Think like a coach
Welcome back to another episode of the Milk and Honey podcast. I hope you enjoyed the last episode with Lisa about how to be an effective communicator and speaker, because it’s going to tie into exactly what it is that I’m covering today. One of the things that I love that Lisa talked about is effective communication, whether you are speaking publicly on stages or if you are a parent trying to communicate with your child or your husband.
Whatever role that you’re in, effective communication is important, which is why I’m so excited about this episode because I wanna talk about. Thinking like a coach when you parent, and I don’t mean in the business world type of coaching, which is actually what Lisa and I are becoming certified in and many of the other guests that have been on this podcast, but I’m talking about like your child’s sports coach.
So I know my youngest, he is obsessed with football. My oldest is a into wrestling and they have had some phenomenal coaches over the last several years that have left. , a lot of really valuable wisdom on them and taught them some incredible skill sets and disciplines within themselves. And so I want you to.
If you, if your children are involved in sports or, cheerleading or anything like, dance, anything like that, then hopefully they’ve had some really solid coaching along the way. And so I want us to transform our thought process as parents to coaches, and I’m gonna explain what that really means.
When I’m thinking about coaching coaches are forever teaching. There is never not a teaching moment. I know when I coached cheerleading, I was a dance teacher for a long time too. You are in constant teaching mode. And I know with this, the kids that I have ever coached, like you don’t.
easily frustrated either with the teaching, right? It’s just part of the experience. And so as a coach, you are constantly training and preparing your team. And so here’s the thing, so our children are our team, our families, our team, and so we have to be constantly training them and preparing them for what’s out there, right?
That’s what our coach does. My son’s football coach is constantly preparing him and training him for their next game and for a lifelong success in football, if that’s. That’s the route he goes. And so we have to do the same spiritu. We have to be constantly training, teaching, and preparing our children for the world outside.
And my goodness, does the world outside look a whole lot different than it used to? There is a lot we have to equip our children with. Now, I remember one time I had a conversation with my grandmother before she passed and my youngest was talking. . And he was, he was like five. Okay. This was a few years ago and he was talking about somebody in his class, right?
So now he’s in kindergarten. Somebody in his class being trans. and my grandmother was on the phone with us. We were in the car and she was like, this is not a conversation that I ever had to have with my children. She’s you have to parent so differently than I had to, and you have to teach your children things that I’ve never had to teach my children.
These were not even. Remotely topics of conversation. And so I had to do, I have to, we have the parent differently in this world but still hold on to biblical truths and biblical values, and so it can, people may not like it, right? So that’s another thing. So I teach. We teach apologetics in our house, like how do you answer for the reason you believe what you believe, and I want you to believe it, not because you know your dad and I said it.
I want you to do that and determine if that’s true for you or not, even though they’re nine and almost 11. Determine if that’s true for you. Do your own research on this. . And so anyway, so we have to train completely differently than anybody before us has ever had to train their children.
And so it just looks different. The other thing that comes with teaching is there’s course correction in that, right? So I know, so my son plays center when he is in the wrong. The coach is not mean to him, right? It’s a course correction. Hey, switch up your stance. This would make you more effective if you changed your stance to this.
And as somebody who is constantly teaching, we have to also be course correcting, but in a way that is giving grace and allows people room to grow and improve. With guidance without us being overbearing. So next good coaches, they always have a game plan. I’m like, I’m just gonna keep talking about football season because it’s fresh in my brain.
But the, my son’s football coach so now he’s older. And so they’re learning actual plays. They are, this coach is strategizing with his assistant coaches and things on how to be the most effective. That is what we have to do with our children. We have to have a game plan, right? God has a game plan for us and we just get to partner with him in that game plan.
And so we have to teach our children also how to. live life according to God’s game plan for us. What is God’s strategy for us and how do you guide your children to follow the ultimate game plan? So that’s part of our job as parents is to figure out how do we help our children achieve righteous goals?
How do we help our children? Lean in to our Heavenly Father when things don’t feel like they’re going our way. When we feel like we’re losing the game how do we do that? And so we, we have to know though what God’s game plan is in order to guide our children in that direction. We can’t help them if we don’t know ourselves.
And so it’s important that we are diving completely into scripture. , right? We’re in prayer, we’re in scripture, we’re going to church. We’re doing our own personal development and spiritual development here so that we can coach our children into God’s game plan for them. I hope that makes sense. The next thing is coaches never let you quit.
They never let you quit. They never let you give up. It’s just not an option. I know. So listen, I live in South Georgia. It is hot here in the summer when football practice starts, the boys are out playing 90, 95 degrees. It’s hot. They are, they’re little, right? I remember when he was seven and he first started playing, he’s sucks, like it’s very hot.
I’m very sweaty. My muscles hurt. I’ve been, we’re doing tackling drills today, and so my body aches and things. However, the coach never lets him quit, and it’s not a, I’m never letting you quit. However it’s not like a condemnation thing, it’s a motivational thing. It is an encouraging thing, it’s having more belief in your child than they have in themselves.
And that’s the thing. So God has more belief in us than we have in ourselves. And we have to do the same for our children. Our children need to borrow our belief in them so that they can achieve these goals that they have so they can continue on this righteousness. Because here’s the thing, there’s gonna be plenty of things that come along to try to derail them.
And so it’s our job as parents to have enough belief in them. to encourage them and not let them quit when things get hard, because it can be really easy to do that. The other thing is our kids need to see us not quit when things get hard, right? It’s really easy to stop going to church, to stop reading your Bible, to stop praying when things are bad, it’s really easy to say, you know what?
I don’t want to go to church this week. I’m just not feeling it. I’ve got X, Y, Z going on in my life. I don’t wanna face people at church right now. I don’t feel like praying to God right now because if God were so good, why would he allow this to happen to me? And it’s those little decisions, right?
Because nobody decides I’m gonna just stop going to church forever in one fell sweep, right? It’s not like I had a great experience this Sunday and the next Saturday I’m like I’m not going ever again. That doesn’t happen. It’s a circumstance change where we slowly let ourselves quit without meaning to quit.
And. , we have to be really intentional with modeling for our children that your faith is so important. Even when things feel really hard, we have to model it for them. Because here’s the thing is people will do 50% of what they see you do in a hundred percent of the things that you don’t do, right?
So if you are not praying, if you’re not reading your scriptures, if you’re not going to church and actively involved, then your children will not do it. They won’t do it either, but if they see you going to church and doing all the things that you’re supposed to do, even when it’s hard, that will carry over for them.
So just a little food for thought on that. Another thing is that a coach knows each player individually, right? I know when I’ve coached cheerleading, when I’ve, been a dance instructor, I know every single one of my athletes. so well, I know their abilities. I know when I can push them a little bit.
I know when it’s time for them to take a time out. Like I know their abilities so well. I know what makes them tick. I know what motivates them, and , we have to do the same thing. There is no one size fits all strategy for our children. My boys are as opposite as they can be. One has this haircut to the left, the other has this haircut to the right.
If the other night I literally asked them, I’m like, we could have steak for dinner or we could have a burger for dinner once at steak. The other said burgers, and I’m like, oh my goodness. Like it is. They are forever polar. Opposites. One really loved wrestling. The other one truly hated wrestling.
One really loved football. The other truly hated football. And I say all that because I cannot, my husband and I, we cannot parent them the same. The things that motivate each of them is different. The things that inspire them is different. The things that they want to do are completely different.
Like we. We have to parent them differently because they are not the same. And so you have to come up with a unique strategy for each of your children, and you have to, you can’t do that unless you really know them and you really spend time with them. Unplugged. I’m, put your phone away, have some unplugged one-on-one time with your child so that so incredibly well that you are able to parent for that child specifically, that God has given you in a way that is most effective for that child because that’s ultimately how it’s going to help them be successful and to be the person that God intended for them to be. The next thing I wanna talk about is that God will, coaches, will inspire like a sense of unity amongst the team, right?
They will inspire them, they will motivate them and create this unity amongst the team. And that’s also what we have to do. Like we have got to get our families on the same page and inspire them. so that we’re all moving in the same direction, right? We can all be individual ships moving in our own direction.
Somebody’s got a captain in the ship and we’ve all gotta be moving in the same direction. And so I remember like one of the conversations we had with the boys is we were like, okay, listen, like we’re, we’re getting ready to go talk to the mortgage lender, so we can go buy a house and everything.
And so that. that we can’t be buying a bunch of extra stuff cuz the mortgage lenders don’t necessarily like that. And they both immediately got it and they were like, okay, it’s what we need and what we, not what we want until we close on this house. And I’m like, yes, exactly. I’m like, and then we’ll have all this extra money saved and we decorate rooms into all the things.
I’m like, but the bank doesn’t like you just see a bunch of, withdrawals. They don’t like that. And they were like, okay, no problem mom. Like we totally understand and so we will. at a target, and one, one of the kids will say, oh, I could really, I really want X, Y, Z thing. When it’s something so small and I’m like, I’m already at Target, whatever, it’s not a big deal.
And the other one will remind me it’s what we need, not what we want right now, because they all have the same goal that my husband and I do. And so by having. our family all on one page. It just makes life a whole lot easier, right? My kids are super excited for each other. They’re excited for where our family’s going, and they work together to make sure that we’re reaching that goal together, right?
We, when you are creating a sense of unity, right? Everybody has their own task on a team, right? Like I said, my son plays center and so you know, the quarterbacks are relying on the center. They’re running back and the receiver is relying on the quarterback rate. And so if my son doesn’t do his job well, the quarterback can’t do his job well and then they can’t do, this receiver can’t do his job well.
And so everybody has to work together. They inspire one another, they encourage each other on the team. And that’s also what we’re doing in our family unit, is we have to be inspiring and encouraging to one another as we move toward whatever goal it is that you. For your family. And so I just get excited when I see, my children out encouraging one another and supporting one another.
I’ll just, last night for instance, it was beautiful out of me. It was like 81 degrees here in Georgia and my youngest was like, we just, my two boys, they helped me rearrange like, It’s like a seating area, right? So I moved my greenhouse over and moved all of our outdoor furniture over and created this like circle of chairs and everything to hang out in.
And my youngest is man, I would love a fire pit here. . And I’m like I mean I can go to Lowe’s and go buy a fire pit real quick. Something so cheap and easy. And he was like, no, mom, I got it. And he went out, found a bunch of bricks and rocks, built a circle. And then my husband taught him how to build a fire.
And he did. He built a fire first last night. And he’s nine. He was so proud of himself. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. But the oldest encouraged him so much. My 10, my almost 11 year old was just pouring into him so much. , there wasn’t any animosity that, the youngest did this with dad and not the oldest.
Like it was just pure love and joy and support for his brother, watching his brother accomplish this thing that he wanted to do. And so it’s always really special to me when you see your family just moving in this unity and there is no competition in the family and that’s. Coaches do really well as they, there’s no competition in and amongst the team because you guys are all working towards a common goal, and so we have to create that environment in our homes as well.
The other thing that coaches do, while we may be focused on winning a game, practices are fun. I know that even though my son works hard at football practice, the other one works really hard at wrestling practice. , they’re working really hard and they might come out a little bruised and a little achy, cuz they’re using their bodies in this way.
But it is fun. Their coaches make it so fun. It is so enjoyable for them. And so we also have to be the same way. We have to make learning about the gospel fun. We have to make it enjoyable. We have to make them a see that it’s applicable to real life. And. Living in gospel truth and working towards whatever goal that we have is fun.
It is enjoyable, it’s productive, but it’s also enjoyable because if it’s not enjoyable, we’re not gonna do it. As humans, we’re not gonna do it if it’s not enjoyable. And so we work really hard to make everything we do fun. So just, I just talked about moving all this furniture. There was a ton of leaves I fell.
I literally told my husband I’d go buy ’em a leaf blower didn’t. So then I was like, I’m just gonna go rake all of the leaves. And so my boys came out, helped me rake a bunch of leaves, raked them into a huge pile, and as soon as, and then it was like a little competition amongst them who can make a bigger leaf pile for us to go run and jump in and play in?
And we had their puppy out with them. And so they’re playing with a puppy in these pile of leaves, and it was enjoyable for them. And then we sat outside under this tree just next to our green. Reading a book that they’re into. They’re reading the Sugar Creek gang right now. And so we’re, I’m sitting out here reading with them.
They just played in the leaves and so it was like, yes, we did work, but it was also really enjoyable work. It was fun. What we did, there was a reward at the end, and it may not have been monetary or anything like that, but the reward. Reward was we got to go jump in a big leaf pile and then relax in the sunshine.
Listening to a book, we’re into something my boys are super into is whenever they have to clean their room, right? Nobody wants to clean their room. That’s not enjoyable. And so now they will set, they will give themselves like a goal, like I’m gonna get my room clean, cleaned in 20 minutes. Beautiful. They will find the funniest 20 minute timer they can on YouTube that will have some funny explosion or something funny happen at the end of that countdown, and then they’re blasting music in their room together.
Having the time of their life, putting away their laundry, cleaning up their toys, and then they’re looking at the countdown timer. They’re like, okay, like we only have X amount of minutes left. Like we better hurry. They divide and they conquer. They’re delegating and and they have so much fun because they’ve also, they always had a goal like, if we can get this done in 20 minutes and van, can we go have popsicles outside?
Can we have an extra 20 minutes on our iPad? Something? Whatever sort of something it is, but they’re working. and they’re enjoying it while they’re doing it, and they know there’s something for them at the end. And so as parents, and when we’re thinking like coaches, the reward at the end is eternal salvation.
That’s the reward at the end. And so don’t make going to church, reading your scriptures, praying, all these things, not enjoyable, right? You can take it seriously. You can get the doctrine. , but also make it enjoyable. So something we do is every Monday evening we have a family home evening where we sit down, we will study something, right?
So right now we’re going through the New Testament. We’ll sit down, we’ll study a section of scripture together, and my kids have these really cute like scripture marking worksheets, and they work together on those. They love them, but they are designed to help them learn. , use the Bible as a tool and how do you find stuff in scriptures?
How do you mark your scriptures? Like how do you do those things? So they have those and we go through those every week. We have cute little videos like, and I always make dessert too for while they’re doing it. So this past week they want a strawberry shortcake. So that’s what I made. And so if we’re always doing something fun, so yes, we are learning biblical truths, but we are also making it fun and enjoyable and our whole family is around and we’re unplugged.
And the only thing. Electronic going, why going is this video that they’re watching? And so and it’ll give them some background on the scriptures they’re about to read, basically, is what we do. And then, then they work together on that. My husband and I are having discussion, we’re discussing with them like it’s always such a special part of our week.
I really love Monday nights for that reason, cuz it’s time that we’ve just dedicated and set aside. Growing our faith together as a family, but making it really special and enjoyable. Yes, we do stuff throughout the rest of the week. I have a packet for them every week of a one little scripture thing that they could be doing to help them increase their biblical knowledge.
However, Monday nights just make it super special. They’re really plugged in, they’re really focused. They’re really engaged, and it’s because it’s really fun. So make the work and the practice. , let them see you have fun at church. Let them see you have fun, pouring into one another. Let them see you have fun.
It’s super important to make it enjoyable for them so that they continue through with it long term. And so I just wanna encourage you this week to challenge your way of thinking and start thinking like a coach when it comes to your children. And let me know how it works out for you until next. Bye.