Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Massillon Tigers Prayer Service

Tigers Prayer Service
October 23, 2021

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

So lately I’ve been reading a bunch of articles about the difference between transactional coaches and transformational coaches.  A transactional coach cares only about winning; a transformational coach cares about people, and inspires them to win.  A transactional coach might help you for a day; a transformational coach will help you for life.  This is important stuff, to be honest.  Especially because you are fortunate enough to have transformational coaches here in Massillon.  I want to read you something written by Coach Steve Weidl, because I think it applies to today’s game.

Transformational coaches not only look at the present, but they also make an emotional investment in young athletes’ long-term development. A transformational coach will aim to develop leaders who are not only good athletes, but also better people, and better ambassadors for the sport they participate in. They strive to inspire young athletes to achieve their goals and make them truly believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to. If a coach believes their only job is to make athletes strong and fast, they should think again. Coaches should also strive to build their athletes’ character, to help them improve as athletes and as human beings, because better people make better athletes. Teaching respect and discipline, and inspiring hope and self-confidence should be a priority for any coach.

I don’t want to take your focus off today’s game with all this talk about coaches.  But on the other hand, yes, I definitely do want to take your focus off today’s game.  Because your coaches at Washington High School care about who you are, and what kind of person you will become.  And because your coaches care so much about you as a person, that has an impact on everything you do, both on and off the field.

The UCLA Coach Red Sanders is quoted as saying, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”  And, sure, that’s kind of funny.  But it’s not true.  Winning is not the only thing; it’s not even the most important thing.  No.  Being the best person you can be is the most important thing; that’s the only thing.  Learning to be yourself with the gifts you have been given.  To do the best you can to make this world a better place.  Your coaches spend their time and effort helping you become the best person you can be, because—as I have seen with my own eyes—you have transformational coaches.  Above everything else, they care about you as a person, they care about your future, and they care about teaching you to be true to yourself.

And so, as players on this Tigers football team, being your true selves on this day, in this game, in this year, that’s the thing that matters.  I know that your coaches support you today, and I know that you will support each other today, and I know for a fact that this entire city supports you all the way today.  And all of that is what truly matters.  It is my hope and prayer that each of you will see and know how important you are to this town, to this team, to your coaches, and to the world.

May God bless you this day and every day.  Amen.

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