Great Coaches Know Their Players

Great Coaches Know Their Players

What lesson can we learn from the best coaches in the world?

What do world-class; truly world-class coaches do that set them apart?

Let’s take a look at the world of professional sports and assess what coaches at the highest level do that translates into the ministyr world. For instance, take one of the most successful football coaches in European club football – Zinedane Zedane. Not only was he one of football’s greatest players of his generation; but now is approaching his team’s third European Championship in a row. A feat that has only been achieved by Bayern Munich from 1974-1976.

For our purposes, what can we extract from what Zedane does that applies to how we approach disciplemaking and leader development?

First, Zedane understands the game.

Second, he knows his players.

Third, Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.

I realize that I am making a leap to suggest that coaching in the sport’s context can have some relevance for coaching in a ministry context; but these are worth consideration.

Let’s take that second one today – Zedane knows his players. He knows their personality, strengths and weaknesses, what motivates and demotivates, how and when to challenge. What you also sense from Zedane is, he knows how hard to challenge to get the very best from his team.

When coaching disciplemaker and leaders, it is imperative that we know the people we are empowering. What I am suggesting is that we must know what makes a disciplemaker “tick” and how to help leader’s take that difficult next step in their development. Specifically a coach must know their:

  • Personality
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Motivator and De-motivators

These are just some of the complexities of the human beings that we are called to coach to make disciples and leaders.

Here are three questions for your reflection:

  1. What are the personality traits of the people you coach (for disciplemaking & leader development)?
  2. How do you challenge different people, differently?
  3. How do you motivate different people, differently?

Here are two coaching resources I have found helpful to help coach introverts and extroverts:

Coaching Introverts

Coaching Extroverts

Coachability Trait #2 – HUMILITY

Coachability Trait #2 – HUMILITY

“Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.”

Patrick Lencioni

Listen to this interview with the author by Donald Miller – click here

What are the indications of humility?

This is an interesting list to brainstorm:

  • Does not speak about themselves.
  • Gives others the spotlight.
  • Deflects attention.

I know the list can go on and on but these are some of the traits that come to mind.

In the football universe, Messi sets the standard. Arguably the best player on the planet. Think Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or Tiger Woods in terms of achievements – the persona he exudes is one of humility. I encourage you to watch this 8 minute video to see how Messi handles the attention he draws from fans around the world.

Consider the people you are currently developing, assess each according to their humility using a 3-point scale

  • Low = always puts herself/himself before others
  • Medium = willing to put others before herself/himself
  • High = always puts others before herself/himself

Now consider people you want or should be developing, using the same scale.

What new insights do you have?

If you would like to process this further, please e-mail us to schedule a complimentary, 25 minute coaching conversation with Gary Reinecke.

Hungry like Pep Guardiola

Hungry like Pep Guardiola

Last week I introduced three virtues of a coachable person based on Patrick Lencioni’s book entitled: The Ideal Team Player. The three virtues: Hungry-Humble-Smart are also wonderful traits of a coachable person. I will address each of these in the upcoming blogs beginning with the trait of a “hungry” person.

In case you missed it, Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to the English Premiership title last weekend. To no one’s surprise, the club completed the feat with 6 games remaining in the season. This gives them the chance to accumulate the most points ever during the course of a single season – and chances are, “Pep” will see his team reach that goal.

Beyond his desire to win is a relentless thirst to learn and be a student of the game so that he can find new ways to surprise his opponents. He is regarded as THE BEST manager in the game of football (soccer) today – and perhaps of all time. *He was the third of four children born to Valenti Guardiola, a bricklayer, and Dolors Sala and raised in a working-class home with solid family principles and a clear sense of dignity.  His unquenchable thirst drives him to succeed, challenge his players and feed the wild beast within.

*If you are interested in reading more about Pep Guardiola here is the link to an article highlighting his journey that created his incredible appetite and work ethic.

When identifying leaders to coach, having a hunger to learn, continually improve and achieve, is critical to a fruitful coaching relationship. Nothing is more inspiring than a person who has the desire, that drive and grit to grind it out when hard work is required. This hunger will drive the agenda for many a coaching relationship.

Consider the people you are currently developing, assess each by their willingness to word hard using a 3-point scale

  1. Low = lacks drive
  2. Medium = solid work ethic
  3. High = crushes it at every opportunity

Now consider people you want, or should be developing, using the same scale.

What new insights do you have?

If you would like to process this further, please e-mail to schedule a complimentary, 25 minute coaching conversation with Gary Reinecke.

What are the virtues of a coachable person?

What are the virtues of a coachable person?

Cristiano Ronaldo is a lot of things. 

This week Real Madrid played Juventes in the second leg of a home and away series.  The caption under the photo reads:  Cristiano Ronaldo shows what he is made of after scoring the penalty that saved Real Madrid from Champions League humiliation against Juventus.  The man is a beast on the football (soccer) pitch!  

Ronaldo is a champion, he loves the BIG stage, he is THE MAN when everything is on the line.  In addition, he is seldom criticized for his humility.  I’ve found that humility is one of the key qualities of a coachable person in the arenas you and I minister.

What makes a person coachable?  I’ve been asked this question and have thought about a concise response. Most of the time, I vett potential leaders that I am considering to coach using my intuition.  Here are some of the issues I consider:

  • Like-minded vision
  • Like-minded values
  • Like-minded expectations for coaching
  • Alignment in the “x” factor(s)
  • And the all important – chemistry!

In general, I believe a coachable person is one who is willing to work hard. A coachable person is teachable, that is, they desire to learn and grow. A coachable person possesses a high degree of self-awareness.

Do you coach leaders within local churches?

Do you coach leaders in church planting networks?

Do you coach leaders in mission societies?

I’ve coached leaders in the venues mentioned above at about every imaginable position, and for years I’ve had the good fortune of attracting people who fit the description of a coachable person above. When I hear leaders struggle with people they lead, supervise and develop; I’ve discovered that the three virtues Patrick Lencioni identifies in The Ideal Team Player provides a great framework to vett strong team members, employees and people you want to coach. Let me suggest the three virtues, along with a key question that I use to help vett potential leaders to coach.

Three virtues of a coachable person:

  1. Hungry – Is this person a hard worker?
  2. Humble – Is this person eager to learn?
  3. Smart – Is this person emotionally self-aware?

Of course, if you are leading a team and you have inherited the members of the team, you must work with the personnel you have. As a church planter, you may not have the luxury to recruit the ideal team player; but this gives you an idea of the qualities to look for. Likewise, when people approach you to coach them, these virtues along with the clarifying question can guide your decision-making process.

The three qualities were identified in The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni; and provide a helpful description of who would make a good candidate for you to coach.

A New Commandment

A New Commandment

Christ’s “mandate” is commemorated on Maundy Thursday—“maundy” being a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means “command.” It was on the Thursday of Christ’s final week before being crucified and resurrected that He said these words to his disciples:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

It is a solemn time for people of Faith.  Jesus supped with his disciples, washed their feet and warned them of what was about to come.  In our rush to move to Sunday with the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection we can miss this critical moment in time.

Several years ago I was asked to play THE part for our church’s dramatic presentation of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday.  I memorized and recited the John 16 passage, word for word, verse by verse.  Through that exercise I lived the Last Supper in my mind and with my co-actors.  It became more and more real to me the closer we approached the evening of the performance.

I remember the solemn posture I took as I embodied His words.  I imagined the humility that was required of Jesus that night.  The fear that must have surrounded his thoughts.  But in the midst of all of that, he embodied the essence of his life in a new command: “that you love one another: just as I have loved you.”  A message our world so desperately needs to embrace today!

As we pause to reflect today on what Jesus did, let’s not forget His exhortation to pass on the love that comes through His life, His grace and His love.

When does Discipleship Begin?

When does Discipleship Begin?

Disciplemaking Collective Overview: March 5 @ 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST


Disciplemaking Collective Overview: March 5 @ 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST for this important FREE informational webinar to learn more about the Disciplemaking Collective. Please register here to confirm your spot and write “Disciplemaking Collective Overview” in the Message box. Click Disciplemaking Collective Overview Login to enter the webinar.

Thank you for your commitment to make more and better disciples through coaching.