Cuts Like a Knife


“No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” -- Ephesians 4:29


On many sports teams, it is perfectly acceptable to joke and make fun of teammates in the locker room. Coaches and athletes alike fall into the trap of using sarcasm to lighten the mood or make teammates laugh.

As a former college coach, I remember using sarcasm with certain players that I struggled with, and instead of building them up like a coach should, I used words to hurt them so that the other players would think I was funny. Years later, I realized the damage this caused in my players. Now, with Christ’s power, I recognize when I use sarcasm and can quickly turn my words from damaging into praise. As a transformational coach, my goal is to use my influence in the following ways: 

  1. Be an Encourager – Encouraging others does not always come easy for coaches, so you must ask the Lord to give you the power to encourage them daily. Soon, you will form a habit of lifting up your players and your relationships will be stronger than ever before.
  2. Be a Teacher – The best coaches are the ones that take the time to teach their players and not just correct them on what they are doing wrong. Teaching takes patience as well as time to explain or demonstrate the skill you are trying to teach.
  3. Hold people Accountable – Players and coaches often mess up during practices and games. Great coaches hold themselves and their players accountable for their actions, always striving to improve and become the best they can be. Accountability, when done correctly, can be a huge advantage for a program as it forces us to take a hard look at our performance and strive to be better.

Remember the influence you have on your team as a coach or a competitor, how your words can shape your players and teammates, and be sure to choose your words wisely.

  • How do you feel when someone encourages you during your sport?   
  • Do you have someone who is holding you accountable for your actions both on and off the field?

“Lord, thank You for helping me become an encourager, someone who lifts others up and does not cut them down. I realize my words can produce life and point others toward You, please give me the strength to do this every day. Amen.”