What's the Game Plan?

I like sports. I love to play sports, watch sports, and coach sports. Sports can teach us so much about life - discipline, teamwork, perseverance, and having a game plan! 

I fondly remember a Contender basketball game several years ago where we were playing a team that was virtually evenly matched to our team in every way. The game went back and forth and in the 4th quarter we started to see momentum shift to our opponent. Then with just 4 seconds left, we find ourselves down 3 and inbounding the ball. I called a timeout and gathered the team. We drew up an inbounds play that would free up a shooter in the corner. Honestly, there was less than a 50-50 chance it would work, but to my amazement... it did! We hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer! The team went crazy, BUT the game wasn't over. We had managed to pull off a fantastic shot to TIE the game and send it to overtime. We still had 5 minutes to play, but our team looked like a completely different team. Energized by the near miracle that had just taken place, the Contenders dominated overtime and won the game. 
So what is the point? (Other than me reliving some glory days:))

There is something energizing about a game plan!

Let's face it - students don't always feel like doing their best. Students don't always feel like doing their homework. Students often need a game plan to energize them to do their best. I want to discuss 4 timely areas where a game plan could make a HUGE difference:

1. Homework
I don't think any student considers homework to be enjoyable, however, students CAN learn to complete homework efficiently and thoroughly and a game plan can absolutely help. What are the WHERE? WHEN? and HOW'S? of your student completing their homework. 
Do they have a place they do their homework? A place that is free of distractions and conducive for learning? 
Do they have a set time they are to start and finish their homework? 
Do they have a set process for what they do when they get "stuck" or what homework they tackle first? 

2. Academic achievement
Every student wants to be successful in the long run. Some students though can fail to see how the "short run" affects the long run. Have you discussed a game plan for how your student is going to receive Honor Roll or the Performance Award? Don't let your student get to the 7th, 8th, and 9th week of the quarter without thinking about how they are doing or what their current grade is in a class. 

3. Fundraising
Yes, I know, I just said a dirty word. :) 
But maybe, fundraising doesn't have to be a dread. Maybe it could even be fun! Maybe we just need a game plan for how your student is going to raise funds in the school fundraiser. I am encouraged when I talk to parents who have already discussed a game plan with their student for how they are going to be successful in fundraising. Maybe a game plan would put the "fun" back in fundraising!

4. Spiritual growth
Every Christian parent I know wants their children to turn out as good, moral, God-fearing, character-filled members of society, but it doesn't take long to figure out that this is not the "natural" tendency of human nature.  

According to the Bible there are 3 things every Christian needs to grow as a Christian:

  - A personal relationship with the Lord
   *This personal relationship starts with salvation. This relationship continues with personal communion with God through Bible reading, study, and prayer.
  - Faithfulness to corporate worship in a local, Bible-believing church

  - Service in church ministry

Spiritual growth is the most important item on this list, so once again, we should ask what is the game plan for you and your family being in God's Word (personal relationship), under God's Word (in church), and using God's Word (serving in ministry)?

If we deem sports important enough to have a game plan, how much more should we have a game plan to accomplish things like academic achievement and, more importantly, spiritual growth. 

We all know that everything important in life happens when it has a game plan, so let's huddle together, go over the game plan, and get out there and execute the game plan!

Humbly and sincerely, 
Mark Lenentine

Mark Lenentine