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Great Mentors Coach

06 Dec Leadership, Student Ministry | Comments Off on Great Mentors Coach
Great Mentors Coach

Crazy Fans and Great Coaches.

Having 5 grandchildren involved in sports keeps me busy watching soccer and basketball games. Watching kids play sports is fun but watching the parents is fascinating. It seems like some parents live and die on every play. Some quietly watch from the sidelines while others are obnoxiously verbal. Some think the refs are always wrong, and some think the other side always plays dirty.

And, then there are the coaches each with their own styles. Some are shouters, some are coaxers. The great ones are mentors, finding teachable moments in victories and failures.

For those of us in student ministry, we too are coaches and perhaps that’s one of our most important roles. Adolescents are on their spiritual journey. Like all of us, some have better days then others than others. So, how do we coach them when they fumbled the ball or when they went out of bounds?

December sometimes feels like halftime in our ministry year. Students are wrapping up another semester/quarter. There’s an extended break for them to catch their breath before we jump back into the second half. Now’s a great time to huddle up with your leaders and talk about how we’re coaching our students.

As I’ve worked with teens, I’ve picked up on a few things – moments when I’ve succeeded or failed at being a good spiritual coach. I hope I keep learning as I working with teens, but here are some tips I’ve learned that may enhance your spiritual coaching.

10 Tips for Coaching Students

  1. Every student is unique. To be successful you must know each student and understand what type of coaching they best respond to. One style doesn’t fit all.
  2. Value the coach-player relationship, winning aside. In their good days and in the bad, your students must know that you always love them.
  3. Remember the old adage: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Tell them you care.
  4. Use the pom-poms. Along with being a coach, be your students’ biggest cheerleader. You provide stability and encouragement when they know you’re always cheering for them. The reality is you may be their only cheerleader.
  5. Speak the truth in love but remember- you’re not the Holy Spirit. Don’t get in the way of what only God can do.
  6. Unlock their potential by looking past their rough exterior and focusing on their heart.
  7. Listen closely. Sharing an intuition or asking a pivotal question is often a result of exceptional listening.
  8. Guide students to look at situations from a different perspective.
  9. Don’t focus on the score; focus on the growth and development of your players.
  10. Never throw in the towel. Commit yourself to being the best coach you can be; your students deserve that from you.

Your kids have a big game coming up so coach them to be champions!

Jerry Higley
Executive Director at Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ
Jerry Higley is the Executive Director of Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ and an adjunct faculty member at LBC teaching Student Ministry courses at both the undergrad and graduate level. When he's not at work, he loves spending time outdoors hunting and fishing with his grandkids.