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Young Athletes and the Struggle for Balance

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Young Athletes and the Struggle for Balance


What is best for your child when it comes to overseeing their health in relationship to participating in sports?

On the spiritual side, is it worth having kids regularly miss out on church services in order to fulfill their desire to be the next (name your favorite college or pro athlete) or for a chance at a college scholarship? How about concerns over the harmful physical repercussions that may derive from focusing only on one sport?

I believe the answer to these questions can best be determined by the parents but, for all of us who care about our youth, it's worth a discussion.

"Nationally renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, said that he is seeing four times as many overuse injuries in youth sports than five years ago and more kids are having surgery for chronic sports injuries."

The above quote is from this article which speaks to the rising number of "overuse injuries" in kids and what can be done about it, including changing their routine and playing more than one sport. 

This summer we will provide our 6th Annual Sports Leadership Camp at DBU. We expect 175-200 8th-12th grade student athletes from across DFW and North Texas to attend. There will be clinics in their sport of choice from a variety of options such as volleyball, basketball, golf, football, cross country, tennis, baseball, wrestling, competitive cheer and softball.

We will have some great guest clinicians including one of our newest staff members is a former D1 College coach who spent many years in the field of strength and conditioning. He will offer valuable expertise and instruction on proper training and prevention of injuries.

Campers will discuss in small groups with college athletes the frustrations and joys of trying to get good grades, having fun with friends while at the same time trying to be the best athlete they can to make the team or compete at a higher level.

But, because we at FCA believe that the spiritual condition of the athlete is just as important as the physical, students will be challenged to play sports “God’s way” and discover or rediscover true character and leadership on an off the field of play.  They will also be encouraged to be bold in sharing their faith and turning away from the temptations that will drag them down and away from peace with God.

Is there such a thing as too many sports related activities for teens? Absolutely! Can there be a balance? Sure! Parents and coaches, even the teenagers themselves are learning this. But I think we can all agree that it's important to to find that balance.

Work hard; play strong; train and push the muscles to stretch and grow. But know when to stop and say,  "Today, I will put God first, striving for excellence in every area of my life."

Today, may we all pursue this kind of balance so that God might be glorified in all we do.

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." Timothy 4:8

Rick Bowles
North Texas FCA Mult-Area Director