My name is Adrian Pogue and I am dad to three boys, two of whom have been or are currently involved with Coaching4Christ. Being a parent is an awesome privilege and responsibility, but it seems to be getting more complicated to bring up children these days compared to when I was their age.
I was once told that the two main aims of being a parent was, firstly, to give your children roots, and secondly, to give them wings.
Roots to let them know they are loved and wanted, safe and secure in the family environment so that no matter what happens there is always somewhere for them to come home to where they are completely accepted for who they are.
And wings to prepare them to head out into the big bad world out there so they can stand on their own two feet. I always found that it was easier to give them roots than wings. Building up their wings to one day leave the nest so to speak was certainly the more scary option. But both things have to be done to end up with a fully rounded young man or woman.
Even though it is ultimately the responsibility of each one of us as parents, I am so glad there are other people and organisations who can help us, and for me, Coaching4Christ is an excellent example of such an organisation. Applying their values to all our lives goes a long way to producing young folk we can all be proud of.
Firstly COMMITMENT. Football, or any team sport, is an excellent way of getting young people to gel together as a team. To succeed, all team members have to be committed to each other and to the aims of the manager or coach. To improve their skills, they have to be at training regularly and practice their skills at home too. It is not enough to just turn up for the odd match on a Saturday whenever you feel like it – your teammates will feel cheated and you will not progress as well or as quickly as you could if you were fully committed. The Coaching4Christ coaches are fully committed to seeing the boys and girls perform and progress to the best of their ability, freely giving of their time for matches and training on a weekly basis.
Secondly, EXCELLENCE. I’m sure you all know the old saying, “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” The coaches in Coaching4Christ are always encouraging the players to play to the very best of their ability all the time. Of course, not every pass or shot goes where it should, but there never is a discouraging or angry shout from the coaches. As I stand on the touch line watching the matches it is good to hear their upbeat, encouraging comments to the players, always looking for positives in their play.
Finally UNITY. Team games are very good in fostering a united team performance. A top football team is not always made up of brilliant eye-catching individuals. For every Ronaldo or Messi, there has to be someone who can put in a tackle to win the ball back to give to them to weave their magic. For every tricky winger sending in a wonderful cross there has to be a centre forward in the box ready to score. A top team is made up of players who know their place in the formation, and how each one is dependent on all the others.
Coaching4Christ is a great opportunity for our young folk to develop their skills, their commitment, excellence and unity not just on the football pitch but in other areas of their young lives as well. Lives which can be transformed by Christ through sport, promoting commitment to Christ, excellence in Christ and unity with Christ. To see my son looking forward to going to training on a Tuesday night and to matches on a Saturday is great for me as I know he is not only being encouraged to progress and get better at football, but more importantly he is being mentored and encouraged to develop as a fully rounded young man, and doing so under the teaching of coaches who are modelling the love of Christ in everyday situations.
Our children pick up mannerisms and attitudes they see others adopting and practicing, so I would encourage all of us to let our children see the love of God in our lives and use organisations like Coaching4Christ to do the same. I will just finish now by saying a big thank you to all the coaches and helpers for all they do for our young folk. May God continue to bless the work of Coaching4Christ.