For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”Matthew 18:20
It is an incredible privilege to be a part of a sports team. The number of things those who are not on the team experience is very limited compared to what the coaches and the players share together: practices, bus rides, watching film, team meetings, off-season conditioning work, and time spent together in the locker room. One of the greatest blessings of coaching is the locker room, which is so much more than just a place to store your equipment — it’s a place of pre-game prayer, of quiet moments after a heart-breaking loss, of verbal tirades at half-time aimed at changing the game’s outcome, and great laughter and fellowship. Most of the locker rooms that I’ve been in are cramped, relatively outdated and have very little air ventilation. The sights, the sounds and the smells of the locker room are truly special.
As a coach, you want to lead and win and be successful in the locker room in establishing the team’s culture, values and attitude, while using this underappreciated room as a resource to help the team come together and accomplish far more than what the kids could accomplish as a group of individuals. It’s amazing how a group of individuals from different backgrounds can each go through a separate day with different circumstances and different challenges and all come together as they meet in this place. Although it can be so quiet that you can hear a pin drop after a loss, there’s no greater feeling than walking into the locker room and celebrating a great accomplishment with your teammates after a hard-fought game. When you come together after a game to reconnect and close the door to outsiders, there is a great appreciation for one another, mutual respect and a feeling of relief when you are with a group of people that you care so much about.
As great as the locker room can be, it pales in comparison to the joy experienced when as Christians we take time to step out of the world that we live in and spend time in fellowship with one another. When we close the door and experience fellowship with other believers we can tune out the world with its antagonistic attitude towards our Christian faith and experience an incredible fellowship. As great as a team’s victory locker celebration may be, when we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ we can celebrate the most important victory, which is Jesus Christ’s victory over our sins and the fellowship that we now have with Him.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.