Reaching All Our Athletes

By: Steve Frommeyer, Principal and Head Football Coach, Eminence High School, Eminence, KY
Someone from a public school said to me recently that they did not need Sportsleader because their school had FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). We have FCA at Eminence and Sportsleader and the programs compliment each other extremely well, so I was somewhat surprised by the comment. In my usual feebleness, I stammered something dumb, I’m sure, and went on. (Actually, I have also heard Christian schools make a similar claim). Since then, however, the question has gnawed at me enough to make me sit down and more clearly articulate a response.
First, for public schools, approaches such as Sportsleader give coaches an opportunity to reach every single player and not just those that voluntarily agree to show up at an FCA meeting. All our kids hear too many negative and immoral messages and not enough positive ones that build virtue and character. Getting to everyone is huge.
Moreover, the virtues espoused by Sportsleader are the foundation and basis for a good Christian life. Certainly, my desire is that Sportsleader programs would naturally result in many more young men/women going to church, etc. That would help them to grow in their knowledge and love of their Creator and Savior. Jesus and his disciples encouraged the development of many virtues. 
Sportsleader moves that process of virtue and character development forward in a day and time that it is often ignored and in a world (sports) where it can have profound influence. However, from my Christian perspective Sportsleader alone is not enough. At some point all of us must come to terms with our Savior and Creator. However, I have seen in my years of coaching, many young men develop discipline, teamwork, respect, perseverance, etc. and as a result grow closer and stronger in their faith and Christian walk.
I certainly hope that by putting sports in the true perspective of personal development, that participation in churches, family life, and community involvement would increase dramatically. We need all the programs working together to meet our kids’ eternal needs!