“Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such asis good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may givegrace to those who hear.”
Dear LCA Parent,
What a joyous time in your lives. Watching your children grow, mature and compete in sports provides a lifetime of memories for all involved. Whether or not those memories are pleasant, however, will depend on how we handle situations that arise right now.
Christ calls us to show the world something different in everything we do for His purpose. Winning and losing is important, but not paramount. What is paramount is serving God and giving Him the Glory regardless of the outcome. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Simply put, we either believe that or we don’t. At LCA we require more from our student-athletes and our coaches. Self-restraint, discipline, sportsmanship and Christ-like behavior on and off the field of play are to be exhibited at our school. The same is true of our parents. Yelling at referees, chastising coaches and building animosity among other parents in the stands, is not consistent with Christ’s teachings and therefore will not be tolerated at LCA.
As a parent of a student-athlete you assume responsibility for your actions. You are representing the school, your family, the team and most importantly God. Our responsibility is to glorify Him through our words and actions so that others may see Him through us.
We are all fallen human beings, saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. We will make mistakes, but we should strive to repent of those mistakes and alter our behavior. This is what is required of LCA sports families.
A parent’s/fan’s inability to consistently conduct themselves in an appropriate manner while at a LCA athletic event could jeopardize their future attendance at LCA events. A game official or school administrator has the authority to remove anyone from the confines of the athletic contest for unsportsmanlike behavior.
This is a high standard, but it is who we are called to be and what we should be joyful about doing.
Please help us make LCA “different” so that others may find Christ through their interactions with us.
Terry Johnson Director of Athletics
Biblical Basis for Competition
We believe that it is in keeping with God’s word to compete with the desire to excel. This includes a desire to win contests. “Whatever you do, do it with all of your might, as if done for the Lord…it is Jesus Christ you are serving in everything.” (Colossians 3:23-24) Competing with this desire, however, is only a part of a greater purpose, defined in Romans 8:29, “For from the beginning God decided that those who come to Him should become like His son.” Our greater purpose is moving our student-athletes toward Christ-likeness, and thus shining the light of Jesus to all who witness this process.
This is the true test of our faith walk in athletics – balancing this.
On the court and off, LCA student-athletes, coaches and administrators are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this process. Though individuals will fall short of this goal at times, we should all hold each other to account. We expect nothing less from our parents.
Competition is in keeping with God’s word. How we handle competition, however, is where we can struggle to walk Christ’s path.
Elements of Competition:
Tryouts are sometimes required for team sports at LCA. Roster sizes are balanced between two athletic policy principles: (1) Cutting is discouraged and (2) Student-athletes are to receive meaningful playing time. The balance between interest level and ability to create a meaningful experience for each student-athlete is considered when considering roster sizes.
In some sports at LCA, specifically at the younger levels, these two principles can be at odds. Ultimately, the roster size is at the sole discretion of the coaching staff in consultation with the Athletic Director. The roster sizes may fluctuate between grade levels.
Playing time is the sole decision of the coaching staff and is earned by effort in practice. It is determined by a complex mix of an athlete’s personal strengths and limitations, attitude, work ethic, team’s needs, matchups, and long and short-term goals. Coaches are encouraged at the younger levels to increase participation among all student-athletes on the roster. Parents SHOULD NOT expect a coach to discuss playing time with them.
As a parent…
• Consider the “big picture” before becoming critical. Remember that you are not at practice, and often game-to-game decisions are based on what happens in daily practice.
• Avoid sowing seeds of dissention. Resist the urge to talk to other parents or fans about your dissatisfaction. Everyone loves to have company in their misery, but no good ever comes from it.
• Encourage your athlete to talk to the coach when playing time questions exist. Avoid robbing your child of a wonderful opportunity to mature and develop communication skills of his/her own. This will be a skill they will use in every area of life.
• Support the coach even though you may not agree with every one of his/her decisions.
• View the game with team goals in mind.
• Attempt to relieve pressure not increase it.
• Release your athlete to be coached and be part of a team.
• Be an encourager- encourage athletes to keep their perspective in both victory and defeat.
• Do not try to live through your child.
• Be positive and supportive without adding undue pressure and unrealistic expectations.
• Belief in and support of the coach’s judgment, character, actions, strategy, and overall philosophy will help your child do the same. In contrast, criticism and constantly questioning a coach’s actions and overall program will likewise lead the student-athlete in that way. The attitudes and ideas communicated in the home will often be carried out in the heart and mind of the athlete.
As a fan…
• Demonstrate winning and losing with integrity.
• Never ridicule or shout criticism toward officials and referees.
• Be mindful of our witness to our children. Our behavior gives our children an implied permission to behave the same way. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
• Be mindful of our witness to unbelievers. Our words should witness to the world that we are His, as a star lights the darkness. (Colossians 4:5-6) (Philippians 2:14-16)
• Think about how we should treat one another in the light of this warning: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.” (Luke 17:1-2)
• Our attitudes and the way we choose to treat people are contagious. Let us take seriously the words of Jesus, and let us take seriously our duty to “watch ourselves”; our attitudes, words, and actions at sporting events either demonstrate the spirit of Christ or they do not.
Conducting ourselves in this manner should be done for one reason above all; we are not our own. Our old self has been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), and we now have our minds set on higher things (Colossians 3:2). “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be new and different people with a fresh newness to your thinking. Then, you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy.” (Romans 12:2)
1. Follow the Chain of Command
Many of us want to go straight to the top with a complaint; however, every successful organization follows an established chain of command. This chain of command is a professional and effective way to have input into the program.
A. Level 1 – Student-athlete meet with the coach
The first responsibility is for the athlete to talk to the coach. It is part of growing up and a coach appreciates communication from the athletes regarding team or individual situations. A coach will not “hold it against” a student-athlete for wanting to talk.
B. Level 2- Parents meet with the coach
Other than playing time, the coach should make a reasonable effort to be available to discuss matters of concern with parents of student-athletes.
C. Level 3 – Meeting with the coach and athletic director
This meeting will allow for the parent to now be heard by the athletic director if no resolution occurred at the first two levels.
EXCEPTION: If a student-athlete and/or family feels a coach has crossed a line of ethical behavior, moral behavior or even criminality, the family should contact the athletic director immediately.
2. 24 Hour Rule
At Lexington Christian Academy we ask all parents to wait at least 24 hours after a contest before attempting to speak to any coach about matters concerning a student athlete. This includes texts and emails.
Discussing problems with a coach before or after a contest is not appropriate. A coach must never be confronted before or after a practice or game.
3. Verbal Abuse of Officials
At LCA we wear the label “Christian” with excitement and joy because of our Savior’s love for us. We are called to share that joy with others for His purposes. Yelling at officials, players and coaches from the stands during games is not consistent with that philosophy and will not be tolerated.
4. Prohibited Areas
• Spectators should NEVER approach an official before, during, or after a sporting event.
• Do not approach the bench area during a game (including halftime). During a game, the team bench is for coaches, players, and officials only.
Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the others and provide greater benefit to the student. As parents, when your son or daughter becomes involved in our programs, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your student-athlete. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your student-athlete's program. To ensure clear understanding, below is an outline of appropriate and inappropriate communications.
COMMUNICATION YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOUR SON/DAUGHTER'S COACH:
1. Expectations the coach has for your daughter/son and the team.
2. Locations and times of all practices and contests.
3. Team requirements, i.e. fees, special equipment, off-season conditioning, team/individual camps.
4. Team rules, guidelines, and requirements for earning awards.
COMMUNICATION COACHES EXPECT FROM STUDENT-ATHLETES:
1. Notification of any schedule conflicts in advance.
2. Special concerns in regards to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.
3. Injury or circumstances that may endanger the athlete when participating.
APPROPRIATE CONCERNS TO DISCUSS WITH COACHES:
1. The treatment of your student-athlete, mentally and physically.
2. Ways to help your student-athlete improve.
3. Concerns about your student-athlete's behavior.
It is very difficult to accept your son/daughter's not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be the best for all students involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can and should be discussed with your student-athlete's coach. Other things, such as the following, must be left to the discretion of the coach.
ISSUES NOT APPROPRIATE TO DISCUSS WITH COACHES OR OTHER ATHLETIC PERSONNEL:
1. Playing time
2. Team strategy
3. Play calling
4. Other student-athletes
Parent/Athletic Director Communications:
It is the Athletic Director’s role to monitor and manage the 20+ programs at LCA. As such, they are to communicate frequently with the coaching staffs, athletic staff and student-athletes to ensure they stay on top of what is going on in every program. Below is an outline of appropriate and inappropriate discussions with the A.D. outside of the coaches’ knowledge:
• Official misconduct to include, but not limited to:
o Charges of sexual harassment
Charges of racial or sexual discrimination
• Athletic Charges of abuse, either verbal or physical, by coaches and/or other student-athletes
c Policy questions
• Playing time (this will not be discussed)
• Play calling, team strategy
• Other student-athletes, unless situations such as the ones listed above