LESSON: Why is it so hard for us to live through faith? Is it because we have to relinquish control? Is it because we have a specific image of what we want our lives to be?
Is it because it’s such a hard concept to grasp? What even is faith? Is it a feeling, an action, an emotion?
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith by saying, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Faith is one of those things that we can choose to have; yet it isn’t a tangible object. At times, it can be a frustrating concept to discuss, and it can be even harder when trying to help our young athletes understand what it means to walk by faith in the game and in life.
The pressure on young athletes to perform and succeed is arguably greater than in any previous generation. Without even mentioning the ridiculous amount of stress we as parents and coaches can place on young athletes’ shoulders, our youth can easily feel suffocated by the pressure coming from peers, social media, and personal expectations.
Even when athletes succeed and reach their goal of continuing on to the next level of competition, dangers still exist. Athletes’ internal struggles can derive from many sources, but two of the most common are when they attempt to do everything on their own without Christ in their lives, OR they have succeeded and take all notoriety and glory for themselves; regardless, both scenarios are dangerous to their long-term development mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially.
Once we help our young athletes understand that it’s God’s Will that should be honored, not their own, then much of the weight (anxiety, depression, anger, disappointment, etc.) on their hearts can be lifted. Help your team understand God has a plan for them, no matter the result or their performance; all that is required of them is to open up, listen, and trust in Him.
In your next huddle, let your athletes know that regardless of a win or loss, whether their stats don’t meet expectations or whether they don’t move on to compete at a higher level, they can walk in faith knowing that God’s plan for them goes beyond the lines of the court or field.
- Pre- or post-game talk
- Before dismissing from practice
"TOTAL ATHLETE" TASKS: (Use this routine to challenge your athlete to grow within the 360 Progression and reinforce this month's lesson.)
- Mental - For a week, challenge your athlete to journal any “big” decisions they are faced with on and off the court/field. What a big decision is, obviously depends on where they are within their athletic journey, but regardless, have them take note of these decisions and pray that their choice is what God wants, and not what they would want for themselves.
- Athletic - End practice on a high note! Set a target to accomplish in consecutive order to push your young athlete before closing practice. (Ex. 5 three-pointers)
- Spiritual - Challenge your athlete to find one person in need and pray for that individual.
- Social - Challenge your athlete to do a random act of kindness. Whether it’s paying for someone’s food, helping someone carry groceries, etc. Let them know that they shouldn’t expect recognition or glory, but to do these things so that others can see Christ through their actions.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.