Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson has been friends with Nelson Cook since his first study tour of sports ministry to the United States of America in 1984. Since then Mark Tronson has enjoyed Nelson Cook's hospitality initially in Dallas Texas and then in Los Angeles, California and has been a receiptent of his regular newsletter to his coaching charges..
In a recent Nelson Cook newsleltter to his coaches he wrote:
"Amos Alonzo Stagg, the famous football coach, has influenced me greatly. He emphasised the role of love and the importance of doing what is best for each player.
"Coach Stagg admitted that he didn't admire all of his players, but he did love them. He wanted love to dominate his coaching career. He also stressed that getting the most from his players would be the outcome of doing what's best for them.
"Alonzo Stagg stated that each year before the first practice he would tell my players something like this:
"I will love you all the same, but I won't like you all the same. You won't like each other all the same; you won't like me the same. I understand that.
I think treating everyone the same shows partiality
Nelson Cook continued quoting Coach Stagg: "You may feel, at times, that I have double standards, as I certainly will not treat you all the same. I think treating everyone the same shows partiality.
"However, I will attempt to give each player the treatment that he earns and deserves according to my judgement and in keeping with what I consider to be in the best interest of the team (a paraphrase quote from John Wooden)
"Shortly before Coach Stagg's death in 1965, some kids were playing football on his front lawn. A neighbour noticed and informed him that the grass would never grow that way. Alonzo Stagg smiled and replied, 'I'm not trying to grow grass, I'm trying to grow kids.'
"Joe Ehrmann (football coach at Gilman High School) calls his kids together before each practice and yells at them, "What's our (the coaching staff) job?" The kids yell back, "to love us." Then he yells, "What's your job?" They all respond loudly, "To love one another."
"Funny, that sounds a bit like what Jesus would say. In your passion for coaching the game, don't lose the priority of God in your life. But now abide Faith, Hope and Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love. (I Corinthians 13:13)
Couldn't get the phrase out of his mind
Mark Tronson noted that he couldn't get out of mind the phrase…"I think treating everyone the same shows partiality."
No parent, Mark Tronson says, can ever treat each of their children equally, as each child will need special attention at specific times. He pondered on that thought within the Scriptures and clearly the same situation applies over and over again. Hebrews 11 the Characters of Faith chapter illustrates this.
Mark Tronson suggests that this is a positive thought to keep in the back of our minds that when someone in our personal ministry orbit is in need, we each may offer that person some special pastoral care and prayerful consideration.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html