by Chris Bubak, FCA State Director –
At any level of athletics, coaches and athletes are affected by the audience. Big games (whether a rival game, a state championship or a world series) bring with them a competitive tension.
The athlete that is able to MaxOut is the one that can overcome the tension and play circumstance-free without fear of failure. This is the athlete that is focused and undistracted from the goal to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. They are able to acknowledge the audience, but then make it fade into the background as they focus on what is most important.
The Christian athlete or coach is able to gain that focus by reminding themselves that the only audience that really counts is what some call the “ Audience of One.” One verse that talks about this is Colossians 3:23; that we do what we do “as for the Lord and not for man.”
So how does an athlete or coach prepare themselves to play for this Audience of One? Although it’s hard, and we are easily distracted, it is possible. Here are 3 suggestions.
- Preparation is key! A phrase I’ve borrowed from the military is “train how you fight, fight how you train.” When you’re training, you have time to think about how you want to fight/compete, so be specific in practice about your audience.
- Have a verse in mind that you want to focus on during competition. Write it on some tape that’s wrapped around your shoe or wrist to remind you. There are many verses, but examples are Colossians 3:23, Isaiah 41:10, 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Hebrews 12:2.
- Place a song on your pre-game playlist that reminds you of your audience and perhaps your verse. I find that songs stay in my head longer and more powerfully than just repeating a verse.
Here is a great song by the Christian artist Big Daddy Weave entitled “Audience of One”. One of my favorite lines from this song is:
And now just to know You more has become my great reward
To see Your kingdom come and Your will be done
I only desire to be Yours, Lord