top of page

The Playbook

If you know me, you know how much I love coaching. I mean, I hope I love coaching because hey, that’s what I do for a living. But more than just coaching my own athletes, I love to study other coaches. You can learn so much from watching the way they engage and inspire their athletes. I recently finished a series on Netflix called “The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life.” In its first season, the series chronicles five high-level coaches. Not only do you get to see the coach in action, but you also get to hear their rules, or principles for life. You get a glimpse into their playbook. And beyond that, viewers are invited into the backstory of each coach, witnessing the struggles and challenges which led them to develop their playbook for life.

Every time you walk into your CrossFit gym, you’re working off a playbook. Now, your coach probably hasn’t sat down with you and opened the master spreadsheet or the three-ring binder full of their ideas, observations, sketches, and plans. But make no mistake, if you’re sitting under high level coaching, your coach has a playbook. And inside every great coach’s playbook are rules, or principles for success. For example, the Head Coach at our gym has taken the time to work with every coach on staff, including me, instilling these principles into our coaching methodology. When I step on the floor as the authority figure in the gym, I’m focused on mechanics, consistency, and intensity while creating an entertaining, educating, and encouraging environment. In fact, if you’re an athlete in my gym, you might recognize this pattern. It’s because we’re all working from the same playbook.

But athletes don’t just buy-in to the playbook right away. I don’t care if you’re a seasoned professional with a seven-figure salary or brand new to CrossFit, buy-in takes time. And it also takes trust. That’s where the backstory becomes so valuable. When you know what a coach has been through, it can add credibility to the playbook. When you see them suffering through the same workouts as you, it can add credibility to the playbook. And when you see the results of their programming pay off in your own physical fitness, it definitely adds credibility to the playbook. The most engaged athletes trust their coaches, but not blindly. The trust you see between a coach and an athlete whether on a basketball court or soccer pitch or gym floor didn’t start there. There were conversations, questions, doubts, and perhaps even some skepticism. Every great coach knows this is the path to trust, and trust takes time.

So what playbook are you operating from in your spiritual life? I would venture the majority of you reading this would say the Bible. And I would agree by the way! But with 66 books comprising over 1,100 chapters, how do you get to the primary principles for living? You observe the Coach. In this case, you study Jesus. In His time here on earth, Jesus taught three primary principles for living. In other words, if these govern everything else you’re going to do in life, you’ll be mechanically sound:

Principle One: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

Principle Two: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

Principle Three: Go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19).

Simply put, love God, love others, and teach the world to do the same. Get to know your Coach’s backstory. Learn who Jesus really was and why His sacrifice means so much. Not only will you come to build a deeper trust in your true spiritual Coach, but you’ll also get a glimpse of the power of God, the power working in you and through you. And that is the power of His playbook.

Questions for Reflection:

Talk about the value of trust in your relationship with your current athletic coach or former coaches. How was that trust formed?

What’s the difference between healthy and unhealthy skepticism? Is there room for skepticism in developing trust in relationships?

95 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page