I love sports, and some of my best friends are coaches. I just read a great new book, Heisman: The Man Behind the Trophy (Howard Books, 2012). It's a biography of the famous Georgia Tech coach, John M. Heisman, after whom the college football player of the year trophy is named. Here is a quote from Coach Heisman about the influence coaches can have on impressionable young boys. It got me thinking about the importance of godly influences for our kids outside of our immediate families. I pray that my children will be surrounded by men and women of character. Enjoy this quote:
Whatever the coach says goes with the impressionable young pupil. The coach's word is the law and the gospel, and not merely as regards football but as to most anything under the sun. At that age a boy's mind is plastic. Certain things are much more apt to get control of his mind, his heart, his emotional nature than others. One of these is football, and through the medium of this wonderful game the coach, quite unintentionally, gets control fo the boy. The coach says, "Do this!" and the boy does it, though his own father or mother might not have been able to get compliance. And so it comes that that boy at just that time of life is likely to be taught things by the coach and to get into habits engendered and fostered by the way his coach acts and thinks that will stick to him for the remainder of his life. If the coach is a worthless, reprehensible fellow, a man of bad character or none, he is bound to to the boys enormous harm. If, however, he is a high type of man with lofty ideals and firm principles of right and truth, one who recognizes his power and responsibilities, then it's well he coaches football and it's well for the boys that play football under him that they went to that School. Such a man will do more downright character building for the boys than will 19 ministers out of 20 or 99 fathers out of 100. Why? Because he has the influence over them that counts at the impressionable age.