Subash George

Subash George was born and brought up in an orthodox Christian family. The family had a special regard for the customs their religion prescribed for them. They were also very deeply committed to following these customs. Subash says, "worship of God meant going to church. It was a mandatory to go to special shrines on special days. Pilgrimages were elaborately planned because they brought blessings to the family." His own perception of what God wanted from him was limited to observing customary rules and doing what the rest of the family did.

School and sports did not attract Subash initially. He gradually began to take an interest in pole vault and triple jump. The facilities were not adequate in the town he lived in to train for pole vault, so he concentrated on triple jump. He became the National Champion in 1984 and later in 1986 he represented India at the Asian Games. Subash says, "it was customary for each player to sit silently in meditation prior to the event in the Asian Games. The players were required to pray to their gods in silence. I also prayed because everyone else did but never meant what I prayed."

Having accomplished much in the field of triple jump, when Subash was given a choice to become a coach, he chose it as his vocation. He made a definite commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ after becoming a coach. He realized in time, that traditional observance of religion was not enough. Living faith in Jesus made traditions alive. Prayer has become a natural expression of his inner longings and not just a ritual. Prayer to him is conversing with the living God just as we talk to one another. Prayers that he now prays before a competition are not vague and silent, but clear and verbal.

Jesus has made a difference in his life. He now looks at things in a different light. His way of life has seen a transformation. All this has also changed the way he deals with his student. He has put aside the traditional coaching methods. The famous Indian Guru-shishya model required the students to obey their teacher blindly and without questioning. Most Indian students find it difficult to disagree with their teacher and find it hard to think creatively because they are taught to accept their teacher's words unconditionally. But Subash, in contrast, gives full freedom to his students to ask questions, disagree with him or reject what he offers to them. He gives them the information and teaches them how to process this information using the creative resources they all posses for training.

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