THE COACH'S PLAYBOOK: TEACHING HEALTH HABITS

The best athletes have a coach.  Peyton Manning, Jordan Speith, and LeBron James all have a coach.  Children need and benefit from coaches, too.      

A good coach can see what the athlete can’t.   He guides, directs, and even corrects behaviors and attitudes that hinder his athlete and the success of the team.  A good coach inspires and motivates his athlete when the athlete is tired and not doing his best.

A good Dad is a good coach.  A good Dad can see what his children can’t.  He can share from his life experiences and what he has learned along the way.  He can guide, direct, and even correct behaviors and attitudes that hinder his children and others.  A good Dad motivates and inspires his children when they are tired and struggling.

I used to coach my children’s soccer, hockey teams, and track teams.  I’ve put away my whistle and clip board.  But I continue to coach them in life.    

Coaching takes lots of time and lots of practice.  Achievements do not happen overnight and great athletes will tell you there are more failures than success.  Baseball great Babe Ruth once held lifetime records for home runs at 714 -- and strike outs at 1,330!  

Good Dads coach their children to handle defeat with grace and humility.  I was a good wrestler in high school and was hoping for an undefeated season.  But one night I lost.  I threw my headgear and stormed into the locker room without shaking my opponent’s hand.  My coach made me pick up my head gear, walk back to the mat, and shake my opponent’s hand.  I am grateful to my coach for teaching me how to handle defeat –- a lesson I’ve not mastered yet but continue to learn.

Like any coach I have good seasons and not so good seasons.  I want to keep learning and I am asking you for help.  Pro athletes have coaches.  Dads need coaches, too.  We all benefit from each other and someone to help us keep our head in the game.

Here is a look at my playbook.  Perhaps some of these plays would work for you.  Perhaps you would share some of your plays with me?  We Dads are all in this together.  

Coach Sippy’s Parenting Playbook  

  1. I am here to coach you, help you, and cheer you.
  2. I am completely committed to your health and success.
  3. Do not hurt yourself and do not hurt others (see sub-chapter on dating, alcohol, and “doing stupid things”).
  4. Be confident in yourself and hopeful in life
  5. Be forgiving and accepting of yourself and others.
  6. Be friendly and polite.  Greet others before they greet you.
  7. Be generous and put the needs of others before your own.
  8. Respect and support your teachers, coaches, employers, and government.
  9. Do not be critical or judgmental of others.
  10. Be happy, hopeful, and adventurous.  Fulfill your dreams.

About Author

Jeff Sippy, a Dad-In-Training, is the father of three young men and the husband of Cindy. He enjoys sailing every chance that he gets. He is the senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, MO and can be reached for question or comment at jsippy@rlcmail.org