The Shumaker Family's Blog

A Missionary must be like a coach

I have been helped and trained through the years by a good friend of mine, Pastor Austin Gardner.  He has taught me many different principles but one of the greatest things I have learned from him, is that I must think like a coach.  Pastor Gardner looked at me in January 2008 and told me I was a ball hog.  I never liked a ball hog when I played sports because you can’t win and be a success with a ball hog on the team.  I have learned that in the past.  A missionary can’t play all the positions, he can’t be a ball hog, but he must lead. 


I played many different sports growing up.  Basketball, soccer, football, cross country.  I have had many different coaches.  I played on winning teams and losing teams.  I want to share some thoughts on what makes a good coach and will make a good missionary.


  1. A coach is only successful when he makes others a success.
  2. A coach can’t win ball games.  He must lead others to win.
  3. A coach always takes the blame and rarely gets the credit.
  4. Game time is a reflection of what the coach has taught and instructed behind closed doors.
  5. A coach must create unity.  (I have been on teams that should have won lots but didn’t because of a lack of unity.)
  6. A coach must continually develop his players.
  7. A coach will not always be a best friend to his players but he will always be there when they need him.
  8. A coach will have to discipline and be hard at times. 
  9. A coach can’t expect perfection but they must not accept less than 100% effort.
  10. A coach should never focus on one or a few players.  When the star gets hurt, what will you do?
  11. A coach needs to remember that it is supposed to be fun.
  12. A coach must really know the game.  (I had a few coaches when I was younger that I thought were good.  I realized while playing in college that they knew very little about the real game of basketball.)
  13. A coach must continue to learn.
  14. A coach must know how to communicate with his players.  (I had a coach in college that knew the game very well but he wasn’t a successful communicator.  Because of this we struggled.)
  15. A coach must lead by example. 
  16. A coach will spend a lot of time with his players.  He must make an investment.  (Most coaches at the high school level get paid only a little for coaching for the time they spend.  They do it because they love it.  They go the extra mile.  My high school coach figured out that he made 32 cents an hour.  Big pay.)

One Response to “A Missionary must be like a coach”

  1. The missionary as a coach : Austin Gardner Says:

    […] by Keith Shumaker […]

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