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Super Bowl Coach’s Influence

Guess who has more influence on kids than their parents? At a recent FCA event, Super Bowl winning Coach Tony Dungy shared a story about his youngest son. He opened with a story that went something like this.

“I think I know a little bit about football, but my 15 year old son thinks I know nothing about football. For five years I’ve been telling him, if you want get big and strong and be a starting varsity football player and play college football someday, you are going to have to start eating a good breakfast. Fruit Loops just don’t cut it. For five years it’s gone in one ear and out the other until this year. He came home from the first day of football practice, where the head varsity football coach told the team that if they want to get big and strong and have any chance to make the varsity football squad they are going to have to eat a nutritious breakfast. My son walks in the door and exclaims, “Dad, we need to get some good breakfast stuff in here if I am going to make the varsity football team! Fruit Loops aren’t going to cut it anymore.” That really showed me how much influence coaches have with the athletes they coach and why it’s important for coaches to understand the power and influence they have with today’s youth.”

In a recent study, teens were shown a list of typical household chores and a list of authoritative figures common to teenagers. They were asked to match each chore to the authoritative figure that would most influence them to complete the chore. The results clearly showed that the coach was the one who would most influence them to complete the specific task.  I know we would all like it to be parents, but as you know, teens are more apt to look outside the home for guidance and answers to life’s questions.

An estimated 53 million kids are playing sports today. It’s also estimated that 72% of adolescents in the United States do not live with both biological parents. With the breakdown of the American family and the dominance of sports in our culture, the coach plays a vital role in lives of our youth today.

Our FCA Coaches Ministry is committed to helping coaches connect with God and their faith on a deeper level, and equip them to use their influence to coach the hearts of the athletes they coach. We give them the training and tools they need to create an environment on their teams where athletes feel loved and affirmed, grow in character, improve their sports specific skills and increase physical abilities.

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