West Bend, WI – This month Ozaukee Christian School’s basketball coaches are sharing how they keep the students’ eyes on Christ while learning valuable athletic and social skills.
Coach Kevin Standlee, whose daughter plays on the team, said, “We always start practices and games with prayer, which is usually led by one of the students.”
The boys’ and girls’ teams practice on the court together, giving more opportunities for leadership and team building. “The students are learning that working as a team brings more success than just having one great player,” said Coach Dave Swartz, who also has a daughter on the team.
Though both teams have yet to win a game against another school’s team, the coaches have seen the student athletes reframe their losses. “We usually set goals in both games and practice, and the students are always very excited when we are able to meet these goals,” said Coach Standlee. “We celebrate like we won first place,” said Coach Swartz.
Inspired by the Life-Giver himself of John 6:63, the basketball coaches encourage the student athletes to speak positively to one another. “We tell the students they should be building each other up with words that bring life,” said Coach Standlee.
They take to heart the words of Ephesians 4:29 (NIV): “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
“The students are learning to use their words to bring life to cheer on the successes of their teammates,” said Coach Swartz, beaming with pride as he recalled the young basketball players’ maturity in valuing all of God’s children.