Faith In Coaching

For those of you who have read the letter that I wrote to a group of parents years ago, you probably noticed a section that dealt with a very unpopular and sports.

I have a very strong opinion on this topic, and I have tried to not waiver from it while at the big league level, or at the youth level. Many of you are cringing right now, due to religious baggage that left scars that you haven't quite recovered from. I completely understand this, and I try to keep in mind that I am dealing with people everyday that may have similar experiences.

I do, however, also have an obligation to live up to who I say I am. Since I claim to be a Christian, there comes some responsibility with making that claim. The responsibility that I have is to not be ashamed just because it is no longer politically correct to be vocal about your faith. So, how does this translate in the sports world?

We have all seen the people that are going to wear their emotions and passions on their sleeves and tell everyone, whether they are interested or not. I admire the boldness of people like this, but this is not who I am. I have made a commitment to my players that I will never force my faith down their throat, and never hold them to the same expectations that I hold for myself. I will, however, not cower away from an opportunity to talk with them if they have questions.

It is an honor and a privilege to be able to walk through life with the guys that I am able to coach. Life is not always fair, and troubles are unavoidable. If I am doing my job the way that I believe I should do it, then conversations should come up that are deeper than batting slumps and sore shoulders. When those conversations start, I then have the opportunity to share my experiences, and my experiences almost always have a God component to them. So, should I be a coward and not tell the truth from fear of political incorrectness...? I think not.

I hope that I live my life in a manner that speaks much louder than my voice ever could. I want to share what I believe by how I go about my daily business, and how I treat others. I believe in what St Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."


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  • Thanks!

    Hi Mike, Thanks for for the article, Mr. Matheny. I watch many different MLB baseball games on television. After watching several games featuring the Cardinals, I would sometimes glance at you and watch your demeanor and think there is something 'different' about this guy. I clearly know why now. Thanks you for walking your faith in this platform God has given you! Foremost, you are a wonderful, genuine person, then a class act as a MLB coach. I'm a Cards fan now! With Love, Alia
  • Cross over for a hockey coach

    Very inspirational Mike. Saw the clip on LLWS and looked it up. Right on brother Mike! I will reference your manifesto with the note I write to the players and parents at the start of the local hockey season. Our Pope is proud of you! amen amen! Carl
  • Thank You!

    So proud of the fact that you and most of the Cardinal team are professing Christians and are not ashamed of letting it be known. Just one more reason that the St. Louis Cardinals are #1.
  • Faith

    As a Christian mom who is raising boys in sports, it's refreshing and encouraging to know there are godly men such as you in positions like yours who are not ashamed!
  • Walk by Faith

    It was a privilege to meet Mike Matheny yesterday after the game at the hotel.I told him my story about my injury. I told him honestly it is a struggle being paralyzed and being in a wheelchair . Mike Matheny told me "It's when we our down on our knees, is the time we need to rely on God to pick us up." After hearing that I realized that it is not the physical walk that matters the most, the walk that matters the most is our walk with Christ.
  • Faith

    So proud of people like Matheny. Great player, becoming a great coach, and has always been a great person. Loves his family, his team and most of all his Lord and is proud of it. So proud of the kind of person he is.
  • Blessed

    You are a strong witness not just to the players, but also to the fans. Thank you for leading a team that I am proud to stand behind!
  • Thanks

    Amen coach you will always be known as a great person more then a great coach
  • the real deal

    It's been a long time, but I have been following the blog. Gotta say, I'm proud of what you've done. God bless you. This guy's the real deal folks. -nh
  • Blog

    Well said Mike I hope that what you said and how you said it is understood .You have A fan here only wishing you would have been my coach
  • Faith

    Amen. Thanks Mike.
  • Why I'm a Cardinal's fan

    Following the Cardinal's on twitter and reading your blogs really solidifies why I am a true Cardinal's fan. I was born in St Louis and have been a Cardinal's fan for pretty much all my life. But now as a parent of 3 boys and 1 girl I have challenges with who my kids idle in these current times. It is refreshing to me to hear the boldness of the Cardinal's players and mngt. My kids are St Louis Cardinals fans and by your boldness helps them realize that it's okay to stand up for their faith. That is a blessing as a parent to have people in the public eye confidently stand up for their beliefs. Thank you!
  • differing views

    As someone with completely different views on the subject....the key is respect. I have no doubt you respect those with different views or beliefs...or no beliefs at all. You seem like a wonderful person and leader and in the end...that is all that matters. If your faith helps you help others...more power to ya.
  • Living Faith

    In meeting you once and glimpsing you on telecasts and observing how the team and others respond around you, I have been inspired by your living faith and the embodiment also of this prayer by St. Francis. Thank you! Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury,pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
  • Amen!