God needed someone who would give of their time and talents for children, not for the compensation (mainly gift cards from grateful families) but for the joy of influencing young lives. God needed someone other than parents, a new voice, a steadying presence to encourage, guide, and cement the lessons parents teach. He needed someone to tell the kids to listen to their parents.

So God made a coach.

God needed someone to help children realize the awesomeness of their own physical strength and how to use it constructively. He needed someone to see their potential and push them to realize it through practice. He needed someone to teach them respect for everyone’s body and ability while playing in coed sports leagues and to demonstrate the joy of playing a game fairly, passionately, and with respect for their opponents.

God needed someone to show kids how to uplift others by applauding their teammates’ and opponents’ efforts and kneeling when a member of their team or the opposite team is injured.

So God made a coach.

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God needed someone who was willing to take a struggling, overwrought child aside and give them a pep talk. He needed someone to teach kids discipline and teamwork, how to manage their time, fears, frustration, and pre-match jitters, how to respond with hope and hard work to setbacks and failure, and how to be patient after an injury and respect their body’s recovery process. God needed someone to help build their confidence and resilience by teaching them how to win and, most importantly, how to lose.

So God made a coach.

God needed someone to organize practices, drills, transportation, and snack lists. He needed someone other than mom to emphasize the importance of good sleep and nutrition for health and performance. God needed someone who would show up early to practices and games, inspiring confidence and creating stability for their team, and someone who would stay until the last kid was picked up.

So God made a coach.

God needed someone who would be willing to give speeches at the end of the season about each child’s contribution and abilities, words to bring tears or a smile to their parents’ faces, words that would make the children feel proud about all they gave to their team and humbled by all the support they received.

So God made a coach.

RELATED: To the Coaches Who Do So Much More Than Coach, Thank You

God needed someone in addition to parents, grandparents, and teachers to teach kids about the parenthood and love of Godto discipline, give mercy and grace, and provide life lessons. He needed a strong and special person to leave a positive and indelible impression, whose words of wisdom would echo powerfully for the kids when they faced challenges later in life. God needed a special kind of influencer.

So God made a coach.

And I am proud to say my husband is one of them.

Hillary Ibarra

Hillary Ibarra is the mother of four children and the author of The Christmas List, an inspirational novella based on true events. Her humor writing has appeared in New Mexico Woman Magazine, and she contributes to CatholicMom.com. When she is not baking, hugging trees, or playing endless board games with her children, she blogs at Humor & Faith by Hillary Ibarra.