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How to Coach with Purpose

Published on May 15, 2024

Sarah Roberts

In the 2023 Women’s College World Series, the Oklahoma Sooners won their 7th National Championship, but that is not what the world was talking about after everything was said and done. Although a few million people watched the Sooners play softball, over 28 million people watched their post-game press conference. It started with an ESPN reporter asking, “How do you handle the pressure and keep the joy when anxiety can easily set in?”

Captain and All-American short stop Grace Lyons opened with the statement, “The only way you can have a joy that doesn’t fade away is from the Lord.” Fan favorite and center fielder Jayda Coleman followed with, “When we won the World Series as a freshman, I didn’t feel joy. I didn’t feel fulfilled. I had to find Christ to have the joy I was looking for.” And then the third base star Alyssa Brito finished with adding, “We are fixing our eyes on Christ—we can’t find our fulfillment in an outcome, good or bad.”

That is what the world saw and was encouraged by, but what people did not see was the reporter’s follow-up with Coach Patty Gasso. When asked if she would like to say something, she replied, “I cannot add anything to that. They said it all.”

This wasn’t surprising to Coach Gasso. Why? Because this is what she lives and teaches, and this is the culture she has created in the program. Before the big stage, before the season even started, she took every player out to eat for some one-on-one time. She tries to connect with their hearts before she pushes them as athletes. I have served this team as their chaplain for 19 years and have a front row seat to a coach who learned and lives her purpose along the way.

What can we learn from one of the greatest coaches of all time when it comes to coaching with purpose? 

The same things we can learn from Nehemiah, who also built something great with purpose. 

Read the rest of the article to learn how to find true purpose as a coach.