Striving For Excellence

10 Coaches.  4 Days.  1 Purpose.

As I lay on my bed with cramps in my calves and dark circles under my eyes… my heart is full.

These past few days came and went, but the lessons I learned and the friends I made will last a lifetime.

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The training4changeS coaches training camp kicked off with team building challenges that pushed our limits and broke down our trust barriers.  We led, we served, we opened up, we followed, we supported, and we bonded.  As coaches from multiple cultures and walks of life, we learned how to love each other and how to simultaneously grant each other the grace and freedom to be themselves.  We strengthened our teammate’s weaknesses and we took advantage of their strengths.  We shared our stories and our passions, and we connected on a deeper level.

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Then we took it up notch (more like 50 notches, actually).  The National Futsal Coach of South Africa and the training4changeS Director of Coaching, Quinton Allies, taught us the fundamentals of playing and coaching futsal.  Using the sole of the foot, proper body positioning, and communication were just three of the tools we learned to implement while playing this fast paced and intense sport.  About eleven hours of futsal sessions later, I can’t walk or feel my legs…. but more importantly, I have gained significant insight into the game of futsal and I have developed the skills necessary to be a successful coach.

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Next comes the theory.  Sylvester and Quinton taught us about child protection, the history and rules of futsal, and the power and influence that a coach has on and off the futsal court.  Children will “follow the leader,” and they are not biased to whether the one leading them is a good or bad influence.  Our goal as training4changeS coaches is to stand out as positive role models for the kids we coach.  We want to provide a safe place for them to grow and learn by teaching them core values and life skills that will lead to their success and well-being like: discipline, encouragement, forgiveness, teamwork, love, communication, sharing, acceptance, and determination.

training4changeS has taught me that futsal is so much more than a sport.  It’s an incredible tool for impacting the lives of the next generation.  If we can make a difference in one life, then that one life can impact even more lives down the road.

As we, the futsal coaches, reach out to these young and talented athletes, our hope is that one day those athletes will become the coaches (and players) of the next generation.  Their example and lifestyle will set the new standard for the South African culture, and change will happen.

But one step at a time…  

SCAS (Sport For Christ Action South Africa) Director Hein Reyneke shared some wisdom with us when he said that we should, “Strive for Excellence, Not For Perfection.”  I am bound to make mistakes along the way, and there’s nothing shameful about that because my mistakes will become the stepping stones for my improvement.  This will be a long journey, but I am ready and willing to do whatever it takes, mistakes included.

Lastly, I have to give a shout out to you all: my family, friends and supporters who have been following my adventures and encouraging me every step of the way.  There’s no way I would be here without your help.  Thank you all for believing in me, thank you all for motivating me, and thank you all for having enough trust in my vision to support me financially.  I am BEYOND grateful.

The Lord has used you guys in a big way to strength my faith, and He has proved His faithfulness to me through all of the support and provision that I have received.  I don’t deserve any of it, but He is so good.  I am simply an imperfect girl in desperate need of a perfect God who has overwhelmed me with His perfect grace.

And for some CRAZY reason, He chose me to be an ambassador to share His truth all over the world, and my hope is that a tiny bit of Sam and a whole lot of Jesus will rub off on the wonderful kids I coach.

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Let’s keep making things happen! The season has just begun!

5 Comments on “Striving For Excellence

  1. Sam, you make us laugh, you make us cry, you make us so proud! Your messages reflect your soul and we see how this experience is touching those inner parts of you that make you who you are. You may not be able to “walk or feel your legs” but we can feel your passion. You will endear yourself to the other coaches by your determination and faith, and to the children you will coach by your love. “A little bit of Sam and a whole lot of Jesus” will make a “whole lot of difference” in the lives you touch. We send you a whole lot of love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Girl! I am so very proud of you! You looked wonderful in the pic’s. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to your email. I loved hearing from you and there is so very much to share. To be honest, I want to tell you everything and there isn’t time for that lately. I am leaving for Haiti on the 19th at this point. I will be purchasing me ticket this weekend and then I’ll know for sure. Do you have google voice on your phone? I will have it on my phone in Haiti and we could actually talk or perhaps Skype. I would love to Skype before I leave the country!!! Internet is a little unpredictable in Jacmel – one minute you have it and the next….well – poof! Much love to you my friend! Blessings and prayers as you go get those kids! Trish

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So proud of you Sam!!! Praying Gods blessings upon your life. I pray your life explodes with new challenges that will honor our lord. God bless you Sam. A proud friend. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. go Sam go !!!!!! so proud of you – we laugh and we talk a lot about you – me and my little sister – we hope to have you soon with us for a week end xx relax – hope the legs , arms body is much better after the week end xx see you soon xx m&d

    Liked by 1 person

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