30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Monday, April 28, 2014

It Takes Time

We spent the better part of two days in Paoli watching our daughter play in a travel softball tournament this weekend.  This group of girls played together last year in all stars and were pretty good.  The previous year they had lost in all stars in the machine pitch division and with a year of experience, they were better.

Now they are playing at the kid pitch level and are the youngest again.  They struggled, but showed some potential this weekend, but it will take time.  Every couple of years as kids develop, they go from being the youngest which causes them to struggle, to the oldest which helps with their success.

The problem is that we often compare that first year up with the previous year of success and that is not fair to the girls.  It will take time.  They will improve this year, and next year they will be able to build on whatever success they have.  In the meantime, we should sit back and enjoy this time with them because there will be a day when we will miss it after they are grown and gone.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Recently, I received an email from a representative of  The email informed me that as a blogger they would like to offer me a promo discount if I would write about their website/company.  Seeing the opportunity for something free, I tentatively leaped at the opportunity.  I guess the cynical part of me thought there had to be a catch, nothing is for free, right? Obviously, they would want me to write about their company and post it here, so I thought, I can fake it for the money, right?

Then I got on their website.  It is pretty cool and unlike any ticket website that I have been on before.   You can buy tickets on the site, and you can bid for a lower price.  I am mostly interested in baseball and basketball games and they have plenty of options close to where I live, but they offer other sports, music, and other attractions.  I went into this thinking that it would be a one time usage, use my promo code, and that is it, but I do not think so now.

I am not trying to sell anything and I have not used the site yet so I am interested in how it will play out.  But if it works the way I think it will, it is a site I will use often.  Did I mention you can bid on tickets?  A downfall may be that you may not know exactly where your tickets are before the event, but you will know a general area.  Again, it is the Priceline of tickets in bidding on your tickets.  I am looking forward to trying it out!

Quick Facts:

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How it works:

● Choose your event
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About enables consumers to get great tickets for live sports, concert and theater events – at guaranteed savings of up to 60 percent. customers pick their own price on seats from the floor to the rafters, always pay less than box office price, and never pay any fees. For its partners, is the first and only opaque sales channel to move unsold ticket inventory in a way that protects the ticket owner’s brand and fullprice sales. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., was founded in 2009 and is backed by Bain Capital Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners. was recently recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Most Promising Companies and by Billboard as one of the 10 Best Startups of 2012.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Will They Do?

Coaching has helped me as a parent.  There are many things that I have learned on what to do and what not to do.  When you coach and you are not a parent, you think you have all the answers, but I did not.  For me, I had to have children to make me a better coach.  Some might argue that it made ma worse coach, but that is how I feel, personally. But, being a coach has allowed me to pay attention to how I act as a parent of an athlete and has helped me there also. Not only do I examine my own actions, I am open to feedback of other people, I think, more than others because I realize we all lose our minds with our own children.

Life is hard.  Sports are easy.  However, sports do prepare you for life, but they are not life.  Dealing with adversity whether with a coach, losing, injury, or teammates are all part of growing up.  Will I be able to step in everytime my kids need me?  Yep, until they are adults or I die.  So I hope I have preprared them for the brutality of life without me.  Why? Because I will not always be there to pick them up, dust them off, and send them back into the fight.  They must learn to do it themselves.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You're Where You're Supposed to Be, Right?

Over the last two years, I have felt a call to enter the mission field.  More specificially, sports mission, and even more specific; basketball missions.  I believe that you can use sports to share your faith and touch and help people that you cannot do without sports.  I get a fulfillment out of that type of activity that I have never felt before in a work place.

Sure, I enjoy teaching and I am a basketball coach.  It would not matter if I coach or not, it is what I am, but I would love to work full time in the basketball mission field.  The opportunities are there for me.  I could go work full time on staff with FCA or Athletes in Action, both have asked.  There is much about those jobs I would love to do except one thing.

That one thing is to raise my own funds.  In other words, I have to raise my salary, retirment and money for health insurance.  For me to make 40-50 thousand, I would have to raise over $100,000 from people who would be willing to support me.  I just cannot do it.  I cannot ask for friends and family to help pay my salary.  Yes they do it now, but it is tax money, it is not so direct and personal.

Also, I have taught for 15 years.  I have a Masters in Education +30 hours which means that I would take a pretty good pay cut to quit my job, or retire, and do the sports mission thing.  How can I do that to my family?  We have a mortgage, car payments, and two little kids.  I would take a risk of losing what we have and maybe even forced to downsize (which I do not think would be bad). 

Finally, I would like to work for sports missions or even work at a church, but would they allow me to continue coaching?  I have heard in these situations that often they do not want you involved with one school and that it would take time away from your job that you are paid to do.

I do not feel that I am in a bad job and I am not miserable.  I think it might make it easier to take that jump if I were, but I feel that I am still in a place that I have been called as a coach and teacher, or am I?

FCA for April 22

Today, David Bigelow had Ross Knecht (pictured above) come in and speak.  Mr. Knecht is the Executive Director for Country Lake Christian ResortHe spoke to the students about the definition of success and that what the world considers successful will not bring you happiness over the long haul of your life.  There has to be something greater than yourself to work towards.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Welcome to the Comfort Zone

It's Easter this Sunday, it is the biggest holiday for Christians, or at least it should be.  The crucifixion of Christ and his empty tomb is what has saved all of us that believe that Jesus is the Messiah. It's a big deal.  If you know anything about what happened to Jesus before he was crucified, you know that he was beaten horribly, taunted, spit on, then nailed to a cross.  For you.

Now I cannot imagine what I would do for someone who did that for me that I could see and touch.  Of course, you will not be able to see and touch someone who has been killed for you, but let's take it down a notch.  If you were going to lose your home and you needed a large chunk of change to keep your family there and someone gave you the money, not loaned, but gave it to you would you not feel you owed that person something, at least a couple hours a week of your time?

Yet, we have been given the greatest gift and we do not feel that we owe everything for it.  How can I say that?  Some excuses for not attending church on Sunday that I have heard: "I am too tired to get up", "I can't get the kids ready", "It's not important for me to be there every Sunday", "We were out too late Saturday", and "I know I should do better, but...(fill in the blank)".

Too tired to get up.  We seem to do just fine during the work week getting up and getting to work. But we have to, right?  If not, we lose our job.  I am usually exhaused on Sunday, I get up at 6:30 AM during the week, I actually sleep in until 7:45 on Sundays and it is nice.  Call me old, but I love my nap after lunch, too on Sundays.

Can't get the kids up.  During the week, it is a fight most mornings, but we seem to get them up and ready by 7 AM, yet we have a hard time getting them up and ready for 9:45.  To be fair, my wife does this and she is the more motivated of us two when it comes to getting to church on Sunday.

Not important for you to be there every Sunday.  I agree, we don't have to be there every Sunday, but if somebody loaned me money to save my home, I would probably be where they told me to be once a week for the rest of my life.  Yet, it seems so many of us struggle to do that for Christ.

Out too late Saturday.  We like to go out and relax sometimes on a Saturday night, but I feel that what has been done for me motivates me to get up and worship.  I mean, we get to sleep in til 9:30 if all we are going to do is attend church.  That should be enough sleep if we really want it to be.

I know I should do better.  Yep, we should and we can justify anything we do or do not do.  It is part of the human condition.  We do not like to get out of our comfort zone and it is just church, right?

So I am asking...doesn't Jesus deserve more from us?  I think so.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hey Son...

Today is my son's 6th birthday.  It is crazy to me how fast time can fly in general, but you turn around and your babies are 9 and 6.  It really does seem like yesterday that I was feeding them, changing diapers and watching their first steps.

Now, they are growing so much and the responsibility I feel can sometimes be overwhelming.  I want them to be good people, enjoy life, yet stand for something (which gets harder every day) and be willing to fight for what they believe in.

I remember when my daughter was born, the horrible selfishness that I had for me started to disappear (not completely, I am still a work in progress).  Now with my son, I am watching him grow into a young man, okay...real young, but I feel so much more that my life is not about me.  It is about my daughter feeling loved and choosing a man who will treat her the right way.  It is about raising my son to be a man, a man who would make his dad proud, and in fact, one that will surpass his father.

Monday, April 14, 2014

That's Not My Job

We have all done it in our lives.  We have been asked or told to do something at a place of employment and have uttered those arrogant words: "That's not my job."

I spoke with my Pastor Sunday at church and asked that if we are true followers of Jesus and strive to be good servant leaders, those words should never be uttered from our mouths.  Of course, there are some reasons when we might utter those things.  Like when someone makes a decision that you have to stand by even if you agree with the complaintant..."that's not my job" to make that decision, but it is your job to stand by it if you are a subordinate.

You might utter it if someone asks you about some job you find offensive..."that's not my job."
But if you are a true servant, there should be no job beneath you.  There should be no job outside of your job description.  There should be nothing that you would not be willing to help with if asked.

That is one of the hardest things I have faced in my spiritual growth.  I am, by nature, an extremely selfish person.  I do not like to be brought out of my comfort zone for much of anything.  And, in fact, I will probably help more with a stranger than I would with the people who I love the most.  Makes no sense, I know, but it is what I have to overcome.

Next time you want to say "Uhhh, that's not my job", remember that if you want to be a true servant leader, it is your job.  It is always your job.

You Need a New Coach?

If I were going to hire a basketball coach, here are some of the things I would look for.

1. Passion-Does this person have a passion for the job?  By researching, you can find out if that is a consistent thing or something just for the interview.

2. Reputation- I would contact or have other people contact more than just those individuals on a resume to see what the true reputation of a person is.  In dealing with reputation, it would be on the court, but off the court also.  What have they done in their past job?  Were they cooperative?

3. Basketball knowledge-Do they know what they are talking about?  Nothing against some playing styles, but dependent on what school I was coaching at would tell me if a person was right for the job or not.  You can't press and run at a school with little competition or depth.

4. Effective communication skills-This goes along with #2, but today's coaches need to win, but also be able to communicate to students, athletes, basketball campers, administration, teachers, and parents.  You will be the face of that basketball program and many instances, the face of the school.

5. I would use every resource I had at my fingertips.  From looking online for things, to using the people in my building who may  know people from the past communities, to the resume.

Hiring a basketball coach in Indiana can be a tough job.  You can hire from within a school and go with an entity you already know, or you can hire from outside not knowing fully what you are getting until the summer or school year gets started.

I know that if I were going to be held accountable for my hire, I would try to cover as many bases as possible. 

Doing this type of thing and having to fire coaches are many reasons that I would never want to be an Athletic Director.  But I do like to write.

All Men and My Daughter

When dancing, read the below "how to" to twerking. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thought Provoking

One of the blogs I check most days is the one by Jon Acuff, pictured above.  He wrote "Stuff Christians Like" and other books, is a motivational speaker, etc..  You can check his blog out HERE.

While checking out the website today before school, he has posted this video.  Something to think about.

Tim Tebow at Southeast Christian

I was able to get two tickets to hear Tim Tebow speak at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.  Southeast holds 9,000 people and it was close to capacity.  I didn't have the greatest of seats, but I was in there.  It was enjoyable and inspiring to hear Tebow tell stories that you can read more about in his book HERE

Tebow was in a sit down, question and answer, interview style.  He was interviewed by Southeast Christian senior pastor, Dave Stone.

It was a fun night and he comes off as a humble, humble person.  I am sure he has his issues, as we all do, but he is a wonderful role model for everyone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plowing the Field

Sometimes the harder you try, the further behind you fall.  Sometimes the more you work to be better, the worse you become.  Sometimes when you feel you are moving forward, it only takes one instance to put you back even further than you were before.

You feel like you are in quicksand.  Trying and trying and sinking and sinking.

What do you do?  You put your hands to the plow and you finish the row.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Posted a Couple of Older Entries

I have kept the next two entries as drafts for a long time and decided to clean it up finally.  Read and enjoy, or not...up to you.

Never Nullified or Void

I am finishing up a book about believing in God in an age of reason. It is exactly the kind of book that I like to read. I believe in God and I believe that Jesus was his son sent to this earth to die for my sins. My wife is more of a natural Christian. She doesn't need anything other than knowing. I am more of a doubting Thomas, I like/need something more than just being told. I need some sort of reason to justify.

The last chapter I read discussed the deifying of things in our lives. Whether you believe in God or not, there is a God "hole" where you are void of Him if without and filled if you are with Him. The last paragraphy was very good, paraphrasing: we will fill that void with something. It might be drugs, alcohol, our wives, our children, things that we make into our "god", but ultimately they will let us down. God never lets us down and when we mess up will always forgive us.

Speaking from experience, I can agree with that. I was always looking to fill that hole, that void with something and never seemed content. Now that I grow in my faith the contentment is better, but now the void only occurs when I am moving away from God.

The great thing is that the "contract" that I have with God will never be nullified, but justified. The hole will never again be completely void as I finally have Him...He always had me, but finally I woke up.

It's No Secret, Really

I once was agnostic, but now I am not. When I was agnostic, I thought I had all I needed, and I thought I was truly happy. I didn't need God or religion to have a fulfilling life. When I look back now, yes I was all of those things, but there was always something missing. I didn't know what I truly needed and I wasn't truly happy because something WAS missing.

Let me compare it to the birth of my daughter. I loved my wife, I thought she was all I needed and if we had kids then so be it. Then my daughter was born....suddenly I had an overwhelming feeling of true love. Not the love for a parent, a spouse, or a friend, but the true love of your own child. A feeling that I had never felt before. The difference was hard to put into words, but there was a change and any form of love I felt before paled in comparison for the love I have for my daughter.

It was something that I could not know until I actually experienced it. It was something that I would not fully understand until it happened to me. The same can be said for my faith. How I feel now when it comes to my relationship with Jesus Christ makes everything I felt before pale in comparison. I read the Bible differently, I listen to music differently, I listen to how people talk and interact differently and it is all something that I could not fully understand until it happened to me.

So when I listen to non believers talking, I feel that I know a secret that they don't know. I feel that I wish I could get across to them how I was like them until I came to Christ and only then did I know love and contentment. It is hard to talk to non believers because I believe they won't come to Christ until they are ready and there is little I can do other than talk to them, answer their questions and be a positive example. Former basketball coach Don Meyer says "Today I am going to teach the gospel and when necessary, I will use words." I pray for the strength to do that very thing every day.

I do know secret about the love of Christ, but it really isn't a secret, it is out there for anyone to hear, believe and follow. It is only a secret in that some refuse to listen, they refuse to I once did.

2014 in Review

2014 Silver Creek Basketball Highlights from Neil Coffman on Vimeo.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Read This Book

I am about halfway through this book by Jefferson Bethke, if you'd like to buy it click HERE.  It is a book that was written by the man who did this video from a poem he wrote about what Christianity is supposed to be.

It was and still causes quite some debate, but the essence of the video and the book is that to be a follower of Jesus requies you to have a personal relationship.  It is about being better and not about following rules or holding onto traditions of the past that may not work.  It is about loving each other and not judging or condemning anyone.

The book is a great, great book.  I challenge believers to read it so that it can challenge you and have you question what you do as a follower of Christ.  I challenge non-believers to read it to read what I think being a follower of Christ is all about. 

Great book....great, great book.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lakeland and the Tigers

I had never been to a spring training game in Florida until last week.  And I was able to share my first moment with my son.  We spent the week in Orlando, and one day drove over to Lakeland to watch the Tigers host the Atlanta Braves. The weather was a little cool, but it was worth the time spent.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Be Consistent

Is that not one thing we want from every team we coach?  We want them to do the things we work on every time we play and to the best of their ability.  However, can we do that as individuals?

We cannot be consistent as people and we only have to control ourselves, so to ask that of teenagers on a team is unfair and unrealistic.  That does not mean we allow for teams to take plays off, strive for mediocrity, or just go along.  No, what it means is that we continue to strive to improve.

We see what the team is, be really good at what they are naturally good at and continue to strive to improve the areas they are not as good at.  You will be happier as a coach and you will have a more cohesive team if you play to their strengths than forcing them to do things they cannot do.  Example: A slow team cannot run, so you get really good at taking advantage of what they are good at.

I often wonder when you have better teams and better athletes; do you change your style of play or do you do what you do better?  I say do what you do better.