SportsLeader, a Catholic ministry for coaches and directors of sports ministry based in Louisville, KY, has a question: Why not coach and play sports like Jesus?
Here’s the ministry’s argument for making Jesus the model for sports participation:
Jesus was tough, selfless, humble, coachable, 100% all in, dedicated, willing to sacrifice and take one for the team … On top of all that he could heal the sick and the injured, walk on water, produce free food, calm huge and angry crowds …Why wouldn’t you want Him on your team? Why wouldn’t you put Him in?
Just imagine if every single one of the players on your team was as virtuous and hard working as Jesus. That would be a dream team. All effort with no attitude. Yes, thank you, I’ll coach that team.
Last we knew, Jesus wasn’t exactly trying out for anybody’s team. But that doesn’t mean he can’t exert a strong influence on a team. “As coaches, let's talk about Jesus more with our athletes. Let's point to him as the best example as often as we can,” SportsLeader urges.
In fact, coaches can help athletes see Jesus as the kind of selfless teammate who gives his all for others all the time, never complaining or holding anything back – the kind of person who inspires us and prompts us to love him. “It is physically impossible for someone to give more than Jesus did,” the ministry notes.
SportsLeader builds its approach on four pillars: Virtue, Mentoring, Ceremony and Catholic Identity.
It provides training and materials to help coaches teach their players about Jesus, and also hosts a spring conference for coaches, ADs and directors of sports ministry in Cincinnati, OH. For more information about its work, visit its website.