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First of all, All Glory to God for all Good things! What an amazing day this has been. Spent many hours praying and planning for this program and with a little push from a great friend BAM my program is announced! I never imagined in my wildest dreams the overwhelming immediate response this would receive. This response only leads me to believe what I have been feeling all along that there needed to be something else added to this youth sports craze that we are witnessing before our very eyes. The year round, thousands of dollars and hours invested into the promises and dreams of gaining scholarships or even worse "going pro". Many times at the cost of what? We are seeing an increase in serious sports injuries at younger and younger ages, I have personally witnessed the destruction of families at the end of high school careers, church is playing second fiddle to practices, games and tournaments on Sundays or even worse is non existent in families, depression is running rampant among teenagers who are feeling pressure with no free time like never before, the multi sport athlete or even the child who just wants to "try" different sports has all but disappeared, etc. Sure, there are a few student/ athletes who realize the dream of "going pro" and many do in fact receive scholarships or compete at the college level. I have coached personally 5 pro athletes and many that have received scholarships at the college level and still more that have competed beyond high school. But, the numbers are that somewhere around 8 million students play sports at the high school level, of those around 480,000 compete at the college level and then somewhere around 2% of those will "go pro". So, what happens to the rest of us or even what happens to the athlete no matter what level they reach when their playing careers are over? After a couple decades of coaching this has become a very serious concern of mine. Hence the contemplation and dreaming of the true purpose of sports in our lives which in my opinion should be focused on the maturation of the individual physically, mentally and spiritually! This includes but is not limited to learning how to succeed and fail and how to react to both of these realities, learning how to interact with both others and ourselves, the development of a healthy lifestyle that lasts a lifetime, and in general the development of life skills that can be used in all aspects of our lives. Namely the virtues! Because at the end of the career or even at the end of each day, our character should not be defined by the sport we choose to play or in other words our identity needs to be much more than a game we participate in. If the totality of our identity or our families identities are solely sports then who are we when this ends and what are we going to replace the thrill of victory or the crush of defeat with...

It is my sincere hope and prayer that this program I am developing will allow our student/ athletes just this opportunity, to grow into the complete human being that they were meant to be! If they have the genetics and drive to become a pro athlete then lets help them get there, if they come from a family that could really benefit from the earning of a scholarship then by all means lets help them accomplish this, if sports and activities keeps them off the streets and occupies their time in a healthy manner than lets help them do that but most importantly lets help give them the tools that will earn them a place in society where they can contribute to their own and many others well being both in this life and beyond!

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