Mind Over Sports


Posted on: September 25, 2012

Without the right chemistry, teams are destined to fail, no matter how talented its athletes. Everyone’s personal lives must be in harmony. And constant internal bickering will absolutely affect team chemistry

Not long ago I came across an article on the Internet, which was taken from a book called “Onward Christian Athletes” written by Tom Krattenmaker. The article was titled: “Going Long For Jesus” and was essentially about how pro football and basketball teams are hiring “Team Chaplains” who are Evangelicals, bringing to the locker rooms a potentially divisive brand of conservative Christianity, and how these Evangelicals often drive a wedge between players of a team: those who embrace the Christian right and those who are more moderate in their beliefs.

The article made me aware of how much the introduction of religion has permeated professional sports; how it could also be a divisive influence on a team and can actually create problems that affect team chemistry and team bonding. I’m sure it’s helpful for those players who have strong Christian beliefs, such as Tim Tebow, but that extreme behavior can also turn off other players who have a more moderate approach to religion. Seems to me the answer is for team owners and coaches to endorse religious practices, but only outside the stadium. I would think that owners and coaches would want a separation of “church and sport” and not allow any religious practices of any kind within the premises of a stadium where the team is housed, especially since that stadium (not only in pro sports but college as well) is generally financed by public money. This, to me, is very similar to the issue of keeping religion out of our schools. But even a religious coach, if he’s worth his salt, would realize the potential disruptive influence extreme religious behavior in the locker room can have on team chemistry. And on the won/lost column.


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