Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Family Forte: Coaching Success at Every Level

by: Topher Wiles
     It doesn’t matter what level or type of team you coach; success takes persevering hope, daily discipline, and a plan for growth.
     Saturday was a blast for our middle school Vision church league basketball team as they took the championship in their season ending tournament.  For us fans with vested interest, championships are heart-pounding, blood pressure raising, and joyful in victory!  Many of you experienced the same rush as you watched the Warriorettes take the 6AAA District Championship after beating Warren County, Stone Memorial, and Rhea County in the district tournament.  Maybe you felt it when the Warriors beat Cookeville in their 85-75 win in the district tournament last Friday night. (As of this writing, the high school boys basketball team has yet to play the championship game.)  For our boys on Vision team B17 with the orange jerseys, the final buzzer was one of the best moments of their young lives.
Pictured from left to right:
Front Row: Ethan Wiles (Sparta), Seth Smith (Manager, Cookeville), Michael Brown (Sparta), Canaan Smith (Cookeville), Peyton Paul (Cookeville)
Back Row: Topher Wiles (Coach, Sparta), William Fields (Cookeville), Will Stockton (Sparta), Caden Morrison (Cookeville), Gabriel Wiles (Sparta), Andy Paul (Assistant Coach, Cookeville)

     The season didn’t start so well though.  The orange shirts began our season playing the toughest and biggest team in the league.  The team with the green jerseys came out popping 3 pointers against our 2-1-2 zone and quickly squashed us in the season opener.  One of our primary guards even broke his arm requiring surgery during this first game, further disheartening our boys.  This opposing green team did the same to every other team in the league and beat us two more times during the regular season going undefeated, although we kept narrowing the score difference each time.  Our boys were beyond excited to have the higher score at the end of the championship game!  Was it a superior talent that took us to the number one spot?  No.  Was it lucky long range shooting?  Not even close.  Did we pray harder?  Maybe, but I doubt God was that interested in the outcome; besides, their coach is a church minister too.  What took our team of boys to the top was a persevering hope, daily discipline, and a plan for growth. 
     Years ago, an old coach taught me that you don’t practice to win, you practice to get better.  If you’re getting better, you’ll beat the lower ranked teams.  If you’re getting better faster than everyone else, you’ll beat the highest level teams.  With that mindset, we decided that each and every practice we entered into from the beginning of the season to the end would contain a message of hope from scripture, an expectation of high discipline for the practice, and a full practice plan for growth. (Special thanks to the Jr NBA website for their amazing practice plans!  https://jr.nba.com/)  While it took a lot of time for us as a coaching staff to develop messages, discipline, and plans, the joyful hugs and high fives at the buzzer were worth it all!

(Enjoy a few seconds of the on court battle here as recorded by Ashley Wiles)
     I’ve been part of the coaching staff of twenty-six teams. (http://www.topherwiles.com/p/coaching.htmlIt didn’t matter if I was coaching high school bowling or little league baseball; public school tennis, or church league basketball.   It didn’t matter if I was an assistant coach, the head coach, or a player coach.  It didn’t matter what level at which I was coach or playing;  success took persevering hope, daily discipline, and a plan for growth from players and coaches.  I bet Coach Dodgen of the district champion White County Warriorettes and Coach Mitchell of the winning Warriors would agree.  (P.S. – Good luck in the championship game fellas!)
     The same coaching principal of persevering hope, daily discipline, and planning for growth is what has built up the Wiles Family Forte over the years.  While your particulars may be different than ours, I believe these coaching principles will bless your family too!   
     Our family begins every day with a message of hope.  We begin our day with a scripture reading plan that reminds us of the enduring victory of Jesus throughout the ages.  It is that positive motivating message of God’s Holy Word that starts us on a daily high note that helps us overcome the obstacles, setbacks, and temporary losses that God throws our way.  Hope is what helps us topple the giants that stand in our way of enjoying the promises set before us.  Just like a coach includes a message of hope in every practice, so you too can reach toward family success by including God’s hope for abundant life in each day.
     Daily discipline has been a struggle throughout the years, but yet we cling our structure and order to help us achieve betterment every day.  Whether it is in our Dave Ramsey guided money principals, healthier eating influenced by nutrition gurus, regular intake of scripture at every meal, church services multiple times a week, or routine exercise at the White County YMCA, our family daily discipline mirrors what coaches expect out of their players through the season for success.  We aren’t by any means perfect, but we see regular results that routinely make us smile.  Expect daily discipline in your family just like a caring coach expects of their team and watch the success flow. 
     Finally, purposefully family planning of our time together has been one of our most joyful pieces of the success puzzle.  Between planning date nights for Ashley and I, scheduling service projects together, saying “no” to extra sports seasons so that we can have quality home time, and throwing the TV out the door (we got rid of it over a decade ago), we have been blessed in our plan for growth to treat our family time like a team practice, making the most of our moments together. 
     In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you are coaching a team or leading a family; success takes persevering hope, daily discipline, and a plan for growth.  Friends, we look forward to seeing God grow your Family Forte and all the success that follows.
“He must manage his own family well … and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.” – from 1 Timothy 3:4
For more info on the Church of Christ sponsored Vision basketball league based out of Cookeville, go here: https://www.visionbasketball.com/

The word “forte” comes from the latin word “fortis” meaning strength.  Our weekly Family Forte article in The Expositor is the effort of family at Central Church of Christ to give your family the love, care, and attention it needs to become a stronger version of itself.  If we can help you in any way, please contact us at Central Church of Christ through email, topherwiles@spartacoc.com, or through our website, www.spartacoc.com.