Good Afternoon!  I am throughly enjoying a day of rest after a busy couple of days at the California State Track and Field Championships.  It was a great year this year, and with blazing hot weather, there were quite a few fast performances clocked in.  I was proud to coach two athletes into this year’s meet, Ashley my senior Long Jumper, and Spencer my senior High Jumper.  Both had great years leading up to the state championships, and it was so much fun getting to coach them; they make me proud!

Ashley was up first on Friday, and though it wasn’t her best performance of the year, I know she came out fired up to be participating in such a high caliber meet.  You see, the really amazing part of Ashley, is that she started long jumping with me about 7 or 8 weeks ago.  That’s right, she’s amazing!  And she not only broke the school record, she jumped 18′ 3″ qualifying her all the way to state!  What a blessing for me to ride the coat-tails of an amazing athlete like her!

Spencer took the stage a couple hours after Ash.  He was coming in with a new found confidence after making 6’5″ at the Valley Championships, placing him 9th and securing the at large bid into the state meet.  The preliminary competition was fierce; 30 guys cleared the opening height of 6 feet 2 inches.  The bar was raised and only 6 failed to clear, leaving 24 in the competition after 6’4″.  Needing to reduce the field of competitors to no less than 9 but no more than 12 for finals, the bar once again went up.  An astounding 17 guys cleared 6’6″, and like a true fighter Spencer cleared a new PR and school record on his 3rd attempt.  Looking at 6’8″ we knew we needed a clearance to have a shot at finals.  Keeping the drama (and his coaches blood pressure) high, Spencer busted out a third attempt make for another PR and another school record!  Only 10 guys successfully cleared, and prelims came to a close.  Spencer had done it.  He made finals. Saturday’s competition was no less fierce, but Spencer stepped up and cleared 6’6″ on his second attempt placing him 7th overall.

It was a great competition to watch and be a part of.  From every miss to every clearance, I watched as my athlete rose to the occasion and seized his opportunity.  I sat back and watched so proudly as fellow competitors and other school’s coaches came up to him and congratulated him on a job well done.  What I loved most was watching him transform from “knowing” he could do it, to BELIEVING he could do it.

This is where so many of us get tripped up in life.  We lack belief that something can be accomplished.  We may talk or act like we do, others might say we can, but there is doubt deep within us that says we can’t.  A change occurs when something deep down inside of a person truly believes that something can happen.  Coaching is all about helping the athlete find that belief inside themselves.  You can’t force it on them, but you can hopefully open their eyes to what they are capable of achieving.  God plants different talents in each of us, but ability to be successful in the use of those talents lies in the belief of the individual.  Do you believe that you are able to speak confidently to a group of people?  Do you believe that you are able to discover the cure to a disease?  Do you believe that you can positively impact a neighborhood in need?  Do you believe that you can sing, or write, or paint, in a way that touches the lives of others?  Whatever it is that you think you can do, or others say you can do, do you BELIEVE it?

Thankfully I have the greatest coach of all, Christ.  He promises and teaches me that through Him anything is possible.  I don’t think those words should be taken lightly.  As I sit and meditate on them more and more, they begin to take root, and belief begins to grow.  I continually remind myself of this truth as I align myself with God and His plans and goals for my life.  I know that He is bigger than anything, and that through Him all things are possible.  Just as Spencer believed the ability was there, so I too must believe.  There is too much opportunity awaiting to not.  What a great lesson God has given me before I head down to southern California this week for competition.

May God be glorified in the way I compete and in the conversations I have.  And may some big bars be cleared!

See you all in SOCal!

Spencer and I after finals on Saturday… his parents got me a dozen roses!!!