Here’s a helpful blog at Gospel-Centered Discipleship from Owen Strachan. It’s not specific to sports but anyone who has ever played or coached before knows the difference a coach can make in a young person’s life. I hope what’s excerpted below stirs your heart as much as it did mine:
The boy-man is selfish, young, immature, addicted to games, immune to responsibility, foul-mouthed, and weak. He’s overwhelmed by adulthood, so he chooses to stay in some sort of boyish fantasy. He doesn’t want to build big things, meaningful things, like a family, a six-decade marriage, a socially and personally profitable career, or a gospel-driven church or missions effort. He wants to make music, play games, follow sports, flirt with girls, loaf through life, bend the rules so he’s not accountable or inconvenienced in his selfishness, and ignore the need to help others.
I want to suggest that wherever you can as a young man or one involved in any way in training young men, you point them toward manhood, maturity, adulthood, responsibility, ambition, strategy, vision, focus. Yes, it can be fun to be boyish. But you know what’s far more satisfying? Becoming something. Becoming something greater than you are. Becoming a man. Building stuff.
What else is cool? Winning a woman’s heart and keeping it for years, decades, a lifetime. Raising children to know the Lord. Giving tons of energy to a church plant or a church undergoing revitalization. Leaving everything to go to the mission field as a single young man. Mentoring at-risk youth. Creating a company that employs others and advances the common good. Pushing past laziness and whining and getting yourself in shape, fine-tuning your body so that you’re no longer a boy in the way you eat and take care of yourself.
Look for Part 2 in the near future where we discuss how sports can be an integral part in this “boy-into-man” process.