How can coaches possibly speak effectively to many different ears? Words are particularly potent in a position of authority, and verbal communication is key.
"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" (Proverbs 31:26).
Yes, our words are powerful. Whoever penned the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," was wrong. Words have the capability to hurt or heal, to tear down or encourage, to accuse or commend.
Words are particularly potent in our position of authority, and verbal communication is key for effective coaching. The tendency is for players to misunderstand what we say, for referees to tune us out, for administrators to think we speak a foreign language and for parents to only hear what they want to hear. So we have a tremendous challenge in our daily communications.
Proverbs 16:23 says, "The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips." When we radically surrender our tongues, the Holy Spirit brings self-control and Jesus gives us wisdom. With control and wisdom as our filters, Proverbs 25:11 says we can choose our words aptly, "... like apples of gold in settings of silver." Our words can be a stunning display of beautiful craftsmanship... priceless!
How can we possibly speak effectively to so many different ears? Some may need encouragement, others a timely rebuke. Perhaps the moment requires a gentle answer instead of stirring up strife. It may even be what we don't say that speaks the loudest.
Lord, I want all of the words I speak to glorify You and bless others.