Prayer in Youth Sports
Before we go too far into this, this is not a debate about having prayer in youth sports. I, personally, am a Christian, but I also believe people have the right to believe in whatever they want. This article is directed to parents who do pray for their kids success during a sporting event.
I’m not sure where I picked it up, my head leans towards a movie where Kevin Costener, played a baseball player, but somewhere along the line I heard, “God’s got enough to worry about than helping you get a hit.” That statement resonated and I feel strongly about its truthfulness. The statement helps to remind me that there are a lot of things happening in this world that sometimes make sense and sometimes it leaves us wondering, ‘why’? Do I want my kids to have success? Do I hope the good Lord looks down on them and allows them to hit a homerun or sink a three-point shot? Certainly, I do, but it’s not something I ask because sports is a game. If a hit, a catch or an unbelievable performance is meant to be, there’s not a darn thing I, or anyone outside the lines can do about it. What we can do is pray that not only my children, but all the children playing have the strength to handle whatever situation is thrown their way. Yes, a win is much easier to handle than a loss, especially when a player may feel directly responsible. But, teaching our kids to work hard and let the chips fall wherever they may is all we can do in life. There have been several times I’ve been tempted to ask the big man upstairs, just once, please let him/her get a hit. Just once, please let this pitch be a strike. Just once…. Before long, just once turns into another and another and another and you’ve forgotten what the point of prayer and youth sports is all about.
Sports can teach us so much, such as competitiveness, work ethic, the exhilarating experience when you win and conversely, having the life sucked out of you when you lose. In life, youth athletes will experience wins and losses beyond the playing field. How will they handle defeat? How will they handle success? As a parent, it is hard to sit back and watch when your child is in a tense situation. But know this, win or lose, the sun will come up tomorrow and conveying the importance of turning a loss into a learning situation as well as teaching the importance of humility in a win, are takeaways they will use the rest of their life.