Start Small

It’s natural for coaches to dream big about their team’s future success. It’s also natural to think that to achieve big success, you have to take big steps.  The “go big or go home” perspective seems right as a coach – and there are certainly helpful dimensions to it. But in many situations the path to success is actually about starting with small and seemingly insignificant steps.

In Matthew 13, Jesus shares several parables – stories using something familiar to the audience in order to highlight a spiritual truth. Here’s one:  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” (Matt. 13:31-32) In Jesus’ day, everyone was familiar with how tiny a mustard seed was and yet how it grew to become a disproportionately large tree. Jesus’ point: the work God is doing to bring his reign as King to bear on our lives and on this world may seem small and even insignificant at first. However, as we trust him he will grow this work and bring about disproportionately significant results.

Consider the growth and improvement you’d like to see in the coming year, both in your coaching and personally. What may be most helpful for you in pursuing this growth is not trying to take big steps or make sweeping changes – the “go big or go home” approach. Rather, perhaps God is directing you to take some “mustard seed-size” steps and to trust him.

For example, maybe you realize that while you say you want to follow and honor Christ as a coach and in every area of your life, you’re investing little to no time in actually growing your relationship with the Lord. Take a mustard seed-size step of committing 5-10 minutes each day – preferably at the same time each day so it becomes a habit – to read the Bible and pray.  There are lots of great FCA resources, Bible apps, and other devotional plans that can help you do this. A few minutes each day may not seem like much, but God can bring about significant results in your life through this mustard seed-size step.

Or if you’re married, perhaps you’re convicted about how you give your best time and energy to coaching, leaving your spouse (and kids if you have children) with only the leftovers. Rather than getting stuck in a mindset like “I don’t have enough hours in the day to coach well and still spend lots of time with my spouse/family,” consider a mustard-seed size step. Maybe this involves committing to giving your spouse/family your undivided attention for 30 minutes right away when you get home. Or perhaps you can commit to making Sunday afternoons off-limits for thinking about or working on coaching items. Any coaching work you need to do on Sundays could be delayed until the evening, enabling you to give quality time and energy to your spouse/family during the afternoon after you’ve worshiped the Lord together at your church that morning.

These are just a couple examples of what mustard-seed size steps can look like as you think about growth and improvement you’d like in your life.  Spend a few minutes considering what mustard-seed size steps God is leading you to take in the coming year. Trust the Lord that he can bring about significant results from what may at first seem like insignificant steps. May the coming year be filled with encouraging, Christ-honoring progress for you, Coach!