Sept. 28, 2006
Thomas Fuller once said, "A good example is the best sermon." Albert Einstein said, "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another. It is the only means."
Both quotations lead us to the same point. The power of an example cannot be measured, but is nevertheless undeniable. There will always be teachers and mentors who lead through their words and do so effectively. But an added example goes so much further.
Lipscomb baseball coach, Jeff Forehand, has proven to understand this concept well. Though he has been at Lipscomb for a short time, Forehand has wasted no time motivating his team, teaching them through actions of his own.
For most players, conditioning can prove to be the most difficult and dreaded activity of the season. Hours of exercise prepares the players for the long practices and season ahead.
It would be easy for a coach to sit back and observe, preparing his players, through only his own instruction. However, Forehand has taken instruction a step further this year, training alongside his players, leading by example.
"The very first time we had our workouts, I didn't even notice him," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "He wasn't vocal about it. He just did it. That was unbelievable. He gained so much respect from every player.
"He is not asking us to do anything that he wouldn't do. He is out there doing every single push up, every single lunge, and every single sprint."
As simple as it may seem, it was a powerful gesture. Through his actions, Forehand not only gained the respect of his players, but demonstrated his respect for them. By placing himself at his player's level, he succeeded in inspiring his team, his efforts, encouraging them to train harder.
"It makes you work that much harder, and it made it more worthwhile," Joseph said. "You really feel like you've accomplished something when you are out there working alongside your coach. It is absolutely amazing. I get so excited, it makes me work that much harder, and go all out everyday.
"It shows his level of commitment to the team. By being out there he is showing us that he is 100 percent committed, and we are going to follow him and hopefully get this program back on the mat."
Whether he intended it or not, Forehand's actions united him with his new team. For those who knew little of their new coach on the first day of workouts, they witnessed a man who respected them enough to sweat with them. And through witnessing their coach's respect, he earned theirs.
Krissy Wade, student sports information director for baseball and sports editor for The Babbler, wrote this story.