Coach Willie Spears

What’s Love Got To

Do With It?

February 6, 2019

The most successful single ever recorded by Tina Turner was a song released in 1984 titled, “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Rolling Stone listed it as one of the greatest songs of all time. Song writers Terry Britten and Graham Lyle offered the song to five people before Tina Turner recorded it for her album Private Dancer.

In February we celebrate love. What is love? I love my family, I love coaching, I love the pajamas my mother-in-law gave me ten years ago and I love making people smile.

Those are very different types of love. The Greek language distinguishes at least six different ways as to how we use the word love.

Ancient Greek has six specific words for love: agápe, storgē, philía, éros, pragma, and philautia. However, as with other languages, it has been difficult to distinguish the separate meanings of these words without carefully considering the context in which the words are used: in casual writing, the words' meanings overlap considerably.

In February we celebrate Black History Month. This year Jackie Robinson would have turned one hundred years old, one day before February. Branch Rickey was the Brooklyn Dodgers president who signed Jackie Robinson in 1950.

Rickey was one of the four founding fathers of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that has a tremendous impact on my life. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes are passionate about the ministry of coaches and athletes and all whom they influence. They love what they do and it shows.

What’s love got to do with it?

This past summer our thirteen year old daughter lost twenty pounds in one week. We were shocked to learn she had type one juvenile diabetes. We immediately started to pray and google. Yeah. Pray and google.

While in the hospital we listened to nurses as they prepared us for our new way of living. Doctor Peter K. Hervie took time to explain to us what was going on as he shared his action plan. Dr. Hervie was passionate about pediatrics. He loved his job, but what if he didn’t?

What if he became a doctor for the money, prestige, status or parking space? What if teachers chose the education profession to have the summers, weekends and holidays off?

What if the building code inspector wasn’t passionate about his job and signed off on unstable buildings because it’s easier that way? What if the world is full of people who never exercise their passion; people who muddle, murmur and complain through their daily routine instead of smiling, dancing and skipping like Mary Poppins.

Dr. Hervie didn’t look like much of a skipper, but his confidence and passion assured us he was going to do his best.

Our daughter almost didn’t make it through the night, but our faith and her passionate doctor gave us hope.

There is no hope without passion, no passion without love. Sure, there is a down side to passion. The down side is disappointment. The safe bet is to put up walls and walk around closed off, callous, insensitive, indifferent or unsympathetic.

You have to ask yourself: Do you want to thrive or merely survive? You can’t thrive without love or without passion.

Love is the steam that moves the steamboat, the propeller that keeps the helicopter in the sky. Without love we would just exist; merely survive.

When we settle on surviving rather than thriving, we deprive ourselves from living our best life.

Love exalts a culture.

What’s love got to do with it?


Willie Spears is a teacher, coach, author, minister and motivational speaker. He has been awarded teacher and coach of the year. He speaks to thousands each year through his business The Willie Spears Experience. Willie may be reached at

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