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Showing posts from January, 2008

For the love of the game

In our spare bedroom I keep a baseball in a display case. It isn’t a homerun ball from a MLB game. It isn’t even a foul ball from a MLB game. It is a homerun ball from a little league baseball game in the mid 80’s. I still remember the pitch (a failed attempt at a slider that hung just over the middle of the plate). As I swung at the pitch I dropped my left shoulder (even though I knew better) and popped the ball high into the air, but the hit was just long enough to clear the fence. I also remember where the ball went out of the park (just to the right of a big tree outside the fence in right field) and my dad retrieving the ball for safe keeping.

We spent many afternoons practicing baseball and learning the rules of the game. We learned how to throw and how to hit (even though I didn’t learn that part too well) and how catch. We learned strategies for winning, and we learned the correct way to play a game. Our coaches taught us how to be orthodox, American baseball players. And, some…

Call me coach

At Oakland we have just started our winter basketball leagues. For many of our kids, it is their first attempt playing organized sports (okay semi-organized sports), and practice can be quite an adventure. The kids are usually high energy and willing to learn, but they are also easily distracted. Their great concern with who is first in line can rival even the most engaging practice drill that a coach can posit. I have learned that trying to settle their disputes is about as productive as telling Costello “Who’s on first.”

All joking aside the kids are great. But, why am I coaching? Well, I was asked.

Research by Thom Rainer of Lifeway suggests that a significant number of people who are not involved with our churches would get involved if we invited them. In particular when someone we respect invites us to get involved, many of us are willing to get in the game.

We had our first game this past Saturday. The kids were very excited, but one of the kids was fairly nervous and unwilling to …