A COACH'S PRAYER
BUILD ME AN ATHLETE, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat and humble and gentle in victory.
BUILD ME AN ATHLETE whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be, an athlete who will know You and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storms; here let him learn compassion for those who fall.
BUILD ME AN ATHLETE whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; an athlete who will master himself before he seeks to master others; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future yet never forget the past. And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, never to take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then, I, his coach, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
adapted from A Father's Prayer
by Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Reader's Digest, May 1952, p. 81
Top of Page