After fourteen years of ministry in sport, I am more convinced than ever that investing in the coaches and support staff is a key component to a chaplain’s or mentor’s effective ministry. If one only concentrates on the competitors, one can miss some insight the coaches, trainers (physios), equipment managers, and such may have about the player and his or her needs. These people are often with teams for a long time and could help you weather the changes that come in the world of sport.
Here are some ideas for building and maintaining such relationships:
· Learn their names and call them by name when you see them on the field, pitch or court.
· Occasionally drop them a call, email, or card to express your thanks or to tell them that you’ve observed their good work.
· Encourage them when you see them doing well.
· Give them hope when you see them failing.
· Ask good questions about their work and their perceptions about the players you serve.
· Care for their families.
· Share books, web sites, articles, etc. which can be helpful to them.
· Serve these people by offering to help carry something, to drive them somewhere, anything which they need and you can provide.
· Be with them, love and serve them in times of crisis.
· Pray for them, their needs and pray with them if the opportunity arises. Nothing communicates compassion and the presence of Christ more than praying with another.