Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas Gift from Coach

Our son, Brett, plays basketball for Ankeny. And he has been waiting several years for this year, his senior year. Why? Playing time, baby! (Credit to Dickie V.) Maybe even the starting line up! Well, that’s not happening like he had hoped; it has been disappointing at best. He has a great attitude, though, and last night after his varsity game he received an awesome Christmas gift from his coach. Hang with me and you’ll see what I mean.

I won’t explain the whole game situation in depth, but suffice it to say that, after they lost by 1 in overtime, one of his team members ferociously hit one of the lockers and let out a loud, vulgar curse word as the team came in for the post-game meeting. Obviously, this player was mad, not only at himself, but at others. The coaches, when they heard it, inquired who said it, and began dealing with that individual. In fact, it became kind of a team meeting/encounter. Essentially, the coach’s point was that getting angry at the team and “losing it” doesn’t change what happens on the court. If you’re upset, play differently out there; don’t get mad in here.

Then he made an interesting observation that is humbling but honoring. He said (not an exact quote but the essential nuggets), “If anyone has a right to be upset, it’s Brett. He’s one of our captains, but he isn’t getting any playing time right now. He had nothing to do with this loss, yet he isn’t mad and cursing at himself, us, or others. Besides, Brett wouldn’t talk that way anyway.”

What a compliment about his character! I was really proud of Brett – he had garnered the coach’s confidence and respect with something that doesn’t bounce or go in a hoop. Sure, he’d love to be playing more! But his attitude while he wasn’t playing has probably been a greater testimony than 20+ PPG could have ever been. He was honored, not because of his talent for the name of the school on the jersey, but because of his commitment to the names in his heart – God’s name and his own name. For those two names stay with you long after you hang up the jerseys and take off the shoes. Those names – that which represents your character – matter most. I’m glad he knows who he really is even when the Ankeny basketball world my not. That’s the kind of identity security that lasts a lifetime. As Proverbs says, “A good name is better than great riches.”

Way to go, son! Your coach, probably unknowingly, blessed you with a nice gift this Christmas – his respect for who you are, not just what you do. No matter how much you play or don’t play this year, you’re a champion already!


Marti said...

I can't resist leaving a comment on this post. Congratulations Brett! What an awesome Christmas gift which you have obviously earned...I pray that someday I too will have the honor of a son like you (well, hopefully three like you!!)

Congrats again Brett, Todd and Julie!

Angela said...

What a testament to God, Brett, and his parents! Brett, way to not conform to the world. You are setting a great example for the other guys on the team and for the younger people looking up to you. Like Marti said, I pray that one day my children, too, will have that type of strong, Godly character.

Travis said...

Thanks for sharing this about Brett. I pray that Brett will be blessed with playing time (a desire of his heart) as a result of his faithfulness to being who God has called him to be.