A City Transformed

by Ryan Krzykowski

Over the past couple months, Community for Coaches has undergone a comprehensive self-evaluation.  I will spare you all the gritty details, but one of the items up for discussion was our ministry Vision Statement.  The previous version of the Vision talked about seeing every coach at every level throughout Kansas City effectively coaching purposefully.  While that idea is no doubt a noble goal, I was challenged by our Board to think at a higher level, as they asked the question, so what?  If every coach at every level is effectively coaching with purpose, what does that accomplish?

My reply was basically, “are you kidding, that would transform our city?”  That idea became the foundation of our updated Vision — you can see it on our website here.  The revised CFC Vision has me so fired up, and I have spend the past few weeks having conversations with people all over town, bringing them up to speed on the new Vision and brainstorming ways to potentially see the city collectively moved in the right direction.

Last week I had one of these conversations, and for the first time I was asked the question, what does it mean for the city to be transformed?  What a great question.  Yet again, I found myself assuming it was obvious, and not having thought through all the implications and potential meanings of “A City Transformed”.  My response to the question was OK, but somewhat incomplete.  As I typed a follow up email this morning, I felt my pulse quickening as I began to dream, imagine and pray that this vision will come to fruition.  The relevant parts of my email are below:

I also want to thank you for your question about seeing the city transformed, asking what does that actually mean?  In thinking through my response, I don’t think I fumbled or botched the answer, however my answer was certainly incomplete.  I talked about how a transformed city will be spared most of the negative, ugly nonsense that happens at youth sporting events, which is true, and also significant.  
However, what I failed to emphasize is the bigger picture, long term effects of raising a generation of athletes who are coached purposefully.  A generation of athletes who are properly motivated to get the most out of themselves and each other.  A generation of athletes who understand that the adults who lead them are doing so not for their own personal gain, but for the good of the young people they serve.  When we can teach/train/lead/coach young people to put the needs of others ahead of their own, we are doing a transformational work in our society, as those same young athletes become adults who lead, live responsibly and individually and collectively change the world for the better.  
Sports is certainly one of our most useful tools to raise a generation that embodies the best of what we can achieve and become together.  However, far too often what children see from their coaches (who usually have solid intentions) is that sports and life are about putting yourself first.  And the idea that putting others ahead of myself makes me less likely to achieve and maximize my potential as an athlete or a person is untrue and un-biblical.  Coaching athletes to compete purposefully takes their experience to a new level of meaning, as our desire to win is enhanced by framing winning in the proper perspective.  It cannot be healthy for an athlete to, as we so often do, believe the lie that my worth and value as a person is connected to my athletic performance.  When we can coach athletes to understand that they are valuable beyond and separate from what they can produce on a field, they are free to compete fearlessly.  
So many tens of thousands of young people in our city are playing sports, so when we can more effectively and intentionally raise a generation of athletes who compete fearlessly, work hard, live selflessly and joyfully maximize their potential, there is zero doubt that would have a transformational effect on Kansas City.  Having the chance to process your question more completely and type this out has been motivating for me, so thanks again.
A generation of many thousands of young people who compete fearlessly, work hard, live selflessly and joyfully maximize their potential?  Sounds to me like that would have a significant impact on any city.