Heart of a Competitor Playbook
eBook - ePub

Heart of a Competitor Playbook

Daily Devotions for a Winning Attitude

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

  1. 192 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Heart of a Competitor Playbook

Daily Devotions for a Winning Attitude

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

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Table of contents

About This Book

With their passion for sports, athletes and coaches often view life through a competitive lens. Competitors train, compete, and give their all in order to succeed in their sport. Yet to be the best God has created them to be, competitors must also train their heart. This pocket-sized devotional offers athletes and coaches thirty-one powerful devotions written by competitors, for competitors. They'll gain insight into handling daily challenges and keeping God at the center, not only in their athletics but in every other area of life.

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Trust God

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”—Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT)
As a young athlete, I did my best to balance my hockey career with my faith. At the age of nineteen, my faith was tested when I suffered a serious knee injury. After the game, I knew I was done for the year. My mom called me and said, “Remember, God doesn’t make mistakes. Trust in Him and it will be okay. He’ll use it for good.” At the time, I didn’t want to hear it, but in the long run, she was right.
You can hope that everything is going to be perfect, but God doesn’t promise that life will be free of troubles. We won’t always understand why we’re struggling or why things aren’t going our way. But He does promise that if we put our trust completely in Him, He will take care of our needs and give us the strength to make it through the trials of life.
Trust takes time. We all love to be in control. I can tell you from experience that it’s freeing when you begin to give that up. Ultimately, the most important decision you can make is to give your life over to Christ and trust Him with it. When you can do that, your fears will begin to fade and your trust in Him will begin to grow.
  1. What are some areas where you find it easy to trust God? With what areas of your life do you find it difficult to trust God?
  2. How does fear impact your ability to trust God? How can you overcome this fear?
  3. What are some things with which you need to do a better job trusting God?
Matthew 6:25–34; Romans 8:28–31; Psalm 37:4–6; Joshua 1:9
Lord, help me to surrender my thirst for control and trust You more in every area of my life, including sports. Relieve me of my fear and doubt and allow me to see Your power moving in my life. Amen.

Game Face

“The Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I have not been humiliated; therefore I have set My face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”—Isaiah 50:7
The lacrosse game was heading in the wrong direction fast. As a goalie, I was frustrated that our defense had allowed three quick goals in a short period of time. Our coach pulled me aside and said, “Wipe that look off your face! If your teammates see or think that you, as our leader, doubt for one second that we can win this game, they will be discouraged and give up.” It was obvious that I had lost my “game face.”
Although circumstances, like my lacrosse game, continually change, we need to resolve, like Isaiah, to make our faces like flint or stone. Today, we wouldn’t say “get your flint face on” but rather “get your game face on.” As competitors, we know what it means to have a game face. However, do we know what it means to put on our game face when it comes to our spiritual lives?
As followers of Christ, our spiritual game face doesn’t come from our own resolve, perseverance, or tenacity. Instead, our game face comes from putting our trust in God, knowing that Christ has gained victory over our sin at the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:57). We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but as Christians, our countenance and demeanor should be unwavering, because we trust the promises of God’s Word. Coaches and athletes, we are confident because our confidence lies in Christ, not in this world.
  1. Why is it so hard for us as competitors to place our confidence in Christ?
  2. Name a person in the Bible, on your team, or in your life who is flint-faced and determined in trusting God. What can you learn from them?
  3. What can you do today to move your confidence from yourself to Christ? Name three different ways to accomplish this.
Romans 5:35; Revelation 12:11; 1 Corinthians 15:50–57
Lord, thank You that my hope in You transcends all circumstances. I desire to put on a spiritual game face every day and in every circumstance. I place my trust and confidence in Your character and in the promises of Your Word. Amen.

Never Give Up

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”—James 1:2–4 (NLT)
When I was an overweight junior varsity player who mostly sat on the bench keeping stats for the rest of the team, I wanted to quit basketball altogether. But my mom encouraged me to stick it out. “You’re going to start for the varsity team next year!” she boldly declared.
It didn’t make sense at the time, but my mom had the foresight to see the potential in me that I couldn’t see for myself. Along with the help of two influential coaches in my life, I dropped nearly thirty pounds, became one of the varsity’s top players, and earned a scholarship to play at the University of Charleston.
Several years later, I faced an even greater challenge when my ten-year-old son Brandon was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Brandon’s outward behaviors were obvious. The doctors showed me the results of the tests to back up their claim that he would be institutionalized for the rest of his life. But God had revealed to me that Brandon was going to be healed one day. So I made the decision to act on that promise and persevere through the difficult days that followed.
If you’ve never faced any major troubles in your life, you will someday. That’s just life. When bad situations come, stay the course. Keep believing in God. Trust His voice over everyone else’s. With His help, you will have the endurance to persevere through any challenges you might face.
  1. Describe a difficult time that tested your faith. How did you respond to the test?
  2. How is it possible to experience joy in the midst of a trial? Can you name a time when you experienced this?
  3. What are some specific ways that God can strengthen your endurance and increase your faith? Name three.
James 1:12; Colossians 1:11–12; Romans 5:3–5; Hebrews 12:1–15
Lord, thank You for Your grace and mercy. Build up my endurance through prayer and devotion so I can be ready for the difficult times in my life. Amen.

Overcome Adversity

“No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.”—Romans 8:37
As a child, I dealt with the embarrassment of having to wear glasses and braces. And to make matters worse, I had problems with my hearing, which required me to wear a hearing aid and affected my speech. You can imagine the name-calling that ensued. I remember one day on the way home from school, I was so frustrated that I took off my hearing aid and threw it into a ditch. Needless to say, my parents weren’t too happy about that.
By the time I was in middle school, my parents divorced and added another layer of adversity to my life. I used sports as an escape from my problems. But even there, I faced my share of difficulties. Throughout my career I’ve torn my ACL, my meniscus, and my Achilles tendon. When I faced those tough times, it would have been easy to give up and say, “Woe is me!” But I represent God in everything I do, and I knew He had a plan for my life. And through those injuries and struggles, I drew closer to the Lord.
God has a plan for everyone and once you’ve discovered that plan, no one but you can stop it from coming to pass. This has certainly been true in my life. I have personally experienced what it means to be “victorious through Him who loved us.” And all of the things I’ve experienced have given me a platform to inspire others and share with them the love of God. By His grace, those adversities made me stronger and helped me become the person that I am today.
  1. What are some adversities that you have faced within and outside of sports? How did you handle these situations?
  2. Read Romans 8:28. Are you able to see how God has used difficult situations in your life for the greater good? Explain.
  3. Do you truly believe that God has a plan for your life? How might embracing His plan help you deal with life’s challenges?
Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 4:8–9; Philippians 4:12–13; 2 Corinthians 12:9–10
Lord, I know that I am victorious through You, who loves me. Help me to see Your purpose for my life. Give me the strength to overcome adversity that seeks to discourage me...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Endorsements
  5. Contents
  6. Letter from FCA
  7. Introduction
  8. 1. Trust God
  9. 2. Game Face
  10. 3. Never Give Up
  11. 4. Overcome Adversity
  12. 5. Vision Eyes
  13. 6. Love God, Love Others
  14. 7. Giving Your All
  15. 8. Identity Theft
  16. 9. Shine Your Light
  17. 10. Influence with Integrity
  18. 11. Linger Longer
  19. 12. Stay Accountable
  20. 13. Coming Back after Injury
  21. 14. Gold with God
  22. 15. Do the Right Thing
  23. 16. What’s at Your Center?
  24. 17. Play with Purpose
  25. 18. What’s Your Purpose?
  26. 19. Undivided Attention
  27. 20. Eyes on the Target
  28. 21. Finish the Race
  29. 22. Grinders
  30. 23. Run to Win
  31. 24. Be Courageous
  32. 25. Single-Handed
  33. 26. Answering the Call
  34. 27. Remain in Me
  35. 28. Breaking Free
  36. 29. Fired Up
  37. 30. Under Authority
  38. 31. The Thankful Competitor
  39. Contributors
  40. Impacting the World for Christ through Sports
  41. Competitor’s Creed
  42. Coach’s Creed
  43. Back Ads
  44. Back Cover