Lessons Learned – New Beginnings

Congratulations!  You’ve got the job!

Now what?

This past May Kyle Lindbergh was named women’s basketball coach at Dordt College for the 2017-18 season.  He’s officially the interim coach until the point Bill Harmsen takes over full time.

I’ve often wondered what it’s like to be the head coach of a college program.  There are so many things that need to be addressed outside of practice and games.  Budgets, recruiting, balancing other work responsibilities…..I’m guessing the practice or games might seem easy and welcome compared to the other tasks.

A couple weeks ago I asked Kyle to put his thoughts down on paper regarding what it looks/feels like to be the head coach.  Here’s what he had to say.

mbyk

 

After four months of sitting in the captain’s chair for the first time as a collegiate head coach at Dordt College, there have been many lessons that I have learned.  Coaches spend great amounts of time and energy investing in student athletes and preparing for practice, games, and the season(s) ahead. During these busy times, there are few moments for self-reflection.  Taking an opportunity to step back and go for a helicopter tour of the last four months is welcoming and daunting at the same time (as I am terrified of helicopters!).

One of the key lessons that I have carried into being the Interim Women’s Basketball coach at Dordt, is the cliché saying: “the journey is the reward.” While our goal is to win basketball games and make the national tournament, as Christians, this cannot be our chief end.  Even while Jesus spoke of a new Heaven and a new earth, he spent his time on earth bringing God’s kingdom here through loving the broken, caring for the sick and poor, and being present in the moment. This example of Jesus’ journey paints a great picture for any coach, teacher, leader or human of the importance of investing in the NOW. I have seen countless examples of this over the past four months from different coaches, faculty and staff here at Dordt who exemplify the true essence of service for God’s kingdom.

New beginnings can be exciting, but also overwhelming at times and may be likened to drinking through a fire hose. While this may prove difficult and possibly painful at times, being able to take away small drops at a time and using different resources to help regulate the flow can help keep one from drowning!

New beginnings can be exciting, but also overwhelming at times and may be likened to drinking through a fire hose. While this may prove difficult and possibly painful at times, being able to take away small drops at a time and using different resources to help regulate the flow can help keep one from drowning! Some those resources are the coaches around me and even the young women on our basketball team.

Our players have taught me some valuable lessons over the course of our first eight practices. One of these is the importance of finding joy in what we do.  This does not necessarily mean having fun while we are running sprints or that we enjoy making mistakes in a drill.  Rather, that we are able to find joy in the sprint or drill because of the big picture that we are working towards. We constantly talk with our team about doing the little things right and regardless of what areas of life, this is a great foundation for success.  This culminates to our women becoming better basketball players, but more importantly of better character by realizing the large scope of their role on the team and in God’s kingdom. The latter will have more long-term ramifications than an improved jump shot ever will (but that always helps!).

In my office a plaque constantly reminds me that, “A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.”  This reminds me of the real reason why I am here.

My role as the interim head coach is unique and occasionally brings up doubts of uncertainty and questions of the future. In my office a plaque constantly reminds me that, “A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.”  This reminds me of the real reason why I am here. Two of the Defender Way points echo that reason of: being committed to equipping student athletes to be servant leaders and to the academic development of all student athletes. The development of young adults through sports can be profound, as was the case in my life.

As I look to have that same impact on others here at Dordt, I am reminded of the impact coaches have as I see my own former coach down the hall. The way I see it, we are all interim human beings as we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but rather are tasked, as Christians, to prepare the Kingdom of God here on this earth through the great commission.

Kyle Lindbergh-Head Women’s Basketball Coach

 

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