One of the most effective tools I regularly employ in my service of sportspeople is to simply ask questions. I ask questions to draw them into conversation, and then to probe more deeply toward their hearts. Sneaky, huh?
I tend to ask three levels of questions:
1. Questions that solicit facts. I ask the competitor’s name, home town, position, uniform number, etc… Mostly facts. Anyone will offer these details.
2. Questions that solicit passion. I ask about the competitor’s sporting experiences and I’m looking for their love for the sport. I am leading them to tell me stories that awaken their passion for sport, team, competition, coaches, etc…
3. Questions that solicit their hearts. I ask about the matters at the core of who they are: values, faith, relationships, events, and other matters that shape their lives from the center.
Please consider this brief list as a place to start with those whom you serve. I hope they serve you well.
Always ask process questions, not results questions. Fans and media only ask questions about results.
1. How is your team developing? Is the teamwork good?
2. How pleased are you with your....? (Training, practice, hitting, rehab, etc...)
3. How pleased are you with preparations for your next competition?
4. Who among your teammates is doing very well?
5. What are some challenges you have presently?
6. What sorts of situations in your sport bring out the best of your abilities?
7. How well is your team connecting with the coaching staff?
8. When your playing days are over, what do you think you will miss most about sport?
9. What are the moments in your sport that are most difficult for you?
10. Who are your most trusted teammates?
11. When and where are you most fully the person you want to be?
12. What elements of your life in sport are most pleasing to you?
13. What is there about your life in sport that will still be important to you 10 years from now?
14. When you are on the _____ (floor, field, court, track, mat, pitch, etc..), do you feel that God is near or distant? Engaged or disinterested? Pleased or disgusted? Why?