The story lines, the skill, the drama, the endurance, the mental toughness, and the risks taken are what make sports one of the most entertaining things I can imagine.
I love sports! During every season and just about any sport has the potential of grabbing my attention. Heck I even watched professional arm wrestling the other day.
My life involves swimming in the sports culture year round. I’ve found that sports can be a powerful vehicle to transform lives in a good way and also an avenue to wreak havoc on the next generation. Why? Here are 3 reasons...
1. Sports are Prevalent
The first reason is that sports are everywhere. They also start early. Katelyn and I were talking to some new friends a few weeks ago who had their first week of t-ball practice coming up...for their 3 year old.
There’s school-based teams and a slew of club/select/church/travel/AAU teams just about anywhere you go.
Even when a kid isn’t playing a sport it seems it’s almost inevitable that they will be around sports.
Games are a great excuse for social time. Just about any parent is totally cool with their kids going to them.
“So you’re in marching band, that’s cool! I’d love to come watch some time.”
“Sweet! Our next performance will be at half-time of the football game on friday night.”
AND, Let’s be honest, there’s really only two types of cable packages. One with ESPN channels and the one without.
Sports are prevalent in our culture.
2. Sports are Powerful
Athletics have incredible influence. A Coach is one of the most influential positions in our entire culture. One coach’s life can literally have a ripple effect on an entire community.
We’ve already seen this happen in Altus, OK: WATCH VIDEO
When Katelyn is setting up the schedule of games, practices, tournaments, meetings, and other events for her high school volleyball team...guess who else is affected? Every family connected to the team.
A coach also has a powerful voice in the life of an athlete. I can still vividly remember specific statements from coaches YEARS ago. Anywhere from, “What are you thinking?!!!? DO YOUR JOB!” to “OUTSTANDING!! That’s how it’s done fellas!!”
Coach’s voices are just as powerful if not more so today...
- A voice that can give life and break hearts.
- A voice that can inspire, motivate, and get the best out of a player.
- A voice that can speak identity, truth, or lies into the mind and heart.
- A voice that can change a kid, a team, a family, and yes a community.
Aside from that, consider the passion and emotion it brings out of people.
I mean there are few things that will motivate an obese man to go shirtless with body paint in front of thousands of people...sports are that powerful. It happens every NFL Sunday.
Sports are a powerful force...if used for good it’s one of the best ways to invest the next generation...if not, it can mess people up for decades. Life after your last official game is tough. If your performance is all you’ve been living for then it’s a tough reality to face.
3. Sports are Perpetual
Sports have been around since the Bible times. The Apostle Paul uses multiple illustrations that pertain to athletics (Phillipians 4:13 isn’t really one of them but that’s for another time).
Sports aren’t going anywhere either. I’m glad too!
I love watching games. Athletes have trained hard, are figuring out how to work together, facing adversity, and the suspense of watching something that comes down to the wire gets my adrenaline pumping every time.
Sports are perpetual...there’s a 24 hours news cycle just for them. Many sports at least train if not compete year round.
Just ask Ella Mae Colbert if sports stop being relevant too. She set a record time for the 100 m dash for her age...a 100 years old! Watch video
Take this away
Finally, I simply encourage you to observe, reflect, and be aware of this powerful behemoth called sports. Be intentional about seeing to it that they are life giving to you and your family.
The influence of sport is sort of like money. Money is neutral. It’s not automatically good or bad. It’s the way that they people use it as a tool that makes the difference.
Athletics are no different. Proceed wisely. The future of your community depends on it.