For Action Coach

I’ve been holding off from creating a tagline for my blog. I’m building a platform and I don’t want to take the tagline lightly. I’m stepping out on this post to explain what I’m thinking, but I’m still not going to post it in my heading until I’ve given it some more thought (and maybe get some feedback from you). That said, I think I’m getting close.

Training Minds for Action

Okay, this is a long post, but I cannot help myself on this one. This is big, and I hope you can bear with me and help me in the comment section below. First, I have three reasons why I don’t think a tagline to a platform should be taken lightly. Here they are:

  1. Taglines confine you. This is a good thing, actually. I’ve got a lot of interests, and I could probably teach and write and promote all of them with a fair amount of gusto. My problem is that I can become way too busy way too fast. If I jumped on all my interests and tried to develop a platform, I’d be shot in no time. A tagline will tell me each and everyday what I’m about. It’ll narrow my boundaries to just what it says. My hope is that my tagline will help me be more successful by confining me inside the boundaries that I ought to have.
  2. Taglines remind you. There will be, I’m sure, those times when I’m tempted to veer off course. This isn’t to say I won’t blog about the off-topic story or brag about a cool experience I had in my life. But there will always be that nagging reminder to stay focused on what my platform is. I won’t be able to ignore it. It’ll be there emblazoned next to my name and I’ll stay the course.
  3. Taglines define you. The reality of this third observation strikes a little bit of reverence in me. I don’t want to get this one wrong. Because this will be my constant reminder to stay the course, I know full well it will shape who I am for the next several years. The tagline is like a declaration of sorts, telling me (and all my readers) who I am, what I’ll be blogging about, and what they can expect from Chris Jeub.

So, here’s my first stab at it. What do you think of “The For-Action Coach”? Here are my thoughts.

Everyone has a quotation that sticks with them for years. Mine is “Train the mind for action,” a quote from St. Peter recorded in 1 Peter 1:13 in the Bible. It was the basis for the organization I started in 2001 Training Minds. The idea is that all people should take seriously how to think, speak and persuade. While most organizations focus on what to think, I like to train minds how to think. It is the fundamental underpinning of my pedagogical outlook.

What Training Minds has become is a coaching organization for students who compete in speech and debate. The forensic activities are the best tool for “training minds for action” that I have ever encountered, and they are what I’ve been promoting for nearly 20 years. Our success rate shows for it. Year after year, our modest camps and curriculum pump out champion after champion. To tell you the truth, I’m humbled at how thoughtful, articulate and persuasive our students become in competition and in life.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Though I broadcast to high heaven the successes of our students (I love bragging about how well they do), the competition isn’t really the crux of my deepest convictions. I believe competition is training grounds for bigger and better things in their lives. These students are trained to think, speak and persuade for a divine purpose, not just the trophy or a chance for the spotlight.

So when I say I’m a “for-action coach,” I mean I’m coaching students (or anyone, for that matter) toward exemplifying their passion, their gifting and their calling to a greater purpose. I love training minds for that action, the greater purpose for which God calls all people. This gets spiritual real fast because, if you’re brave enough to admit it, you have a challenge for which God is calling you to take. My hope for you is that you’re up for the challenge and you’re prepared for it.

That’s what the training is all about. The trophy a young person receives will be collecting its first layer of dust in just a couple months. What a young person does with the skills they learned to win is what lights my fire.

Okay, let me get even more interesting. We all should be training our minds for action. Sure, the youth are sponge brains who are oh-so-much-easier to teach than old people set in their ways. I’ll take a 14-year-old whipper-snapper over a 40-year-old know-it-all any day. But anything is possible! Training the way we think – about life, purpose, calling, gifting, etc. – is something that everyone in all walks of life should walk. In fact, it’s a shame when people don’t.

Let me end this long post (thanks for bearing with me!) by telling you about my mom. Last week she celebrated ONE YEAR of daily blogging. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you something: one year ago she didn’t even know how to turn a computer on. Her purpose for years has been to write, but she had confined her writings to her journals and to a few of us blessed enough to share in them. I coached my dear mother “for action” by helping her get a computer and learn how to use it, set up a blog, and start writing daily. 365 blog posts later, she has set her eyes on publishing her first book.

I don’t know about you, but that lights me up! Just like the 16-year-old who wins nationals, the 65-year-old who writes her first year of blog posts is a for-action victory. I believe there are millions of people like my mom who need “a for action coach” to help direct them into their action. Including you. And that’s what my platform is all about.

So give me some feedback. What do you think of “For Action Coach”?

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Judy Jeub

    I didn’t expect to see myself in your post. I will share one thing i learned about naming my post even if i am the student here. I chose “Thoughts on Peace” because of my commitment to creating peace in the world. Within a short time, a reader, a blogger himself, said that he had read several of my postings and suggested that my blog title was misplaced. My very good friend, Tim, responded to this guy’s comment saying that he understands my perspective – that one see the potential for peace in all aspects of one’s life – in relationships, in how one communicates, in politics, in how one talks about God and religion, in one’s inner growth…all of it. I realized that i chose the title for myself and accept the fact that not everyone will understand the connection. I don’t use it to help me focus, though that would be a good reason. For me it is a preexisting sense in me and it has come to simply flow in all I do…on my better days.

    PS. You got my age wrong but it makes me younger, so I will let it go.

    • Thanks, Mom!
      I was going to say “16 or 61.” That would have really scored me points! =)

  • Matthew Erickson

    I like what you said

  • Matthew Erickson

    I like what you said about competition not being “the crux”, but just a training ground. That’s one thing that I really appreciated about the coaches I’ve had. I can see more and more how my coaches (yourself included) have really prepared me to be able to communicate effectively outside of speech and debate. This is why I’ll never forget Mrs. Anderson. When I was in her club, we didn’t just do NCFCA speech and debate. We also went out into the community and put on plays and read pieces of literature at coffee houses. That showed me that speech and debate wasn’t an end, but a means. Thanks again for the reminder that it isn’t our ability to communicate that defines us, but what we do with the skills that God has given us!

    • This is a very nice comment, Matthew. Thank you for taking the time to write it out.

      And for everyone reading your comment: Matthew is the 2012 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Stoa Champion! =D

  • Hannah Vecseri

    I like how you interpret ‘For-Action Coach’ as a goal to both train students to do their best and grow personally, as well as exhibit their passion. Communication really involves so much more than competition and I love how you make that part of your mission! Wonderful, encouraging story about your mom! 🙂

  • Chris. Great post and I like the tag line. You can always link back to this post too if you think people want a deeper explanation. And your site looks great!

  • You’ve definitely put a lot of thought into the tagline “For Action Coach.” The word “action” at the center pops. “For action” prompts some thought… which is a good thing. What kind of action? Is he an acting coach? A personal trainer? It made me curious and want to find out more. I like it!

    You’re right about the tagline being a tough decision. I admire what you’re doing. (I must have changed my tagline several times, and I am thinking of changing it again!)

    • Thanks, Mark. I’m glad you like it!