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ELCA Athletics

Go Chargers!


ELCA Athletics

Go Chargers!

ELCA Athletics

Go Chargers!



5 months ago by Jonathan Gess


I want to congratulate our middle school and JV for their wins yesterday. I appreciate all the hard work the coaches put into preparing our boys to play the game. People don’t really understand the time coaches put into managing and preparing the boys to play the game. I do and I am very thankful for these coaches.


Tonight the Varsity plays Heritage High School our of Conyers. I hope you come check it out if you are in the area!


“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”   Proverbs 22:29


As I watched film of Wednesday’s practice that verse kept coming to my mind. As the boys came in to watch film Thursday morning this was the first thing they heard out of me. There were countless examples in practice where players were doing the right thing the wrong way. It drives me insane. I want our boys to be consumed with the details and master the technique required on each play. I kept telling them: “Guys, a man skillful in his work will stand before kings, but a man who is not skillful in his work will be fired and be living with his mom the rest of his life.”


You know it and I know it: People who are successful in what they do are extremely consumed with the details and the process in which the details are perfected. I always think it’s funny when I talk to people and they refer to someone as a visionary. They will say something like he isn’t good at the details but he has great vision. Having great vision gets you nowhere.  I would say everyone on the planet has great vision. Sitting around and dreaming stuff up is something everyone does. The “visionary” who is successful is the one who follows through with his vision and refines the process through developing great skill. Great skill results in great execution.


As I met with the seniors last night (Thursday night), I continued to harp on Proverbs 22:29. I asked them some questions: “What is skill? Is talent skill? Is hard work skill? What is skill and how should we define it and how is developed?” Talent is not skill. Talent only means you have the ability to do something. It does not mean you have done it. In order to be called skillful one must work with great ferocity to maximize his or her talent. One must be consumed with the fine details of what they do to bring precision to their talent. Hard work by itself can be a waste of time. Talent undeveloped is useless. What we want is skill and skill is the culmination of a lot of hard work doing the right thing and talent.


So why was I aggravated watching film? I was watching some talented kids not focusing on the fine points of their technique. The boys were working but they weren’t working hard. They were just working to get through the day. They were not working to win the day and perfecting their job. How useless it is to work all day but not get better all because we were too lazy to focus our minds on all the details.

The thing about skill is it is easy to talk about but hard to develop. You can’t develop skill by just working, you must work very intently. Intensity is focused effort. Lots of people can give effort, but few can give focused effort. For whatever reason, when you are consumed with the fine details of what you do, it is exhausting. When you lock your mind in on perfecting the execution you start to exert serious energy both mentally and physically. The common man can really focus in for about 5 minutes. The common football player, on a script of 70 plays, can focus in for about 10 plays. You can’t develop skill in 10 plays or five minutes. I honestly believe perfect technique or great skill is developed on the ten thousandth focused rep, not just the ten thousandth rep. As I told the boys you can do the wrong thing over and over and become great at doing the wrong thing. The ten thousandth focused rep. That is where skill comes.


Now, most people can’t get off the couch to do one rep. Most people are dreamers and have great ideas and plans but are too lazy to ever do anything. Many are highly motivated in their mind to do something but lack the ability to discipline themselves and focus to get it done. Many get started and perform 100 focused reps (on whatever it is you do) but quit because they have not developed the skill or mastery they so desire. They are not seeing the fruit they want to see so they quit. They are not having as much success as they want, so they quit. But then you have the uncommon man, the one who understands that if he just keeps working, if he just keeps chopping away with great focus and diligence, he will get better. He knows the process to develop skill is long and arduous, but he enters in with a never quit attitude and laser focus to perfect the details. No matter how hard it gets he does not quit. He is consumed with perfecting the technique of his work. He is consumed, no matter the level of his talent, with maximizing his ability and making every single detail of his work sharp. It is this man or this woman, who will become skillful and shall “stand before kings.”


“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:25


Now, all this king talk is fine. What I have been referring to is doing a great job here on this earth to stand before earthly kings. In today’s world in America that is being recognized by legislators or highly successful people. Bottom line, if you are good at what you do the world will take notice. But, there is a perfect King we should be longing to stand before. There is a perfect King to whom we should be striving to bring glory and honor. There is a perfect King for whom we were made and for his glory we must be consumed in becoming skillful ambassadors for his Kingdom. His name is Jesus and at his name “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10, ESV



When our time is done here on earth, may we not stand before the Lord with only an account of personal and worldly success. On that day of judgment, may we not stand before the Lord as men and women who were not skillful in the Lord’s work. May we not stand before the Lord and see that all the running and chasing for glory of this world was in vain. May we not stand before the Lord in judgement helpless and hopeless, but may we run on this earth in such a way which will bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ, so on that day when we stand before the King of Kings, we will be judged skillful in Christ. And may we understand, it is only through the righteous blood of Jesus Christ that we will be able to stand at all before the Father.


May we pursue the crown that will last forever!


I’m fired up and excited to play tonight! 


“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” Proverbs 21:31


Lord, give us a spirit to work hard and develop the skill with the talents you have given us. May we do this for your glory and not our own. Give us great attitudes. May we be respectful and thankful. Keep us safe and in your care. May our lives shine as a light for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen


Wholly for Christ,


Coach Gess

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