Mr. Steve Tompkins
One of the ways our athletic program benefits our school family is our intent to be purposely countercultural to our society. Our culture is obsessed with the body--specifically physical beauty, physical pleasure, and physical prowess. In addition, the culture around us believes winning is the standard of excellence.
As parents and educators, we want to educate our children/students to what God says about the body. In the school, the foundation for our athletic program is the physical education program. The truths about the body and its relationship to the soul and spirit of man are taught to every student in the school (grades 1-10), as well as basic motor development, physical fitness, and the development of individual and team lifetime sport skills. We provide progressively more focused laboratories (intramural and interscholastic athletics) for our interested students (7-12) to learn more about their bodies and how to control the flesh through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
Just as winning a game is not a sign of God’s blessing, losing a game is not a sign of God’s curse. Life is not all always about winning every game. Failure or defeat is sometimes necessary for learning. We focus on the process of sports, not necessarily the product of a win. For some students, our intramural and interscholastic athletic programs provide great opportunities to learn valuable life lessons.
Research shows that students involved in all extracurricular activities (not just athletics) tend to have a higher grade point average and fewer discipline problems. The experience and the lifelong lessons translate to success in college and with future careers, including ministry. Simply said, athletic competition is a microcosm of life that can be one of the best learning laboratories for students who enjoy the sports process and physical activity outside the classroom. Some of those lessons include:
- Discipline, hard work, and endurance foster dedication to personal and team goals while developing unity of purpose.
- Teammates serve and develop relationships with each other and their coaching mentors.
- Athletics is a place where the accountability of rules forces an understanding and commitment to boundaries and self-control within a social setting.
- The process demonstrates to the participants the importance of a Christian testimony within and outside the school.
- Proper coaching involves developing leadership, critical thinking skills, decision-making abilities, and the capacity to be teachable while experiencing constructive criticism.
- The right mentoring breeds a humble and gracious tone of sportsmanship during victory or defeat.