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It's worth doing with intensity

My father had a saying, "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right." The premise being that if you are going to take the time to do anything then you should do it to the best of your ability and your focus should be on doing it correctly.

As a coach, I am constantly hammering into our players the fundamentals of foot, hand and head position and the technicalities of watching their keys. What I have discovered through the years are the players who work at the details improve and excel more than those who rely upon their natural ability.

Natural ability will make you a good player and may even be enough for you to see playing time. However, an athlete relying upon natural ability had best pray that his natural ability is sufficient to beat out a player whose natural ability has been enhanced through technical aptitude and intensity.

For me, intensity is similar to size, speed and strength. I simply can't coach it. It is within the athlete to control and no amount of coaching is going to make a difference. I can provide you a weight room, make suggestions on drills and conditioning that you can do to help you become bigger, faster and stronger but only the athlete's dedication and determination will ensure they become a factor.

Similarly, I have never been able to move the dial on intensity. What I can tell you is that individuals who are intense in their actions make the best players. It is also contagious. You get enough of them on a team and it seems to multiply. Unfortunately, the converse is true as well.

We witness intensity of action every day. We all can tell the kid at the fast food restaurant who is busting his/her butt to get your food out in a timely manner. We respect the individual who goes out of their way to help others when it's not expected. They are the people who take pride in whatever they have been tasked to do whether it is flip a burger or manage a multi-national corporation.

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Matthew 25:1-4

With the parable of the Bridegroom Jesus teaches several lessons, one that can be inferred is the need to be intentional (or intense) in your preparation. You do not know the day nor the hour for when Jesus will return and call us home. We are to be prepared and to be both intentional and intense in our preparation.

Are we communing daily with the Lord? Are we trusting the Holy Spirit and yielding to His will? When others see us, do they see the Lord in action?

How intense are we for the Kingdom?

I am very proud of many of my athletes who have elected to live intense and intentional lives. They have set a standard for others to follow and surround themselves with like minded individuals. I am grateful they have had the opportunity to play on our teams where they were encouraged to practice and play with intensity. It is my ultimate prayer that they will continue to use this skill to serve the Kingdom of God.


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