One of my favorite parts of sports, as a player and later as a coach, is the pre-game locker room speech, especially those given before a big championship game.
As you know, there are several famous pre-game speeches from great coaches, and I'm sure you can recall bits and pieces of some of them. One of my personal favorites is from Herb Brooks, head coach of the 1980 USA Hockey Team. Prior to one of the team's biggest games, Brooks said, "You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here at this moment. You were meant to be here at this game." And as you probably know, that USA hockey team went on to defeat the Russian hockey team in one of the great wins of all time.
What I love most about any pre-game speech is that the best coaches use these opportunities to focus their remarks and advice on what is really important, what really matters. And, like Herb Brooks' speech, it is often delivered in a few carefully chosen words. The best coaches know that this is their final message and that their words will have to direct, motivate and sustain their players as they enter the battle ahead of them.
While reading my FCA Bible last week, I thought about this. The Scripture noted the title: "The Last Week," referring to the final week of Jesus' life. Jesus, the greatest coach ever and our Lord and Savior, knew that the words He gave the disciples this last week would also be His final message before they entered the battle ahead of them. How carefully He must have chosen His words, knowing also that this message would have to sustain them (and those of us who would follow Him later) as they entered the battle against sin and Satan.
I urge you to read or re-read Jesus' few, carefully chosen words in the book of John, but to read them as the greatest pre-game speech ever given from the greatest "coach" who ever lived.
- What is the greatest pre-game speech you've ever heard?
- What message are you drawing on to sustain you in battle on the field? In life?
- What words from Jesus' last week have impacted you the most?
- John 13:34
- John 16:16
- John 16:33
- Mark 16:15