B3rd Athletics
Spirituality/Belief • Sports • Culture
At B3rd Athletics, we believe God uses our pursuit of excellence through competitive sports to help each individual grow in faith, knowledge, and leadership. Our mission is to inspire more coaches and athletes to lead with Christian values through intentional mission driven programs.
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Be Intentional At Christian Institutions

Jamon Copeland
Head Men's Basketball Coach Ave Maria University

Topic 5: Be Intentional At Christian Institutions

In our current society, it is becoming less and less popular to be a Christian. What I see in the lives of many Christians is we have started to shy away from our faith and sometimes in the effort to be more accommodating to non believers. While we consider this an act of goodness, it is not, because the outcome is not good. We need to be bold and inviting about our faith and demonstrate to others what a life in Christ looks like.

If we are at Christian institutions, as coaches and athletes, we need to do more. This is where the mission of Christ comes alive with the pursuit of excellence in sports. We should not look like the rest of the world but instead we should be the ones molding the athletic culture to look like it was designed to be. How do we do it? Put God first, put our teammates above ourselves, and in everything seek to B3rd!

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What Group Are You In

Joe Cluley
Athletic Director / Head Football Coach Mount Pleasant ISD

Topic 2: What Group Are You In

I don't know how often I will write or teach this concept, but I am positive it's true. The most impactful decision in this life is who you choose to hang out with. Why? You become like the people you surround yourself with. So, if you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do. If you want to be rich, do what rich people do. If you want to be Holy, do what Holy people do.

You get the point, but will you heed the advice? Wherever God has called you, find the group that does extra and become successful with them. Don't mock the hard workers or look down on your teammates for doing things right. That is only pride and jealousy talking, and you honestly have no time for it.

How Do You Show Up Mentally

Joe Cluley
Athletic Director / Head Football Coach Mount Pleasant ISD

Topic 1: How Do You Show Up Mentally

For many of us, we have achieved the status of where we are in life without being recruited like the college athlete or high level executive. Why does this matter? Well, how we got there can determine the mentality in which we show up. It is hard after being wined and dined to show up day one and feel lucky to be there. But how we show up and what our mental state is determines our ability to face discomfort and hardship.

Whether we are a coach, an athlete, or maybe you are further down the road and starting your first career job; taking the approach that we are honored and blessed to be there will put us in a position of success. Getting great opportunities are hard to come by so it's up to us to take full advantage when God opens that door. So, if you are blessed to get recruited, don't get caught up in the hype and be humble / hungry when you get there!

Coaching Winners

Jamon Copeland
Head Men's Basketball Coach Ave Maria University

Topic 4: Coaching Winners

How do you define a winner? We have to be careful how we answer this question because losers can win, and winners can also lose. I agree with Coach Copeland, the real winners are all about the process and do not get caught up with individual games or even the outcome of a season. As a coach, one of my goals each year is to maximize the talent on my team and then teach them to win and lose with grace. Don't get me wrong, we want to win championships and that is what we work for, but taking home the title every year is not something we can fully control.

Our focus is to fight every day to become the best team we can be while growing as individuals that honors God in the entire process. This is something we can control and some days we achieve it, others we do not. Sports is a great platform to prepare us for what life will be like. You will have days you win and others you lose, but a real ...

Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 3

Jesus the Servant

To often in life we get overly concerned with what the crowd says. Now this might be a small crowd or a large one, but everyone struggles with this to some degree. What we do and how we lead can't be to please anyone other than Jesus.

Jesus is the servant and he calls us to servant leadership. (Matthew 20: 25-28) While we can freely do things a different way, to lead like Jesus we must become a servant to those we lead and we need to remember that we only have an audience of one. "In addition to being the only audience that matters, God is also the director of our lives. Our hope is that you will let Him direct you, guide you, and teach you to lead." (Lead Like Jesus, pg. 16)

As we move forward and pursue servant leadership within our athletic programs, how will you remind yourself that you exist to serve and not be served? My suggestion is have an accountability partner that can redirect you when you need it. Over the years, I had a specific coach on my staff that...

Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 3
Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 2

The Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time

In chapter one we learned that everyone is a leader whether it is an assigned position or through influence of the people that we are close to. Something else of interest is the fact that even though some people don't want to be leaders, they still are! So, who is the greatest leader of all time? Who should we strive to be?

Jesus Christ is the greatest leader of all time and it's not even close. He had no authored book, no radio show / TV, and, yes, no social media. His approach was very simple and something that we all should follow. When people did things right he praised them. When they got out of line he redirected them. He met people where they were at and did not seek to lead everyone the same. Because he was an elite follower of the Father's will, he was able to do something that nobody thought possible. He left twelve men to go out and make disciples of all nations after just 3 years of training.

The results speak for themself ...

Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 2
Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 1

Are You A Leader?

As I think about the beginning of this book it makes me recall one of my kids' favorite movies, "Ratatouille." In this movie the chef says, "Anyone can cook" and that is how I feel about leadership. In some capacity, everyone is a leader and that is what the authors of Lead Like Jesus want you to understand as we get started. There are two types of leaders, life role leaders and organizational leaders.

Life role leaders are the people closest to you in life like parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, siblings and close friends. Organizational leaders are teachers, coaches, pastors, bosses, etc. While the organizational leaders might seem to have the bigger impact, it is often the life role leaders that we remember the most.

The key teaching in chapter one is that anyone can and will lead. You don't need a title and for better or worse, you often don't know you are doing it. "Leadership is an influence process. We believe that anytime you seek to influence the ...

Field Notes: Lead Like Jesus Chapter 1
Happy Memorial Day

Let us never forget the great cost that has provided us the opportunity to live in this amazing country!

Victory Gospel

John 3:1-21
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this ...

Victory New Testament

1 John 5
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts ...

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No More "I" & "Me"

My wife and I are currently expecting our 7th amazing child from God, and I often get one of two responses. The first is the more common, how many kids are you going to have? The second is rare and today in meeting, another coach he expressed how cool it was that my wife and I did not stop at two or three like everyone else.

The reality is this, since deciding to take my faith seriously and stop going through the motions, "I" has not been a part of my vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, all of us will still struggle at times with selfishness but we should strive our best to B3rd and always put God and others above our own interest.

Living a life where you depend on him to guide your decisions and not your own personal desires is freeing. The more often I take control, the more problems I create. When we let God have the full control, everything seems to just make sense. This does not mean it will be easy, it just means life has a comfortable purpose with God.

We should be learning this when we participate in team sports. Whether you coach, parent, or play, removing the "I" and "Me" will make for a better team. A player that is looking outward and trying to make teammates better has more fun. The coach who exists for the sake of the kids, that coach has a purpose and joy in what they do. Parents who can be just as excited for the success of someone else's kid, that's a B3rd parent who's organization feeds off their positive energy.

My challenge to you is, remove the "I" and "Me" statements from your life and see what happens. Wake up tomorrow and live for God and others. This will fill you up and provide you a satisfaction that can't be purchased.

Coach Field

Founder of B3rd Athletics

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Religious Freedom In Coaching

When the Unites States of America was formed, the founding fathers were very intentional in making sure each citizen had religious freedom. The question is, what does this mean and how should it impact my coaching?

Freedom of Religion is the right of every person to live out their faith as they choose. It's not simply the freedom to worship, but the freedom to have our faith impact how we raise our kids, run our business, or for us coaches, how we coach.

Over the years in coaching, I feel we have become afraid of social acceptance and muted our Christian beliefs in the manner in which we coach. Part of becoming a B3rd coach is truly living your life where God is number one. If God is number one, He should be fully alive in everything that we do. This does not mean we have to be like a sidewalk preacher when coaching, but the young people we coach should know we are people of faith.

So what are some ways that our Christian faith can be present in our coaching, especially if we work at a public institution where it's often more difficult? One of my favorite authors and speakers (Matthew Kelly), says, "we should be walking billboards to the Christian life. " If you have a player that has no faith, do they want to be like you? Are you modeling what it means to be a follower of Jesus?

I know at times I struggle greatly in this practice. I get frustrated during the day and by the time I get to my players, all the joy I had in the morning is gone. Or other times my competitive nature takes over and my actions don't reflect my belief. This will happen to all of us, and while we want to work hard to grow and get better, these times can also be great teaching lessons for our players. Seeing an adult humbly apologize for poor actions, could be some of the best lessons they ever get.

Being a B3rd coach does not mean you have to be a pushover, toughness is a biblical truth. Being a B3rd coach means that you are required to live out your faith in every aspect of your life, especially in the way you teach and coach. Don't take for granted the religious freedom you have, the founding fathers were intentional about giving it to you.

Coach Field

Founder of B3rd Athletics

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Ball Is Life, Center Your Life Around Jesus

If you grew up hooping, you’ve heard the phrase “ball is life” many times. Depending on what source you read, you’ll find different theories on where this phrase came from. Although its origin is debated, it has been around for a while now. But have you ever stopped and thought about what it means and if it’s true?

The “ball” in “ball is life” obviously refers to basketball. But what does the word “life” mean? While it could mean different things to different people, one possible meaning could refer to the passion that players and fans alike have for the game of basketball. So “ball is life” could simply mean that basketball is a way of life. However, the word “is” hasn’t been considered yet. When an athlete says, “ball IS life”, it would seem that they are claiming that the game of basketball is the centerpiece of their life. Everything else in their life revolves around it (ex: “ball” comes before Church or family vacations). For some, they couldn’t imagine life without the game of basketball (or volleyball, track, swimming, etc). Thus the phrase, “ball is life.” (this applies to all sports). It’s actually a pretty powerful statement of identity. It is also a statement of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. It points to why you live your life and the value behind where you spend your time. There is a reason why millions of young people have been repeating the phrase “ball is life” for over several decades now. For many youths in America, sports are life (not just basketball). CNBC wrote an article in 2017 reporting on sports in America. The article claimed that consumers paid approximately $56 billion attending sporting events that year. The numbers are simply off the charts. So, is it true that “ball is life”? Is this a good message for us as athletes to have in our head? Is there a better way?

In John’s Gospel, he recounts that Jesus once described Himself as a “door” and as “life.” Here’s a look at what Jesus said to the masses who were seeking Him out for wisdom. Perhaps they wondered what the meaning of their lives were?

“So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.’” (John 10:7-10, ESV).

I grew up around sports my entire life. I deeply appreciate and value athletics. I think athletics teach people life-long values they can hold onto. Some of these values could include a strong work-ethic, partnering with other people, overcoming adversity, and much more. However, it is easy to get consumed in the life of athletics to the point where you forgot why you began to play in the first place. Why are you an athlete? Why do you dedicate so much time to your sport? It might be a good idea to sit down with God and ask yourself those kinds of questions. It will sharpen your mind and clarify your purpose. This will bring value to your life and help you to avoid pitfalls within your sport.

For you and I as Christians, we have a much bigger purpose that far transcends the court or the field. Our purpose is to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ and to make Him known to everyone around us. We can accomplish this amazing mission through our words and our actions – both on and off the court/field. The court/field is simply one platform we have to magnify Christ. First and foremost, we play for Him and His glory! So, the next time you hear the phrase, “ball is life” (or whatever your sports go-to phrase is), use it as an opportunity to thank God for sending Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Use it as a reminder to truly believe in your heart that Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Enjoy your sport. Set goals and push yourself in your craft. But Worship Jesus alone and live your life for Him at all times.

Author-Jordan Koskamp (Friend of B3rd Athletics)

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