I Don’t Believe in Benchwarmers

Frisbee Blog
A frisbee flashback of myself and some team members from 2012.

Our annual Ultimate Frisbee League season kicks off tomorrow, and to say I would be excited would be an understatement.

Granted, it is a small league, but we play competitively and is governed by the Spirit of the Game, which makes every game not only challenging on a physical level, but on a spiritual level as well. I strive to play every game to the glory of Christ, and the encouragement of others.Speaking of encouragement, as a captain of a team, I’ll play the role or coach and mentor quite a bit this season. I thought I would share a philosophy of mine regarding sports and teams in general.

In short, I don’t believe in benchwarmers.

You know what I mean right? Those players that are just on the team because they signed up, but aren’t incredibly or even mildy talented as far as skills of the game. They sit on the bench, playing one or two minutes each game… They are known as the benchwarmer. Personally, if any coach establishes a standard of a person being a benchwarmer, they aren’t being a coach. They are being a boss.

What’s the difference? So glad you asked. See, when you think of the word coach, what do you think of? Leader? Mentor? Counselor? Friend? Now, what do you think of when you hear the word boss? Controller? Dictator? See the difference? In essence, a coach cares more about the people, whereas the boss cares more about results. I see sports as a tool. A tool for use in building, training, and encouraging all the players. Not just in skill (although definitely it is important) but moreso in character and sportsmanlike conduct.

Because that character and conduct- that’s what is eternal. 

Now I’m not saying to sacrifice the entire team for one individual. Or to put a person of benchwarmer caliber on some self esteem building pedestal. That would be just as flawed, as a good coach also uses discernment in how to make the team as a whole succeed as well. I’m not saying one should throw out strategy, or to toss the goal of winning for one person.

I am saying, that when the results of the game becomes more important than any person… You’re doing it wrong.

The true goal of anything for a Christian is not “The best results” but rather creating “The most impact for Christ” in people. This is found not only in the medium of sports, but also work, education, etc… It isn’t how good or bad the player or worker is. If they have a heart to serve their team, it is about developing them and equipping them to succeed on and off the field.

That’s the job of a coach. To encourage, not distain. To Build up, not tear down. To equip, not deny. To leave someone out of a game, because they lack physical prowess, shows the coach’s focus. A focus turned to results rather than the individual. Results- those aren’t eternal. They aren’t lasting. They honestly aren’t even important in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t matter the skill level of your people. If you equip them with a heart to serve Christ the best they can, you’ve got a winning team eternally. That is a greater win than all the Gold medals in the olympics, because that win is something which lasts.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17~

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