Christians in the Arena

This week Coach Kelly Herrmann explains that the key to integrating faith in sports is to have a clear philosophy based on truth.

Join me for the final episode in this series with Coach Herrmann and I discuss the role sports can play in character formation!

 

Coach Kelly Herrmann – now a wife, mom, grandma, health coach, author, and speaker was a fixture in sports at Franciscan University of Steubenville for decades.  Having given up a full ride to play division one basketball, she attended FUS and was athletic director, head coach of women’s basketball and volleyball and intramural coordinator.  She has refereed, umpired, announced games, coached little league soccer, run sports summer camps, and mentored other coaches.  She’s a wealth of experience and knowledge and comes from a faithfully Catholic perspective.

Coach explains that the key to integrating faith in sports is to have a clear philosophy based on truth.  Then have clear priorities based on that philosophy.  Coach Kelly shares about a time when Franciscan men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled together.  On the bus the two teams sat separated by the coaches in the middle.  One of her players came to her and asked if they could mix in with the men’s team on the way back from the game for the sake of bonding with the men’s team.  She easily denied the request and was able to explain to her player that bonding with the men’s team wasn’t a priority, whereas study, rest, bonding with her fellow teammates were priorities.  She was able to quickly make a good decision and explain it with a solid basis to the player who was able to accept it.  It wasn’t an arbitrary refusal.  There was a purpose behind it.  Priorities serve the goal and move you in the direction of reaching those goals.  Set and stay faithful to your priorities.

As Christians, evangelizing is always a goal – seeking to witness faith everywhere.  There are situations in sports that force a coach and player to be countercultural.  A few examples are things like controlling one’s temper, language, service in relationships, and modesty.  If you know your priorities, you can easily come to the right decision in such situations regardless of the zeitgeist of the day.

Some practical steps you can implement today are to define your philosophy of play and coaching based on St. John Paul II’s injunction to follow the Divine Master in everything. Based on that, define your priorities, then integrate those priorities throughout your approach to sports.  Finally, don’t be afraid to be countercultural!  BE BOLD!

 

To connect with Coach Kelly Herrmann for speaking engagements, she can be reached at kherrmanniam@outlook.com.

 

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