In Your Name We Pray and Play…. Amen!!
Upon completing college my main focus has always been directed to the classroom as an educator and ways to share my faith to the amazing students I serve. However, that goal didn’t last long; being the only male on campus I was tasked to revamp our school’s sports program as students were eager to use their talents in various athletic events. Thus my life of coaching and Athletic Director began 14 years ago.
Currently, I coach middle school basketball, cross country, and track & field along with being the school’s athletic director. So a lot of my time is taken up by basketball tournaments, track meets, cross country meets, organizing games, and coordinating gym use.
So how do I display my faith and principles into the coaching and sports world?
As a Christian I realize that my faith will influence my coaching abilities in the ways in which I coach my teams.
I believe everyone can agree that the primary purpose of any team is to win. Athletes go out to show off their talents, and coaches show off their level of ability to outcoach their opponents. However, what I have learned over these years is that while winning is everything, how we play, and the character we display at the games are more important. As Christian athletes, I want to make sure my athletes display a Christ-like attitude, whether they are winning or losing. We win and lose with grace).
As a coach I see myself as a shepherd to God’s flock (athletes), and it’s my way to guide athletes and shepherd them in a Christian manner (John 21:17). We believe God has a purpose for everyone, therefore I am given the opportunity to encourage my athletes to find the purpose God has set out for them. While winning is important to me, caring about my athletes and their faith walk is more important than the game.
Although I teach at a Lutheran school, many of my athletes are not active churchgoers, and I find it my responsibility to use this platform to share God’s love, faith, and offer guidance to each athlete. It’s my job to coach athletes and teach them to be winners in life, not just in sports. It’s important that I put to practice what I preach. The way I talk to them, act around them, and coach is in accordance with the Scriptures. I have to set the example of a Christian if I want my athletes to do the same (Proverbs 22:6).
I often have to remind myself that as the coach I have to trust that God is working in their hearts and that I am there as an example and encourager to them. In order to display that Christ-like attitude for my athletes to see, I also must be active in God’s word, actively attending church, and actively seeking God.
Coaching is a blessing for me. I get to see my students grow in the sport, but more importantly in their faith.