Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Cost to Benefit Analysis of Coaching

As many of you may already know, I recently decided to step away from coaching high school basketball. This has been one of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make in a long time...I don’t think I truly recognized how much I would miss it. I decided to give it up for now for a few different reasons. First and for most I wanted to make sure that I am around as much as I can possibly be around to watch my son Ryder grow up. Coaching high school basketball occupies so much of your time and energy. During the season that can mean early mornings and late nights. During the off season you are doing as much as possible in strength and conditioning as well as skill work to prepare for the next season. Most nights I would come home just exhausted from all the demands, but the truth is that I just love it.

The basketball court has always been a place where I can go regardless of what I am feeling. Everything just starts to make sense when the ball is put into play. Struggle, perseverance, victory, defeat, controlling your emotions and putting them towards something constructive, learning from your mistakes and focusing on the next play are just a few of the many aspects of the game that I just love. I was never a stand out player on the court but I love the game so much and it has continued to teach me more and more about myself and who I am. I have always been a believer that basketball doesn't help us develop character, it simply exposes our character. We see who we really are in times of stress and difficulty. We see the kind of person that we are when we win and when we lose. Then we are able to make the choice to be better or to come up with more excuses as to why we are the way that we are. I’ve always told my athletes, you can’t always control what’s on the scoreboard but two things are always in your control. Your attitude and your effort. Nobody gets to dictate your effort and no one gets to tell you what your attitude should be. Those two things will forever be your choice.

I love investing into these young men and getting to know them. I enjoy developing our relationships and watching them push themselves to grow and succeed. Of course I wanted to win games, but that for me was never the most rewarding part of coaching. I loved watching my athletes grind it out and experience difficulties and becoming stronger because of it. As much as I love doing that, I want to be sure I can experience the same things with Ryder. He may not want to play sports or be an athlete of any kind but I want to be a part of whatever it is that he chooses to be a part of. I’m not going to lie, I hope its a sport lol but if it’s not,, then that will be perfectly fine too. I want to be present when he goes through tough times, I want to be there when he experiences hardship, I want to be the one to push him to be better and helps him up when he falls down. I want to physically and emotionally be there.

I know that as Ryder approaches turning two, he may not always remember the things I do for him but one thing is for sure. He will know that I was there. He will know that I was present. Do I think I’ll ever go back to coaching? Yes, I think so. I love coaching basketball at a high level to much to ignore it. How soon will I consider going back? I’m really not sure. All I know is that if and when I go back, it’s going to have to be a situation where I feel like I can still always put my relationship with God first as well as my family before considering getting back into the gym. I want my son to see me be passionate about what I do and I want him to see me work hard to do the things I love to do. He should see me chasing my dreams as I help him discover his own. But before any of that, I need him to recognize that the choices I make reflect my love for God first and my love for my family next. 

On a side note, if you are a coach out there reading this, I am in no way implying that if you continue to coach that you are not being a good father. That is so far from the truth! I am only sharing from my experience at this point in my life. Everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves and their family. This is just the decision I have made for now.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Motivation vs Drive

Motivation vs Drive

A lot of people will talk about the important of motivation and how it leads to success. They will emphasize that with the right motivation, your opportunities to succeed will be endless. What exactly is motivation though? I mean most of everything we do has some form of a motive attached to it. Even mundane tasks like eating, drinking and sleeping are done with some level of motivation right? I mean we tell ourselves to try and eat better in order to have healthier lifestyle. We feel motivation to make sure we get enough sleep every night so that we can get the things done that need to get done the next day without feeling like we are dragging through the day. The problem is that just because we are motivated to do these things, doesn’t mean that these things will always get done or will always occur. So then what exactly gives us the ability to get these done. These things get done well when we choose to get them done. It comes down to the decisions that we make everyday and those decisions determine the outcomes of whether or not we get these things accomplished. 

Developing something I like to call “drive” is more important than any motivation you will experience. Motivation always comes down to a feeling that we have and drive will always come back to a decision that we make. Motivation comes and goes, sometimes we “feel” like taking care of our health, and sometimes we don’t feel or don’t possess the motivation to take care of our health.  (I use our health as an analogy but it can be applied in area of life you would like) I don’t always have the motivation to get up and go to work but I make the decision to do it because I know the result that it will hopefully bring, a paycheck so I can afford to live, eat and do the things I wish. So regardless of the feeling I have in the morning, I make the decision to get up and get ready for work.

So I would argue that developing an individual’s “Drive” vs  developing their “Motivation” is far more important and has a much better end result in the long run. If we teach people to work for a feeling, then we are leading them done a very dangerous path. Feelings come and go, sometimes we can control what feelings we may have and sometimes we can’t control them. The only thing that we as individuals have the power to control are the decisions that we make everyday. We need to make decisions every day based on what we believe is best for us. We cannot always control the consequences or results of our decision making but we always can control the decision that we make.

Why is this important? Everyday you are faced with choices. We may not always be able to control the results of our choices but we always possess the power to choose. I want my students and my athletes to understand this because when we truly embrace the fact that we have no control over results but only control of our decisions, then we can truly begin to progress as athletes and as individuals. Very few things in life are guaranteed, we aren’t even guaranteed to wake up tomorrow morning. When are faced with decisions everyday, when we are faced with important choices that we have to make, lets remember that you can only control what YOU can control. Honestly, when it comes down to it, the only thing we can control are the words that we say and the actions that we take. God gives us the ability to choose, what a blessing that is. We have the opportunity everyday so show the world how our choices reflect the love we have and the gratitude we possess for the life he has given us. So, what’s your choice?

Let that sink in. This has been an eye opener for me because I have so much in my life that I feel like I am suppose to control. I have so much that I feel like I am suppose to make happen but the ONLY thing I can control is myself. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Life is a Game of Mistakes

Something we have been trying to get our athletes to understand as we coach is that Basketball is a game of mistakes.  In the game of basketball you are always going to make mistakes, they are inevitable. You can’t avoid making mistakes and if you try to avoid making them then you probably aren’t playing that hard. The goal is not to simply “not make mistakes”, the goal is to respond to the mistakes you made in a positive manner. When a mistake is made in the game, are you the kind of athlete that just gets upset or blames someone else for it? Do you look for a way not to take responsibility for your own actions? How we respond to the mistakes we make is far more important than the mistake we made in the first place. This is all a part of the learning process. We have to open our eyes to see things like, what we could have done differently or how could I have done it better in order to really take our game to the next level. This really applies to any sport we play but even more so towards the life we are living. 

Throughout our life time, we will make countless mistakes. Some may have been avoidable, some maybe not. The most important aspect of the mistakes we make is how we choose to respond to them. We can get upset, blame other people, blame the circumstances, or choose not even to acknowledge it. When we do these things, nobody wins. I hate making mistakes, absolutely despise it. I have had to learn over the years that this is just a necessary part of the learning process God has put in place. No matter what direction I turn, I feel like I am making mistakes in just about every area of my life. 

God wants us to understand that we need him. In every aspect of life we need God’s presence in order to be all that we can be for him. Just like a good coach, God allows us to make mistakes but he wants us to learn from them. When we don’t embrace that learning process it’s like we are telling God we don’t want to learn what he has to teach us. In Isaiah 55:8-9, God talks about how his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not like our ways, we can only see part of the picture but God sees the whole picture. Who are we to question the process he has put in place to learn? It’s painful at times to acknowledge and face our mistakes. It’s never a pretty sight but these are the things that remind us to turn to God and understand that he has a higher purpose for us, one that we could never imagine. 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Out of Your Control

I recently suffered a pretty bad ankle sprain. Those of you who follow me on instagram (@coachedintruth) probably saw the hedious picture I posted of it! Anyway, with that being said, I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think about life and one of the things that has crossed my mind is the idea of control. We all like to have control one way or the other. We try to make ourselves feel like we have control because we believe control is what is going to bring us peace. The truth of the matter is that we actually have very little control of the things that go on around us. Many people complain that they don't see the results they want to see in their lives. They were told as a young child that if they worked hard and they set their mind to something that they would be able to accomplish whatever they wanted to accomplish. I'm not sure I agree with that....I believe there are always aspects of our lives that we have no control over. Sometimes they are good things and other times they are bad things. Now I do believe that the choices and decisions we make have an effect on the outcome of different life situations but I refuse to accept that it is all a result of me. God is in control of my life, not me. This does not void me of the responsibility of making sound choices but I would be arrogant to think that my life is solely based on the choices I have made.

There are times throughout the whole bible where God's people had no control over the circumstances they were in. Job is a great example of this. He was a God fearing man who had done everything God had asked of him yet he faced a lot of pain and suffering. If I was in Job's situation I would have been soooo confused! I mean why was God allowing all this to happen to a person that loved God so much! In life we are faced with choices on a constant basis and a lot of times we have no idea how those choices will affect our future. Sometimes things turn out exactly how we expect them to turn out and other times we are left completely confused as to why things turned out the way they did.

You can approach the game of basketball just as you approach life. You can prepare, practice, scheme, plan and take a deep look at every choice you will make throughout the time of the game but you will never be able to say with 100% confidence what the result of the game will be. There will always be outliers that we cannot see, there will always be situations we couldn't have predicted and honestly I think that's what makes the game so exciting. No matter how much you prepare, the unknown will always be present. 

So does this mean we just should throw in the towel and not prepare at all? I mean if we can't prepare for everything then why try to prepare at all if we are just going to end up being face to face with what we were unprepared for? That's where we are wrong because it's not about trying to be prepared for every situation possible, it's more about training ourselves on how we will respond when we are faced with the unknown or unexpected.

We are so concerned at times with having all the answers and we work our little fingers to the bone until we feel like we have accomplished answering all the questions but the truth is we will never have the answer to every challenge we are faced with. What we can do is resolve to having a godly mindset or attitude that we use when we are faced with the unexpected. (Colossians 3:1-4)

The truth of the matter is that God is the only one with all the answers. Even if he doesn't give us the specific answers to our specific problems, he does provide for us a way of thinking that allows us to process all that we go through. I love that about my relationship with God because it takes so much of the pressure off of me. God reveals to me exactly what needs to be revealed to me in order for me to see him. I don't have to have all the answers but I do know where to go when I have questions. Nowhere else on this earth provides such an outlook on life, God has promised us protection and he has made a relationship with Him available to us all. What other answer could we possibly ask for?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

An Athlete’s Truth - AJ Iiames

So I have accidentally deleted one of my previous posts so I am re-posting it now. It's a great read so if you didn't read it the last time I posted it, be sure to check it out now!

I have another incredible article written by another dear friend of mine who is going to share his story about what being Coached in Truth really means to him. He is a phenomenal athlete that has a heart for God and a mindset to bring glory to God's name. It's a story of difficult situation's and overcoming those situations through a Godly perspective. I would like to introduce you all to AJ Iiames and share with you his story of being Coached in Truth.

From the piedmont to the mountains of Asheville, NC, I embarked on an adventure that I will never forget. When I had committed to the University of North Carolina at Asheville, I had no idea what exactly that meant. My way of life would take a dramatic turn. I wanted to mention a couple things that college brought on my spiritual journey as a disciple who happened to be a collegiate athlete.

Three things I learned over my four and a half year career that changed and shaped me were perseverance, self worth, and influence. My mother encouraged me to read the book of Joshua as soon as I reported for preseason before my freshman year of college at UNC Asheville.  In a different world on my own, I decided to take my mother up on that. After Moses’ death, Joshua was called to lead the Israelite people with the promise that God would be with him. One major theme in that first chapter was the repetition of God calling Joshua to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18).  I have learned that whenever the Bible repeats itself, God must be trying to teach!  So I took this to heart throughout the preseason and into my first year as a student-athlete. Being an athlete, like what everyone else has said, it is not easy to resist temptation. I was fortunate enough to have two roommates who were there to run the race with me, one of whom was a teammate.  Satan knows when to corner you, when to chase you, and when to devour you.  He is always on the prowl.  I knew that if I were to grow apart from these brothers, that it would only mean death (spiritual).  As crazy and dramatic as that sounds, it is the truth. The inability to attend church functions and bible talks racks up.  The question was “What am I going to do about it?”  Like many of my fellow athletes, defining my career in terms of athletic success was difficult to avoid.  I needed a personal relationship with Jesus, which was not a habit I had forged in high school.  The road was long and at times difficult, but that is where perseverance emerges.
My career was full of physical, emotional, and spiritual perseverance.  By the end of my freshmen year, I had been successful on and off the field; starting most games, contributing to the ministry, and working hard in the classroom.  In the last game of spring season against NC State, the ball got kicked over top our back line and I was in a dead sprint with the offensive player from NC State to win the ball.  As soon as I took a couple steps, I crumbled to the grass in agonizing pain.  I remember thinking to myself: “This surely couldn’t happen to me.  I have only seen this on television.”  Results came back that week stating that I had torn my ACL and my meniscus.  The rest of my career followed a similar pattern.  I tore my ACL in the other knee, and re-tear my meniscus; I had a total of three surgeries to repair everything.  Troubles came my way, but with God, nothing is impossible.  I hung to 2 Peter 1:5-8, which says “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Adding to my faith in a difficult time to have faith was the most important calling for me in this low point.  People and circumstances will always disappoint, but looking to God through those times and choosing to persevere is the key.  It is all about what choice you make. 

Like many of my fellow athletes, defining my career in terms of athletic success was difficult to avoid.  Many of the other athletes have touched on the complexity to which self worth is attributed.  I attributed a lot of self worth to my performance on the field, which led to quick spurts of success and failure.  It is simple in my mind how this all changed: Jesus died.  He didn’t just die for me, but for all who choose to follow Him.  For Him to die so that I could have the chance of life to the full is all that you need to quickly scatter the thoughts of where you are receiving your worth.

I love how all situations and life-events all revolve in a cyclical fashion.  It is the same as sin; how nobody has done something so outlandish that someone else has not yet thought of or done.  I feel this way about the influences we as athletes have on others.  The most influential I felt was when I was going through a hard time on the field or with my faith, and God gave me the words to say.  When I was injured, to serve without expecting return, even if it hurt to give.  I was able to be a light in the darkest of times, whether physically or spiritually.  The biggest lesson I learned, and continue to learn with my walk with God, is to continually pursue God.  He is always reaching out to us, but nothing happens with our influence and actions if he is not at the forefront of our minds and hearts.  I had involved another teammate who happened to be injured for a month or so with a sprained knee.  We were doing the dirty work like moving the goals, putting down cones, doing laundry, etc.  He had a terrible attitude most days with those deeds, but I had submitted to God that service and decided, “why not do this to the best of my ability?”  One time when we were moving a goal, he was complaining again, and I told him, “in order to lead, you need to serve.”  I remember that specifically because he never complained again and went on to co-captain with me the following season.  I’m not providing this example in pride, but it illustrates what influence God can have in other people’s lives if you stand firm in his teachings and humble yourself. 

I wanted to provide a quick shout out to Justin Drabot for creating this awesome outlet for those involved/wanting to get involved in sports.  It’s much more than just playing a sport.  Just another way God can be glorified through us as vessels of Jesus.

AJ Iiames Bio:

I was on the Presidential Honor Roll (over 3.0 for semester) my whole career and captained the team from 2013-2015 (3 seasons).  I played on the defensive line for most of my career.  We played against the likes of UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest during my career, which harness some of the top talent in the country.  We beat #6 Coastal Carolina twice in my career as the extreme underdog.  It was a career plagued by injury, but abounding in life knowledge and experience. Here is a glimpse at my stats year-to-year: 

2011: Earned 10 starts and played in 14 contests.
2012: Red-shirted due to injury.
2013: Started and played in 16 matches before missing the last three matches of the year with a knee injury.
2014: Played in eight matches with one start after coming back from knee surgery. 
2015: Started in 15 games.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Opportunities!

Happy New Year!!!

A new year brings new opportunities and new obstacles that I may have never faced before. There is really no way to predict the future outcomes of everything I will experience and there is no guarantee that I will understand why everything occurs. As much as I think I have control over particular outcomes, the truth is that I only have control over how I respond to those outcomes. It becomes easy for me to believe I have control when my actions produce the given result that I expected them to produce. It gives me a sense of assurance that whatever I did, produced the outcome I expected. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-9, Paul is trying to explain to the leadership in Corinth that they have been worldly in their thinking because they have been focused on man rather than on God. He explains to them that even though he is the one who planted the and Apollos was the one who watered it, God is the one who actually made it grow and spread . You see, even though we play a role in the growth and direction of our lives, God is the one who actually exerts control over what happens in our lives. 

We may have a dream to do something in our lives. We all have a specific (or at least a general) direction in which we see our lives going but that doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the direction God is asking us to walk in. Personally, I have wanted to be a basketball coach for a long time and now that I am actually fulfilling that dream I still have to be willing to ask myself, “Is this where God wants me or is he trying to get me to walk in a different direction?” I absolutely love coaching and I love the coaches and athletes I get to work with. It can be a challenge at times, and I get frustrated on a regular basis, but it is a work that I adore because it means so much to me to be in the role that I am in. It would tear me apart to walk away from it at this point but if God made it clear that I needed to step away from it, then I would need to step away from it. If I am going to claim to love God and that he is my absolute and first priority, then I would need to live that out by the actions I take. I can’t allow what I believe is best for me interfere with what is actually best for me. What is actually best for me is to open my eyes and be willing to walk in the direction God is directing me. We may even “water” the dream in order to grow and develop and set ourselves up for the best possible scenario, but if God decides not to let that dream grow, then that dream will not grow. 

That is why we must be so in tune with the Spirit and the direction He wants us to take because He is the one who ultimately decides the direction we take. He will close doors and open others and it’s our responsibility as disciples to utilize our free will to be sure we are following the path God has laid out for us.
So with all that being said, we are all left with a choice: a choice to either follow the path God has laid out for us or to try and make our own way. We are presented with choice every single day, and the choices we make will either pull us away from God or pull us closer to him. So how will you respond?

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building."
1 Corinthians 3: 6-9

Have a great start to the year everyone!

Oh and shout to my buddy Shawn for helping me edit on such short notice!!! You are the man!!!

Friday, April 7, 2017

An Athlete's Truth - Collier Winters (Part 3 - Designed for a Purpose)

     I'm really excited to present to everyone part 3 of Collier Winter's segment of "An Athlete's Truth". It has been incredible getting to know Collier through his writing and what he shares. I consider it truly an honor to have met him and to have had him write for Coached in Truth. Thank you again Collier for your contribution to the Coached in Truth community! We have been waiting for this for a while so we are excited that it is here! So here we go! Part 3 - Designed for a Purpose by Collier Winters.

Part 3: Designed for a Purpose
It is great to finally sit down and write the part 3 of this series!  Sorry for the wait.  The holiday season came, along with some new responsibilities in the new year, and my attempts to write kept getting postponed.  Anyway, I am finally making it happen!  I really appreciate all of you who have been following along with parts 1 and 2.  Hopefully, part 3 will leave you with enough inspiration and practicals to go confidently and bring glory to God in whatever sport you are playing!
After I graduated from college, I was still pursuing my dreams to play in the NFL.  I signed with an agent, traveled to Kansas City to train, performed at my Pro Days at Boston College and at Harvard, and was looking for an opportunity to make a preseason camp with an NFL team!  Although I had a few teams who were interested, ultimately, that opportunity never came.  I was disappointed, but I also began to look for alternative ways to pursue my dream.  I continued to train for the next 7-8 months in order to tryout for a few Canadian Football League teams the following year.  After my tryouts, I was invited to preseason camp with the Montreal Alouettes.  I was ecstatic!  It seemed as though I might be on my way to making my dream happen!
I want to pause the story here to share what was also going on in my life personally, and spiritually, during all of this training.  While I was training, I was also an intern at the church in Boston (after I came back from Kansas City).  I was working in the campus ministry (leading a Bible Talk at Harvard) and also helping out with the teen ministry.  Throughout this time, my heart really began to grow more and more for the work of God’s kingdom.  My biggest dreams and passions were beginning to change, and my desire to become a minister even started to rival my desire to become a professional football player!  I realized that there was nothing more important or impactful that I could be doing with my time than helping people to know Jesus!  This didn’t mean that I immediately stopped pursuing a career in football - as I said, I was still training and working hard, and then went up to Montreal - but, it helped me to recognize more fully a crucial and fundamental part of being a Christian: my life is no longer about me.  Paul says it perfectly in 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”  When I understand this and really put it into practice, it had a big impact on my life and the way I that I thought about things.
One of the clearest changes that I made was in my prayer life.  I used to pray, “God, I pray that you would give me the opportunity to bring you glory by playing in the NFL.”  And I had all kinds of reasons why this would be so great - I could talk about Him on TV, I could use the money I made to help a lot of people, I could reach out to all of my teammates, and so on.  These, I thought, were actually pretty good reasons why it should happen!  But, what I began to pray in light of 2 Corinthians 5 was that God would make it clear to me how I could have the most impact for Him and His kingdom; and if football wasn’t it, I prayed that God would close that door.
Now, back to the story.  I had a great first week of camp with Montreal.  I was still figuring out all of the nuances of Canadian football, but things seemed to be going pretty well.  Then, I got a knock on my door one evening and was told that I was cut from the team.  That was definitely a sad and discouraging day.  My dream had taken a big hit.  However, I had prayed that prayer for God to make things clear for me so many times by then, that I knew this was His answer.  I had other opportunities to continue chasing my football dream, but I believed God shut that door as an answer to my prayer.  I believed (and still believe) He was telling me that I could have more impact for Him and His kingdom by being a minister than by playing football.  As Christians, and as Christian athletes, we are not here on Earth to live out our will or to fulfill all of ourdesires.  We are here to live out God’s will and to fulfill His desires.  He has blessed us with many great talents and we should do our best to use them to glorify Him; but, ultimately, our greatest desire should be for God himself.  In life, the only lasting impact we will have is what we did to build God’s kingdom.  So, how do you bring glory to God through sports?  You play for Him and not for yourself… and at some point he may call you in a different direction.  When this happens, we cannot sacrifice spiritual impact in this world for the sake of fulfilling our own desires.
So, my final message to you is to recognize that you were designed for a purpose! Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  What an incredible verse this is!  Take some time to meditate on it (and even compare it to Jeremiah 1:1-8!).  God created you and he designed you to do good works!  These works are not playing football, or basketball, or running track, or swimming.  These works are the things that build God’s kingdom!  It is clear that God has given us all different gifts and abilities, but our purpose is to know God and to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).  Sports can and does bring glory to God if we do it the right way; but, we were designed for MUCH greater things than playing sports!
In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put in on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  As an athlete with great opportunity to impact and influence many people, don’t hide your light!  Lives that look the same as everyone else’s, don’t have impact.  God is calling you to have great impact!  While you are playing, and as long as you can play, be a light to your teammates!  You can reach people with God’s love that others can’t reach.  Show people who God is through your life and your example.  Reach out to them, invite them to church, show them the Bible, show them Jesus!  No matter what you are doing or where you are at in life, this is what God calls all of us to do!  Just remember, you were designed for a purpose and that purpose is for God’s glory!
I really appreciate your time in reading these posts.  I am grateful to share my life with you.  I hope this has been both helpful and inspirational.  I pray that your minds will be set on God as you play your sports and that you can experience how awesome it is to live out your purpose in life by bringing glory to God in whatever you do!