The Coaching Tree


"Apply yourself to instruction and listen to words of knowledge." — Proverbs 23:12


A special tree grows each year in every sport. It’s called the coaching tree. Throughout the history of sports, wesee a list of coaches who have been trained by other great coaches, who, in turn, continue the legacy to form an incredible tree. Bob Knight, Pat Summitt, Knute Rockne, Tommy Lasorda—all have great coaching trees because at one time or another, they committed themselves to being taught and they gained the knowledge they needed to pass along to others. Basketball coach Dean Smith is an example. His coaching had many branches that stemmed out to high school, college, and professional ranks and included coaches who had been and still are following in his footsteps.

If we apply today’s verse to our role as coaches, we’ll have the wisdom we need to be effective in offering instruction, as well as listening to and applying words of knowledge. What’s even more important, however, is when we apply this instruction beyond our sport. If we follow Jesus Christ, we can have an eternal impact. When we spread God’s Word to the unbelieving world, we have the opportunity to grow branches that bear fruit for His kingdom.

Of course, that happens only as we commit to gaining godly instruction and setting down deep roots in His knowledge, wisdom, and love. It comes when we are firmly planted in the truth of another tree, the one on which Christ sacrificed His life for our sins, thereby giving us the good news of eternal hope. As we stay anchored in Him, we grow new branches for His sake.

Just as we know coaches whose tree of influence is great, we also know that Christ desires nothing less for us. He wants us to come to Him daily and learn from Him, gaining the heavenly knowledge we need to lead others to the tree oflife for all eternity.


1. Whose example are you following or learning from right now?
2. Whom could you be instructing in the ways of Christ?
3. Today, how can you start being more committed to gaining godly wisdom?


Extra Reading: Proverbs 4:7; 19:8; 23:23; Colossians 3:16; Titus 2; James 1:5–8; 3:13–18


Great is Your faithfulness, oh God my Father, and knowledge of You is a tree of life for me today and every day. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
James 3