Coach the Gap


Most people have had a coach at some point or another.  I remember being temporarily kicked-off my YMCA basketball team in elementary school for attitude.  The coach said, “He didn’t know what to do with me.”  What coaching memories do you have?

Here are a couple of mine:

  • Dick Reilly, 7th grade Junior High hoops.  I took it upon myself to call a timeout for the team.  Dick did not like that and reiterated that HE WAS the coach.  I said, “Well, then you should have wanted a time-out.”  I didn’t play the rest of the game.
  • Mike Stortz, sophomore basketball.  This man was the king of “one liners.”  “Day late and a dollar short.”  “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all be rich and famous.”  “We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn tonight.”
  • Bob Cantonwine, varsity basketball.  Bob was a smart man. Bob knew how to get people’s attention, and the day he threw his clip board in the air 20 feet and then kicked us all out of practice and sent us home . . . you could say it caught our FULL attention.

What does a coach do though?  I coached Charlie’s soccer team and Hudson’s basketball team last year.  I believe a good coach does the following:

  • Teaches the fundamentals of the game
  • Makes in a game plan
  • Defines reality
  • Sets vision for what the goals are for the team
  • Pushes people to more, even when they think they are at the end
  • Helps the team continue to take the “next step”

What if, today, you were going to coach yourself?  What if you today, called a timeout, put away all the “one liners” in your head about what you can’t do, and gave yourself the FULL ATTENTION that your life deserves?  How would you do it?


It seems as though in every meeting I end up following the same general theme.  It’s a theme I am going to give you today as you coach yourself.  Here are the key elements:

  1. Courage to define your reality. This morning I stepped on the scale.  I actually step on the scale and write down my weight almost everyday.  Why?  It tells me where I am.  I could define my reality with the boys college accounts, the mileage until my next oil change, the last date night I went on, or the last time I worked out.  As it says in Good to Great – face the brutal facts!
  2. Intended Future. Where are you wanting to go?  What is the picture 3 years from today?  Is it a vibrant marriage?  Do you want to be in a different job?  Do you see yourself finishing a race?  You can think about big categories of life – family, relationships, job, finance, health, spiritually, or even emotionally to dream where you want to be in the future.
  3. Coach the STEPS in the Gap.  As you look at where you are . . . where you want to go . . . what are the “baby steps” or mini-successes that you can do in the near future to get there.  My example I used yesterday was the man who said, “I am not putting $50 away every month for college – it will barely make a difference.”  The reality is that this “baby step” or mini-success will get his 11 year old through one year in some colleges!

Yesterday I met with two people.  One is around 30 and the other one around 40.  It was amazing to start with “defining reality.”  It was also amazing to hear their dreams of what they wanted in the future.  The most fun though is “coaching the gap.”  It was and is very fulfilling to help them unveil the steps that will get from the “current reality” to the “intended future.”

Call a time-out!  Stop the “one-liners.”  Today is like practice the day after you were “kicked-out” and you have your full attention on the “game plan.”  Define where you are . . . dream where you want to go . . . craft up some steps to get there.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Bless you today!


7 thoughts on “Coach the Gap

  1. “Your like a bull in a China shop,” just had to add one more of my favorites from Coach Stortz. Great message Sco! Loved the pic of the visual…so you!!! Thanks for helping cast a vision for my life as a high school/college kid and being my first life coach!

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