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Chris LoCurto

By

April 7, 2014

The Greatest Coach

This is a guest post by Matt Ham. He is the author of the soon to be published book, You Make My Life Rich. Check out his website Live Richly.

The bright lights illuminated the field, with only the darkness of night beyond. I was nervous, my hands anxiously wringing the baseball bat as I stood in the on-deck circle.

Coach, Business Coach, ChrisLoCurto.com

At ten years old, baseball is your life. When it’s the bottom of the last inning and the championship is on the line, the importance of each play is exaggerated. I remember actually fighting back tears as the reality of the situation unfolded. The score was close, there were two outs, and I was up to bat.

My eyes raced to the stands where my family and friends screamed, “Come on, Matt! You can do it!”

As the feeling culminated into tears, I felt his hand on my shoulder.

My father. My coach.

As I turned, he knelt to get down on my level, looking me right in the eyes.

“Whatever happens, I want you to know that I’ll still love you. Don’t you think about anything else. Remember what we’ve worked on and do your best. There’s nobody I’d rather have up there than you.”

“OK, Dad.”

In that moment, my tears subsided. My confidence was renewed. I was ready.

I never fully appreciated my dad as my coach until I played for someone else. Quite honestly, every experience with another coach was a significant letdown.  I remember being fourteen and feeling lost; stepping into high school athletics, longing for wisdom and instruction—but getting neither.

Some coaches held the same passion of the game as my father did, but there seemed to be an element missing, almost a self-serving capacity or desire for the position. The title of Coach outweighed their desire to influence their players.

Throughout my high school career as a multi-sport athlete, I never had a connection with a coach like I remembered having with my father. Because of this missing link, I became quite jaded.

I wanted confirmation in my abilities to be met with encouragement in my weaknesses.In the end, I was simply let down.

Fast forward to my career in the business world. I kept hearing of ‘business coaches’, but I wasn’t intrigued. I had become self-sufficient, leaning on my own hard work and intuition to thrive.

However, as I launched into a new business, things started to change. I started to see that there was wisdom and direction waiting for me that I didn’t yet have. There was something missing. I felt like that little boy in the on-deck circle again, overwhelmed with the responsibility before me.

I needed a coach.

At that time, I happened to learn that one of my influencers, Chris LoCurto was launching his own business.  As I reached out, I saw familiarity. Chris wasn’t interested in his position at all. He wasn’t concerned about promoting himself or his accomplishments.

He was concerned about me.

He was there to give me confirmation and encouragement. More importantly, his wisdom provided perspective. He helped me look at my circumstances differently, which gave me incredible energy and purpose to continue.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I certainly don’t want to be foolish.

I’m grateful for Chris, his team, and the guidance they’ve provided as I’ve begun my new journey. As I prepare to launch my own writing and speaking career, I greatly appreciate the confidence they’ve given me.

Stepping back into the batter’s box, I stare at the pitcher, equipped and empowered.

Remember what weve worked on. Theres nobody Id rather have up there than you.

Question: How has coaching empowered you?

If you’re interested in business or life coaching, check out our coaching page.

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  • Billy Beasley

    Great post..

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Billy! Want to hear more about your book!

      • Billy Beasley

        Thank you Matt. When you have time check out my author page. It has the book blurb, etc. Just got a great review on Amazon I posted to the site. Maybe you & the family can make it to the Barnes & Noble signing August 16.

        https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBillyBeasley

        Great post again. I can only imagine what this meant to your Dad. Good stuff..

  • http://www.ricktheule.com/ Rick Theule

    Matt, thanks for writing about your journey and about receiving coaching.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Rick! Keep pouring into the lives of others, we’re all appreciative

  • http://www.paulsohn.org/ Paul Sohn

    Brilliant post! Thanks Matt for sharing your thoughts here. Studies show how having a coach can change the likelihood of succeeding pretty much in every domain of our lives. I have one mentor-coach who’s been pouring out his time and energy because he believes in me. It’s pretty incredible.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Absolutely, Paul. A good coach’s perspective is invaluable.

      Thanks for stopping by to share!

  • http://www.thebizofrelationships.com/ Scott

    Matt,

    I’ve got to say having you as my coach/mentor at the moment is helping tremendously. Seeing as we’re cut from the same cloth and believe in the same message it has surely been a blessing to have God place you in my life to lead me along the way.

    You, Matt Habuda, Ronne Rock, and so many other people are helping this dream of writing and speaking to slowly become a reality and I am highly thankful for that.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. I am extremely appreciative of your constructive criticism to make me a better writer and, someday, a great speaker. Additionally, your encouragement and accountability has helped me to keep pursuing this dream!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Wow, Scott. Thank you for that. Keep pressing onward and upward. Relationships matter!

  • Matthew Habuda

    Very nice Matt. I love what your about and I’m so thankful for the mentors in my life and now that I am a mentor and consultant working with others I recognize the opportunity and responsibility that rests on my shoulders as a professional and a father.

    Keep up the great work.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Habuda – you know we have to call each other by our last names since we share the first name ;)

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  • http://www.SteveWPate.com/ Steve Pate

    Great post, thanks Matt, man tons of memories are washing my mind right now as a kid! I can totally relate to the baseball story.

    but to your question, being my son’s baseball coach now, I had to learn to give more grace to my own son and fight any negative gestures when he might not have “performed” the way I thought he should have. I take a split second to ask, “how does my heavenly father love me and how do I need to show love to my son right now?”

    Being his coach has been teaching me to kill the idea he should just perform just because he is my son, it is so much more than that. Telling him “I believe in you”, not only empowers him, but I hope it shows real love in action. -Thanks Matt and blessings on your new season of life!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Steve brother – cheers to you for recognizing these things. Your wisdom is certainly going to work wonders for your family. Although I was the “Coach’s son” during my entire youth career, I never really felt that pressure because of my Dad’s grace. You keep on walking that path with the Lord as your guide. Thanks for giving me hope that there’s men out there that still know what it means to be a man!

  • Pingback: The Greatest Coach: A Guest Post for Chris LoCurto | Matt Ham()

  • Courtney Meredith

    Good stuff! A mentor can see greatness in you when nobody does! You are on the path less taken.Nice Read, enjoyed highly.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Courtney! We have a chance to freely give small bits of encouragement daily that can make a lifetime worth of difference. Amen?!

  • Ellen Roberson

    Good work, Matt. Really highlights the importance & influence of a Godly father—what so many young men & women are lacking today. Important to surround yourself with peers who are characterized with integrity, selflessness & a genuine desire to follow God’s leading in their life. For many years I’ve told SuSu I expected you to either be some kind of motivational speaker or pastor! There’s no telling where the Lord will lead you. How exciting………rock on!!!!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Ellen, Susu shared that with me the other day and it was very humbling. He knows what’s next, but we must take it one step at a time! Thanks so much for stopping by! And if I do end up in one of those two arenas, you’ll be my duet partner for our entertainment breakouts. We’ll rendition “Yesterday” :)

  • Steve Chase

    I’m so glad I read this post.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Me too Steve! Thanks for being here!

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    Great to see you here, Matt!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      :)

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Awesome Matt. I knew Chris was coaching you but didn’t know much more about it. I love how you took the initiative to approach him for help. Thanks for sharing today man!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Joe! It’s been great – loads of wisdom.

  • http://www.compassionatecoacingih.com Isabel Hundt

    Once again, a great post. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing yourself with us. When I moved to the US I had all kind of crazy and self-limiting believes and stories about who I am and who I am supposed to be. If it wouldn’t be for my own coach I am working with since over 2 years now, I would have had a very hard time truly finding myself and becoming the coach I always imagined I could be. His encouragement, deep questions and reflections got me to where I am today. He has me pick up that bat and hit the home run – every time :)

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      That’s great Isabel and I know you’re a blessing to those you coach. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://brucercross.com/ Bruce R. Cross

    This hits a very good nerve with me….considering that on the way to work today the phrase “it’s time to swing the bat” was flashing on my mental and more importantly, spiritual billboard…thanks for the post! Awesome!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Bruce – the constant reminder that we’re at bat is both challenging and exciting! By the way, I like the spiritual billboard!

      • http://brucercross.com/ Bruce R. Cross

        Matt – thanks for replying. Check out Andy Andrews book Baseball, Boys, and Bad Words – my copy arrive

        • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

          Bruce it is awesome! You should hear him tell it – hilarious! Andy is my personal favorite and I had the extreme pleasure of meeting him last weekend. Read it aloud for full effect!

          • http://brucercross.com/ Bruce R. Cross

            Cannot wait….starting it tonight with my wife! I just emailed his customer care address and noted that I believe the book is going to bring some healing with respect to something I posted a few weeks ago

            http://brucercross.com/play-ball/

            Thanks again for replying!

  • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

    Well done, brother! Opening my mind and heart to what wise people have to say has been huge!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Yessir. You and I are that coach, especially at home!

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Wow – what a great personal story and comparison Matt!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks David!

  • http://www.faith-athletics.com Robby Robbins

    Matt, Nice work. Love your writing.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Hey Robby – I appreciate that! I bet you run across this a lot in your coaching, huh?

      • http://www.faith-athletics.com Robby Robbins

        Yes that is the ideal situation and that is what I/we strive for. During my twelve years as director and founder of Traveling Light Christian Cycling Team, I came to realize that when it was about me I did the opposite. I quickly found out that it’s not about me, it’s about putting others in a position to succeed. That builds them up, they need our expertise in an area to help then believe they can succeed until they do. It’s like Zig would say. “If you help enough people get what they want you will get what you want” One last thing, there are times when you don’t think they can do it but if you encourage them enough and their determination is big enough they will succeed and we will learn not to underestimate what someone can do. (I have a very humbling story about this that taught me a lot)

        • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

          That’s awesome Robby – I look forward to hearing that story sometime!

        • http://www.compassionatecoacingih.com Isabel Hundt

          Perfectly said. This is the reason why I do what I do and loving it. We need so many more people that are willing to understand their uniqueness in who they are being, to understand their purpose to live the life God intended for them to live and step into it powerfully- to make a difference.

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Great post Matt. Reminded me that influence is trust, admiration, and knowing someone has your back. If you are missing one you loose them all. Blessings on this new adventure.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Zech! A good coach always has your back. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Ken Trupke

    Am I the only one wondering what happened in the game?

    Matt…?

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Since you asked Ken – walk-off double :)

      • Ken Trupke

        Nice!
        Great post, Matt. Thanks for sharing your story.

        • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

          Thanks for taking the time to read AND share! Have a great day brother!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Standing ovation! Wonderful post, Matt. Looking forward to seeing your career take off and grow.

  • http://www.charliemackenzie.co.uk charliemackenzie

    Yep, I was in Australia – so just about anything, tennis, rugby union, swimming, athletics, Soccer…. I remember a particularly good tennis coach, they (coaches) really stand out when they are great, and simply fade away when not so good.

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Very true! You just know a good coach when you’re around them.

  • http://www.charliemackenzie.co.uk charliemackenzie

    I have a great deal of empathy for that Matt, great point, well written. Thanks!

    • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

      Thanks Charlie! Did you play sports growing up?