The Faith-Based Advocacy Group distributes a quarterly to inform group members, and those who may be interested in joining, what the group has been working on. The newsletter includes helpful articles, tips, and information on how to get involved with the group. Below is a letter from group chair Mike Lynch. To read the full newsletter, click here.

“The longest journey is often from the head to the heart.” I heard this observation recently and made me pause and reflect. “The longest journey” jumped out at me, prompting me to ask, “Does this describe my players? What does it feel like to be coached by me? How long is the path from the head to the heart in my players?” Joe Ehrmann’s best selling coaching book, Inside-Out Coaching and Jeff Duke’s highly effective 3D Coaching Institute curriculum both share the absolute importance of reaching the hearts of our players to become effective coaches helping our players become the best versions of themselves, both on and off the field, this season and for life. Yes, we must be continuous learners in physical, technical, tactical and psychological aspects of our game, but the path will be long and arduous for our players in the absence of unconditional, respectful, and empathetic love that captures their hearts.

Recently, I also had an interesting discussion with a fellow coach here at the Abbey how the old model of “Believe/Behave, then Belong” is no longer accepted on its own merits, especially with this next generation of players. Instead, he referenced literature and his own experiences leading him to flip the model to “Belong, then Believe/Behave” noting that as our players’ hearts are captured and they feel part of the group (belong), the stated team values and standards are easy to understand and follow (culture). Do you find this to be true, too, in general and especially with this new generation of players?

In both examples, the themes shoot to the core of “Well Being Counts,” one of seven cornerstone’s to the United Soccer Coaches Commitment to Culture and the focus of this quarter’s Faith-Based Coaches newsletter. Please reply with your own stories of, “Well Being Counts!” I contend your person to person love and respect and smaller group belonging strategies, especially within diverse groups like many of our teams, has led to and will continue to lead to significant heartfelt and belonging results. Every sport coach making a difference adds up pretty quickly.

In addition to stories where “Well Being Counts,” check out return to play ideas and best practices from fellow faith-based coach, Wendy LeBolt and others. I hope everyone is thriving in these different times as these are our normal times for the foreseeable future. We must press forward and not wait for these challenges to pass. Have a great fall season!

All the best,

Mike Lynch
Chair, Faith-Based Coaches Advocacy