When we think back to our youth many of us, or atleast myself can remember the first time we started playing sports. For me it was peewee basketball. I remember my dad telling me to put on my sweatpants and a t shirt and then my high tops. From there we loaded up in the car and went to the local elementary gym and I was told I was going to be playing basketball. That first year of basketball probably looked more like football with all the tackles and very little dribbling, but something happened and I began to really enjoy sports.
From there I started playing little sports, watching and following different pro and college teams. I remember sitting in my dads recliner going nuts when UK lost to Duke in 1992. And while there were some thrills and some definite low points in my sports playing and watching career, the biggest thing I found for the most part was that I had fun. I have been on teams where we won everything and been miserable, yet I have been on terrible teams where I got to play and had a blast. And one day that is a lesson I want to pass onto my kids that sports can be a great way to have fun.
Yet as I get older I see more and more people sucking the fun out of sports. Just yesterday I saw a mother in a Red Robin berating her son because he had lost to a girl in something. I have seen grown men acting like jerks over church league basketball games trying to relive their glory days rather than just having fun and thinking of church league as a tool to get people into their churches. I’ve seen coaches not use games as ways to teach lessons, but as ways to humiliate kids.
So why am I writing this blog, well it’s to hopefully make you the reader stop and think about why you are involved in sports in any form or fashion. Sports can teach life lessons, be used as a tool to share Jesus, cross many boundaries, build relationships, mentoring, and just be fun! Please don’t lose sight of that in your life and don’t miss opportunities to pass this fun loving approach of sports to the kids in your life!