League Mission Statement

AN ATHLETE'S PRAYER

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord, the fellowship of sports, and competition in general,
are a way of finding common ground among your people.
Your Church has experienced the importance of athletics since the day its early days.
And the teaching of Your Gospel continuously urges us to noble contest
and to the obtaining of spiritual goals.
We know that through athletics the character of a person is revealed.
Let us reveal ourselves each day, to be worthy to be called your people.
Amen.

COACHES:

You are not just coaches and this is not just basketball. JOY Junior Orthodox Youth is a Greek Orthodox Christian Organization.

COACHING IS A MINISTRY, AND YOU ARE THE MINISTER. In an article about youth work in Time Magazine, it was stated that outstanding youth have often had one influential person who reached them both emotionally and intellectually.

When it comes to the faith, kids imitate their leaders. You are an Orthodox Christian leader and you are an example to your players.

When these young athletes look for a role model, what are you going to show them? You represent the Church. How far will you go to win? How far will you push the rules? As a coach, you are a role model on and off the court.

PARENTS:

Everything that happens on the court will happen to these kids in life success, failure, false accusations, bad calls, losing through no fault of their own, working as part of a team, performing under pressure. Life is not always fair.

Are you teaching them how to handle the successes, failures, setbacks, and problems of life like a mature adult? Or do we complain about the rules, the referees, the other players & coaches, the equipment, and the league organizers?

Every incident gives you an opportunity to be an example of appropriate Christian behavior. Its up to you. On the drive home do you complain about the bad calls or do you explain that life just wont always be fair?

COACHES & PARENTS

THE PLAYERS WILL REFLECT YOUR EMOTIONS. If you are frustrated & angry on the sidelines, your players will be frustrated & angry on the court.

If you feel that the referees are unfair, your players wont respect the referees.

If you dont like the other coach, your players will disrespect the other team and their coach.

But if they see you shake the hand of the referee and of the opposing coach before the game, the players understand by your example its not personal its a game.

More than anything we say, what we do is what kids remember and imitate. The child is an ever-attentive witness of grown-up morality or lack thereof; the child looks and looks for cues as to how one ought to behave, and finds them galore as we parents and teachers (and coaches) go about our lives, making choices, addressing people, showing in action our rock-bottom assumptions, desires, and values, and thereby telling those young observers much more than we may realize. The Moral Intelligence of Children, Robert Coles

All of you who minister to youth are truly missionaries, and our coaching methods need to reflect this. You bring a ministry of presence to your players, many of whom are searching for guidance. By being among our kids, you are able to set an example for them on how to react.

You are on the front lines. You are able to have a long-term, character-building relationship that challenges your players as Christian athletes. We are all called to model Christ to those whom we meet.

Our ministry, in order to be effective, has to relate our faith personally and in Christian love.

PLAYERS

We share with you a story you may have heard, but it is worth repeating:

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.

At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with really trying to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except for one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight runners heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing:

What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.