Day 7: Thankful for Coaches

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Do you play a sport? Maybe you dance or play an instrument. If you do any of those things or many others, then you probably have an adult who is your coach or instructor. Have you ever thought about what it takes to be a coach or instructor? Most of the adults who teach kids to play a sport or do an activity like dance usually have another job. Many of them are volunteers. They choose to come help kids like you learn a new skill. And that makes them pretty special.

Coaches and instructors help us learn. They teach us not just how to master a skill, but they teach us important character qualities like how to be a good sport, how to be persistent when things get tough, how to fix mistakes, and often they teach us how to win and how to lose well. Those are all important lessons that will help us in life just as much as knowing how to add 2 + 2.

Don't get me wrong, learning reading, math, science and all those other subjects at school are important. They will take you a long way in life, but the lessons we learn outside of school are often just as important. When we learn persistence as we try to master a new skill, we learn how to stick with a job -- even if it's not that much fun. When we lose at something, we learn how to fail, then pick ourselves back up and try again. When we make a mistake, we learn how to correct it and not do the same thing again.

And coaches and instructors are there for all of those lessons. We should be thankful for the coaches and instructors in our lives who invest their time and energy in helping us to learn something new. We can be thankful that they aren't just teaching us how to shoot a soccer ball or how to play the saxophone, but that they are also teaching us all those other life lessons as well.

Proverbs 15:22 says "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." That means that in order to learn something well, in order to have our plans for learning a skill work, we need help. We need advisers or coaches. You can teach yourself to play basketball or to dance ballet, but it's extremely difficult. If you have a coach who already knows how to do those things, then it's much easier. Coaches can provide wisdom and instruction because they already know how to play the game, dance the dance, or make music on the instrument.

So, if you have a coach or in instructor that's making a difference in your life, be sure to thank God for them today. Then, remember to say thank you to them as well.

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Action step: The next time you have practice, take along a thank you note for your coach. Thank him or her for giving you their time and energy. Have your whole team or group sign the card. Consider taking your coach's favorite snack to the next practice (make enough to share with the whole team). The best thanks a coach or instructor can get, though, is for you to offer your respect and best effort during every practice and event.