What do Wallace Honeycutt, Gustave Lussi, Bob Kepler, Sandra Haynie, Al Clementia, and Nino Fennoy all have in common?
I will give you a clue.
At one time they were closely and individually involved in the lives of Charles Barkley, Dorothy Hamill, Jack Nicklaus, Marline Navralilova, Jim Plunkell and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
If you guessed former coaches of these famous athletes then you are right.
What is remarkable is that the memory of their investment in the lives of each of these athletes is fresh and alive today. (see December / January AARP magazine, pgs. 40-44)
I find it interesting is that the coaching offered by this unique group of people dates back to the days of bobby socks, pimples and zits.
The now successful athletes still remember the impact of their coach’s life from the days in elementary, high school or early college life. Isn’t that amazing?
And the impact that is still felt was not simply in reference to how to perform at their best in their chosen sport, but how to carry those lessons into life beyond the court, track, and competitive sports field.
While we might wish to one day be famous like one of these athletes it behooves us to observe what Charles Barkley’s coach, Wallace Honeycutt, so aptly said.
The group who truly make it in sports is a mere 1% of the entire field. By and large, they will succeed in their sport because of their giftedness and commitment to improving. What we need to concern ourselves with are the ordinary persons we come in contact with. How can we help them succeed, not in sports but in life?
In the Bible there was an extraordinary figure who was successful at what he did best, pursuing and persecuting those who did not share his same religious convictions and belief system.
While traveling to a distant city to reek more havoc on the “opposition”, God turned his life around. The transformation of his focus, character, and perspective was 100% supernatural.
However, the depth and breadth of his future performance were also tied to the investment of others who were willing to take a risk. Ananias and Barnabas are two names that come to mind.
You are probably no more familiar with these names than the coach’s mentioned above.
And yet, humanly speaking we might not have known the name Paul of Tarsus if it wasn’t for
Ananias and Barnabas.
To my knowledge, no one is yet to write an article in a prestigious magazine mentioning the impact I had on their lives.
But then, again, the successful athletes in the AARP article wrote their piece years after the initial investment of their coaches.
Whether or not that happens is obviously not the point. The point to be made is that God still desires to use unknown men and women like you and me to invest in the lives of the next generation – whether they become future stars or not.
They need to learn how to succeed in life, not just their favorite sport.
So who are you pouring yourself into these days?
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