I love to watch the coaches each afternoon that we take the kids in the BCC Tennis Academy out to the courts. Our kids are between the ages of 5 and 18, but all of them have a coach. There’s never an age where tennis players don’t need a coach. Even the greatest tennis players in the world today, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, have coaches.
What I love about our coaches is that they pay close attention to details. With our youngest players they teach them over and over again how to get in the “ready position,” how to hold the racquet for a forehand and backhand, how to take the racquet back for the same strokes, and which foot to step with when they hit a volley. With our more experienced players the coaches rarely have to say a word about how to hold the racquet or which foot to step with to hit a volley, but they coach ‘em up about footwork, hitting topspin, how and where to toss the ball for their serve, and more.
It seems like our coaches have something to say about every ball our kids hit. There’s plenty of “Atta boys!” and “Good job kid!” but it’s mixed in with lots of coaching and correction. To the uninformed and initiated it might appear that our coaches are “getting on” our kids, but what is really taking place is just the opposite—our coaches are helping our kids become the best tennis players they can possibly be. If our kids didn’t have coaches who knew what they were doing then the kid’s tennis game would be a wreck.
Sports have so many applications for life itself. In our Scripture for this week Job’s buddy said, “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17 NIV) Job’s friends weren’t much help to him when he was in the match of his life, but Eliphaz hit a winner with a truth that we can take into our daily lives. Let’s rephrase it: “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the ‘coaching’ of the Almighty.” Did you notice the word I changed? I exchanged the word “coaching” for “discipline.” The Hebrew word, “??????” (moo-sawr’) is used 50 times in the Hebrew Bible. Thirty times it is translated “instruction” and another 8 times it is translated, “correction.” God disciplines us not to destroy us, but to coach us up in life.
Sometimes God’s “coaching” comes through His Word, sometimes it comes through the conviction or correction brought about by His Spirit, and at other times it comes through godly friends who want to help us in our walk. Don’t ever shy away from being coached in life my friends. I’ve learned that left to myself, when I step onto the court of life, I don’t stand a chance if I don’t listen and follow the guidance of my Coach.