Cultivating Joy Through Blessing


Cultivate joy in your coaching through blessing. Let joy overflow from your heart to your players' hearts...healing, mending and strengthening them.

"She looks for ways to creatively bless her team, and she is joyful in her work" (Proverbs 31:13).

When I think of someone who epitomizes a joyful woman in her work, I think of the smiling face of the Southern food diva, Paula Dean, not Pat Head Summit. 

The countenance of most coaches I see lurking on the sidelines could be described as sour, angry, frustrated and sleep-deprived.  Like Kim Mulkey, they may be dressed to kill, with a protective layer of makeup and a cute do, but there is no joy in their eyes. 

There may be the drive to succeed, the all-consuming passion to produce a winning team, or the powerful need to lead, but joy... no way! 

However, according to God's standard of personal excellence we must cultivate joy in our work. As coaches, how is that possible?  I know joy is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from a life yielded to the Lordship of Christ, so that is certainly the crucial starting point to being joyful in our work.  But I believe verse 13 of this proverb gives us a specific insight into finding our joy in a sometimes thankless job. 

Our joy comes from blessing others. Maybe we can cultivate joy in our hearts by looking for ways to bless our players. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 

There are countless ways to bless our young athletes. We could create an environment in our programs that is safe, accepting, and hospitable. We could bless our players through consistent kindness. We could provide wise counsel when necessary, or we could give needed words of encouragement. 

Sometimes even a timely rebuke is a blessing. These are just a few examples, and the options for blessing our teams are vast and open to our amazing creativity.

Lord, Help me to cultivate joy in my coaching through blessing.  I want your joy to overflow from my heart to my players' hearts, healing, mending and strengthening them. No dry bones please!

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