I knew that I wasn’t as great a player as some of my friends on the team, but I really loved basketball and wanted to play. I don’t remember the actual conversation I had with him, but what I remember from that conversation was that he actually cared. He wasn’t a coach that dismissed the weaker players because they weren’t as good. He cared about each of his players and wanted them to get better.
That season I spent extra time in practice. I practiced with the team first. Practices were hard and I remember one rule that Coach Creekmore had: no across the court passes. If anyone did, the whole team had to run guts (or suicides) at the next practice. There were several times when that happened and no one was happy! Those were so hard!
After practicing with the team, I stayed after practice and Coach Creekmore worked with me on shooting and doing extra drills. I worked hard. I wanted to improve and do better. It paid off. I got more playing time.
I don’t even remember what our team record was. Did we win more than we lost? Who knows. What I do remember from that season, though, is a coach that believed in me. He cared enough about his players to work with them to help them improve and be a better player. He taught me to believe in myself and be confident, which is something that I was lacking as a 14-year old.
I still struggle with confidence in some of the things I do today. These past couple of years I have lacked confidence in doing what I think God is calling me to do, which is write and speak. I haven’t felt good enough to do these things. I am not great with words or even know much about how to write a good story. And when it comes to speaking in front of others, I always talk too fast and get so nervous.
However, God has shown me in the past 6 months to trust Him and to have confidence. One Scripture that he keeps putting in front of me is Hebrews 10:35: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
When I read that Scripture, I am reminded that when God calls you to do something, God will also provide you with what is needed to do those things. I am reminded to have confidence in myself all the while believing God will provide.
Believe. That is a very important part of having a relationship with Jesus. You have to believe that He died for you, that He loves you, and that He forgives you. You have to believe that He will provide for you and you have to trust Him. And then you have to be confident in yourself and in the gifts that God has given you. When we do believe and are confident then we can rest assured that God will bless us and that we will be “richly rewarded.”
Are you lacking some confidence today? Do you need to believe and trust in God? Write down Hebrews 10:35 on an index card and tape it to your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or somewhere that you will see it many times during the day. I have it hanging in my office so that when I am writing or preparing a speech, then I am reminded to be confident, believing that God will use me to speak to others about Him.
I am grateful for Coach Creekmore and the way he reminded me to have confidence in myself and also in God. He was a Christian man who led us in prayer before games and he also was the leader of our FCA at school. He was a coach and teacher that I highly respected. I know that he is still coaching and teaching today and am quite sure that he has made the same impact on many others as he did to me 25 years ago.
What coach or teacher made an impact on your life? Share with us!