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2 Books—Countless Lessons

I have the privilege of working with young athletes who strive to excel athletically and academically and seek personal growth and development. In my role, I look for ways to inspire and guide my athletes in their athletic pursuits and their character and values.

When I think about the teachings of Romans 12 and 1 Peter 4, I find loads of wisdom that can be applied to the lives of hardworking athletes and their role as selfless teammates and stewards of their college. Romans 12 begins by urging us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, which speaks to the dedication and commitment required to be a successful athlete. It emphasizes the importance of using our physical abilities and talents to honor and serve a higher purpose. This mindset encourages athletes to approach their training and competition with purpose and gratitude, recognizing that their abilities are gifts to be used for the team's benefit.

Additionally, Romans 12 emphasizes the importance of using our gifts and talents for the common good. In the context of being a hardworking athlete, this means recognizing that individual success is not the ultimate goal. Instead, it is about contributing to the success of the team as a whole. This requires athletes to be selfless, supportive, and willing to put the team's needs above their desires. It means celebrating teammates' achievements and being willing to make sacrifices for the team's greater good. To quote Coach Sherman Smith again, "Humility isn't thinking less of yourself— it's thinking of yourself less."

Moving on… 1 Peter 4 calls us to be selfless stewards of the opportunities and talents we have been given. This chapter reminds us that everything we have is a gift from God, and we are called to use those gifts to serve others. As athletes, this means recognizing that our time, energy, and abilities are not solely for personal gain but rather to be used to uplift and inspire those around us. It means being a positive influence on and off the court, leading by example, and using our platform as athletes to impact our campus community positively.

Ultimately, Romans 12 and 1 Peter 4 lessons remind us that being a hardworking athlete goes beyond physical presence and individual achievement (stat chasers). It's about embodying a mindset of selflessness, gratitude, and service. By embracing these teachings, athletes (and coaches) can excel in their sport and contribute positively to the overall growth and success of their team and college community.

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