Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Coach Bear Bryant Urges His Players to Stay Alert

Paul "Bear" Bryant is widely considered to be one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. Bryant's record in 38 years at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Alabama included 323 wins. He also took 29 teams to bowl games and led 15 of his teams to conference championships. In the 1960s and 1970s, no school won more games than Alabama (193-32-5). As one of his colleagues said, "He wasn't just a coach; he was the coach."

John Croyle, an All-American defensive end on the 1973 national championship team, played for the Bear, and was deeply impacted by the man. John recently told me about one of Coach Bryant's pregame speeches.

Coach Bryant paced in front of his assembled team as the band played for the capacity crowd waiting outside in the stadium. He made eye contact with each player as he spoke the following words:

In this game, there are going to be four or five plays that will determine the outcome of this contest. Four or five plays that will swing the momentum toward us, or away from us. I don't know which plays these will be. You don't know which plays these will be. All you can do is go out there and give all that you have on each and every play. If you are doing that on one of those crucial plays, and you catch your opponent giving less, that play will swing things in our direction. And if we rise to the occasion like that, on those four or five plays, we are gonna leave here today a winner.

Possible Preaching Angle: Prayer, Attentiveness, Obedience—Our life is made up of a series of moments. A few of those moments will be absolutely transformative—they will change our life and the lives of others forever. But since we usually don't know which moments will be the "game-changers," the Bible repeatedly urges us to "stay awake," "walk in the light," and "redeem the time."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Young Artist Sees People in Whole New Light

In his book My Name Is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok's main character is an awakening artist, beginning to see the world with a different perspective. The author captures a simple moment ...

[Read More]

Your Heart Always Follows Your Money

Suppose you buy shares of General Motors. What happens? You suddenly develop interest in GM. You check the financial pages. You see a magazine article about GM and read every word, ...

[Read More]