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Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 8 vs. Franklin County

David Beall

LION NATION!

Tonight our varsity travels to Franklin County. This is our third region game. I feel like we are in the playoffs because there is no room for error anymore. 4/6 teams in our region are ranked in the top 10 making our region the strongest in AAA. Only 4 get to make the playoffs. Every game is a must win. We’ve worked hard and had a great week of practice.  Time to go play! 

WIN THE DAY

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you…Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33-34

I love the Win the Day concept. If you are like me, you have a tendency to worry about everything that might happen in the future. I don’t necessarily think processing what could happen in the future is a bad thing. If you have the ability to look and foresee what might happen and then get your mind wrapped around the preparation of today, “worrying” about tomorrow might not be such a bad thing. But when you get overwhelmed and frantic about what might happen in the future it becomes a problem. When the worries over tomorrow pin you down today…there is an issue.

As a coach I need to look at what might happen on Friday nights.  They might do 40-50 different things. I need to process that and then have a plan to counter it. Once we have the plan we must get busy in the execution of our plan. I need to process the future by studying the past, but then I must get my mind fully locked into the present. The present is where I control fixing past mistakes and preparing for the future. We can’t dwell on yesterday…we can’t live in hopes or doubts of tomorrow…we must lock into the present and be fully functional in the NOW!  

I must see and process future outcomes and obstacles. I must learn from past successes and failures. Then, I must take all of this information and execute a great plan TODAY! This is what the Bible tells us. Do not be anxious for tomorrow….sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  Today is going to present so much conflict and drama – CONFLAMA – that if you allow the worries of what might happen in the future overwhelm you, the conflama of this day will crush you. 

If we take care of business today…we will have a chance to take care of business tomorrow.  As a football team, if we aren’t great on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at practice, we have failed to take care of the things we actually have control over. We control the outcome of the game on Friday night through our preparation during the week. The anxiety and stress over winning on Friday night must be channeled into trying to win each day of preparation. We must be fully focused on the preparation and not the game during the week. Today–Friday

– it’s time to go play the game! 

When it is time to go play you will “fall to the level of your training.” Everyone can be excited before a game. You can stretch and run and do all the great training regimens to prepare your body and mind to compete before the game.  You might have some great mental awareness, self-actualization, and mental/visual processing tools you use before your big event…And that is all great…but when you get into the actual competition what matters is your training the months, weeks, and days prior to competition.  

I give the kids an example to help them understand this: I ask them how many of them pray before a test to do well but they never paid attention in class and didn’t do their homework intently leading up to the test. I then tell them it is dumb for them to pray. When we fail to prepare we have failed to prepare. God isn’t magically going to give you the answers. He gave you a fully functional brain you failed to use. So it is the same with a football game or being able to be successful at anything we want to do. If we fail to prepare and do all the things necessary that we have control over, it is foolish to have expectations of success. 

We all battle worry, stress, and anxiety. Some way more than others. I would say that I am on the high end of scale. I am learning to manage it all but I can turn manic and insane in my stress to be perfect. The Win the Day philosophy with a Matthew 6:33-34 focus helps me a great deal. It centers my mind on preparation and controlling the variables God has given me control over. The ability to focus my mind on today gives me peace. 

I’m going to leave you with one final verse that helps me a lot as well. It gives me great peace and freedom to lay down the things I cannot control at the feet of Jesus: 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

OK! Time to go play!!! We have prepared and we are ready…TODAY-full focus on this GAME!!  WIN THE DAY!!

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” – Proverbs 21:31

Wholly for Christ!

– Coach Gess