• Coaching Term: Benched

Posted by: kidhelper on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Coaching Term: Benched

Believe it or not I was very active in sports in High School. My athletic experience then was very interrupted with my Father’s moving career. I attended five schools in my last four years. So starting all over again, and again was my annual experience. I played football, basketball and track and I lettered in each sport. Proving myself and starting at the bottom and working my way back up to first string was a process. I was becoming used to this challenge with every new season of my experience.

I noticed that the Coach would “pull” a player from play and put them on the “bench.” As I reflect on those days, I too, was frequently benched, but there were many reasons for it. Just because you were “pulled” from the game, it was not always about being “benched,” which was always my first thought when I was pulled. I would always think I did something wrong. However, it was not always the case, I learned other things were going on. The more I observed the Coach, the more I observed being “pulled” was not always about my performance and would not always mean I would be sitting very long on the bench.

Here are a few reasons that  to come to mind why a Coach might “pull and/or bench” a player.”

1. The Coach might be working on some strategy to win and would change the players according to their ability to take advantage of something being observed from the opponent.

2. The Coach might just want to give other players some playing time, to keep them motivated for practice and experienced for future games, especially, if there was a winning cushion.

3. The Coach might be punishing the player for doing something wrong, like too many fouls, penalties or getting too aggressive, or “loosing it” on the field.

4. The Coach might just want to instruct or teach the player something during the game. It was part of an ongoing dialogue with Coach and the discussion might go to new level on the sideline.

5. The Coach might want to save the best players for the last push to win, if the game got close. So pulling them was saving them for later.

6. The Coach might pull a player who just got the wind knocked out of them or was hurt. Playing a hurt player might hurt them more.

7. The Coach just might want to give an exhausted player a break, to get some rest and recovery for the purpose of sending them back into the game refreshed to play harder on their next effort.

8. The Coach might be sending in plays or signals by replacing players. So this player was not benched, just exchanged briefly.

9. The Coach might be trying to counter what he observes the opponent attempting to do to his team, so replacing a player is strategic, like matching strength with strength.

10. The Coach was trying to motivate me to play harder, he would pull me, and send me back in at some key time with instruction as to what to do this time. You practice to get playing time, if you sit on the bench too much, you become eager to show the Coach what you can do. Most Coaches know this, so they work with your mind and passion. I remember going to the Coach and begging to be put back in the game, I was so motivated. He was waiting for my “heart” to catch up with my “mind.”

So being “Benched” is not always a bad thing. Often it is not just your limited view of your performance, but rather the Coach’s intentionally working with you to accomplish some greater good. The Coach has the bigger picture for us. Jesus is the Best Coach! Have you noticed that Jesus has used “benching” to work with your spiritual walk?

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