“For me, coaching is not a job – it’s a mission,” says Shara MacDonald, one of FCA’s coach reps, health teacher and head coach for Erskine Academy’s Girls Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams. “But that wasn’t the case before FCA.”
MacDonald is candid about how the impact of FCA philosophies has shaped her life and dedication as a teacher and coach. “For me, the values of FCA really came together recently at a coaches clinic hosted by FCA State Director, Jeannine Cavallaro from Boston, MA. “She spoke about what she referred to as ‘transformational statements’,” MacDonald said. “She had us ask ourselves tough but basic questions like ‘Why do I coach?’ and ‘What’s in it for me?”
“It’s that commitment to transform coaches that filters through to athletes too,” says MacDonald. “It’s because of the focus on coaches through Bible studies, huddles and in community that I end up seeing so much change and decisions for Christ at the camps.” As a part-time FCA staffer, she gets the most time with other coaches and athletes at camps throughout the summer.
For MacDonald, the true goal of FCA could really be seen at the end of recent leadership camp at Journey Church. It was a moment that she would not soon forget. “The Lord was tearing at my heart to see coaches standing in unity and praying over the kids. There was reassurance and encouragement that just felt like the hands of God around them, protecting them,” she says.
The pastor had given a straightforward salvation message and the kids responded. “What affected me the most was hearing these young athletes confess Christ out loud in front of their peers. They were there together accepting the salvation of Jesus. That’s what all of this is for.” She continued, “This is why ‘perseverance’ is my transformational word. Even though I mainly support other coaches within FCA, I have to keep pushing forward to develop as a teacher, a leader and coach myself. And FCA gives me the tools for that.”
Persevering is exactly what Shara MacDonald is doing as she finishes out another summer season feeling that she is better fulfilling what God has for her through FCA.
“My job is to love them the best I can.” MacDonald concluded, “I used to think that coaching was simply a part of my job. I know now that it’s a calling and a mission.”
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.