I started my three new books with Roy Williams’ Hard Work, because (contrary to what the title might have me believe) I knew it would be the quickest read. And nothing fuels reading like some good momentum.
Tim Crothers (Roy’s help writing the book) does an excellent job of hiding behind what sounds exactly like Roy Williams is speaking, and making it come off as both well written, and something Roy would say. I loved the behind-the-scenes look into coaching that it provided, and I think many people, especially vocational ministers, would profit from the lessons in how to effectively coach young people. If you are reading just for that, skip straight to the chapter called “philosophy.”
However, amidst the great retellings of some of the best moments of his coaching career runs a disturbing thread. Here is a man literally on the top of his profession. He’s among only 13 men to have ever won multiple national championships in men’s college basketball. He has the highest winning percentage among active coaches. At the time of the writing, he’s the current national champion. Yet it is clear that not even those pinnacles of achievement afford him any respite from the nagging pursuit of being the best.
As much as a fan as I am of UNC ball, it pains me that I get the sense Coach Williams is chasing wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:11) What a shame to have worked so hard, done so well, and to have ended up with nothing of eternal significance.
Let me be clear, I am not saying that his pursuit of being the best is necessarily wrong (I don’t know the man or his heart personally). It is by no means wrong to pursue excellence. But if that pursuit is done to validate me as a person, to make me “somebody,” I’ve missed it. Only in Christ am I validated. And only by my validation in Christ can I then rightly, actually, pursue excellence.
If a salesman has no assurance of where his next meal is coming from, it changes the motivation for selling. He’s selling that product to stay afloat! If, on the other hand, he has a million dollars in the bank, he can sell for the love of the the product he is pushing. He’s been validated already.
My prayer is that Coach Williams (and I) would run to Christ, the only one who can validate us. Christ is the one who has really done the “hard work.”
Then, run from there to Cameron Indoor Stadium and keep the streak alive against Dook.