Dean Linke sits down for a conversation with our Faith-Based Coaches Group Chair, Mike Lynch. A transcription of this video can be found below: 

Dean Linke: Time now again for the United Soccer Coaches Advocacy Community Spotlight and it is my great pleasure to welcome in Mike Lynch who is the chair for the Faith-Based Coaches Advocacy Group. Mike Lynch, welcome to our community spotlight. 

Mike Lynch: Dean, great to see you, great to be on.

Dean Linke: Great to have you, obviously a crazy year and maybe more now than ever we need a little faith in our lives as you reflect on this past year, what have you learned how have you grown? 

Mike Lynch: Yeah 2020 has been a crazy year for everybody and I think it’s one that really talks about the example of how adversity doesn’t necessarily develop character, but it does expose it and tell us where we really got to keep the faith in you know, keep strong. And so that’s where 2020 has kind of been our focus. As you know with the United Soccer Coaches, who allow a lot of opportunities to try and get content so that people could stay engaged and that’s where we spend most of our time.

Dean Linke: You brought some great content forward on the United Soccer Coaches Podcast, if you can reflect on that.

Mike Lynch: Yeah we were really blessed to have a couple different opportunities. First on your TeamSnap the vlog, we’re doing the audio and we had you know, six parts series. It was really exciting in that we talked about team culture, we talked about sportsmanship, we talked about sport ministry, we talked about taking care of each other, we talked about sports psychology, so that was really good. I had a chance to be on the Match Day with Ian and Vince and that was really cool. We talked about the melting pot. Just a difference in all the different players and coaches that we have the opportunity to to play with alongside and coach with. We did a couple Zoom calls with a facilitator by the name of Chad Busseck of AST Mental Training called “Taking Change by the Hand” which was fantastic. And kind of his marquee quote was you know, that if you don’t change the way you think about things, you’ll need to because the things you think about will change and so that was kind of the focus. We just had a lot of great opportunities to try to give things, give ideas for everybody to stay engaged. 

Dean Linke: Sometimes people say money where their mouth is, I say put your heart where it belongs and your heart belongs where you are at your university. Tell us about where you are and how that perfectly applies to what you do as the Chair of the Faith-Based Coaches Advocacy Group.

Mike Lynch: Yeah, I’m really lucky. I have the greatest job in the world. I coach at Belmont Abbey College here in North Carolina, and it’s a faith-based institution, a private Catholic University, but I tell you it’s a place where we talk about, we’re constantly focused on that point and purpose of sport which you and I talked about during that podcast. And again, so you know, certainly the point of sport we want to be competitive we want to compete for championships like everybody does but we never want to lose sight of the purpose of sport which is really to develop these players, develop these student-athletes that we have into the best versions that they can be and that’s why I just really feel blessed I’m at a place where that’s where they want me to to stay focused on. 

Dean Linke: Pushing forward Mike, one or two items that you’re hoping to get accomplished in 2021?

Mike Lynch: Yeah 2021, I tell you we’re really excited and it starts with the convention coming up because the content that we have is, I think, is going to be really exciting. You know, first our social on Monday evening, our keynote speakers again is Bill Thierfelder. He’s going to talk about this power of the present moment and what that means for performance and relationships. And then we have a great panel on world religions and soccer on Thursday afternoon, and I think that’s going to be really exciting because as coaches, you know, sometimes we’ve had players and our teams that were not familiar with the maybe the face tradition of they practice and we don’t know about the special diet needs or special cultural things they have to do with their families and things that they need to be at. And then we’re also with our exhibits we’re really excited about the content there. We’re going to have two different topics every time, from mentoring to book clubs, to sport ministry to taking care. Just all kinds of different topics that we’re going to try to engage people, get people to join in on and have some really good discussions.

Dean Linke: Mike in our final 30 seconds, kind of going back to my first question, as we overcame so much adversity last year on so many levels. What is your message to coaches out there that had to overcome so much?

Mike Lynch: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is to always remember that is to keep hope. Where there is hope, there is action, where there is no hope, there’s no action, and if you keep hope alive I think you keep everybody giving the opportunity and the present to happen. And you know how it is, even when we’re in a loss or we’re in a win, you know, you just keep the hope and that keeps everybody engaged. Keeps everybody looking forward, 

Dean Linke: Mike, may I say on behalf of the entire organization, United Soccer Coaches, God bless

Mike Lynch: Thank you. Dean. Thanks for the opportunity.