Developing a strong relationship with coaches takes time, dedication, and above all, a heart that is focused on Jesus Christ. Just ask Michelle Malara, an FCA Campus Representative at Syracuse University.
“I have been mentoring a young coach here at Syracuse University for over a year and a half now,” says Malara. “Through both the good and bad times, we have developed a solid relationship that has been built on trust. She has really started to come into her own over these past few months and is eager to be involved in the youth ministry at our church.”
While Malara initially met her coach through an FCA coaches huddle on campus, she says that the coach reached out to her during a tough time in life. Malara was surprised at how open the coach was about her struggles, and began pouring her heart into the young woman.
“I think it is important to walk alongside coaches and encourage them in their faith,” says Malara. “We grab coffee and go shopping together. We make dinner and dessert at each other’s houses. We celebrate successes and pray through the hard times. It has been a blessing for both of us as we grow in the Lord together.”
Malara and her coach meet every week for Bible study and attend the same local church. As the coach invites more athletes to services and becomes more active in church retreats and activities, Malara is excited about what the future may hold.
“Not only is she interested in starting her own sports camp for the Northeast region, but she has also invited me to help out her team,” says Malara. “I get to serve the girls that she coaches and represent who Jesus is to them. She is very focused on giving back to FCA and leading the next generation, and I cannot wait to see how God will continue to use her in sports ministry.”
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.