Welcome to the “Peak Performance” section of Cross Training. It is my prayer that you will find encouragement, motivation, and real-life connections here that you can carry with you throughout your season. The coaches at Victory want you to perform at your peak - physically, emotionally, and spiritually – each of these areas is vitally important as an athlete and a Christian.
Check back with “Peak Performance” every couple of weeks to read devotions that will help you stay sharp in all of these areas.
PEAK PERFORMANCE 11
Glorifying God on the Court
by VICTORY Coach Hannah McGinnis
Have you ever wondered what bringing God glory looks like in your life? In school? In volleyball? I never really knew how that was supposed to look like. I knew I should glorify God in every area of my life, and that made sense when I was on a mission trip or serving someone in need, but I didn't really understand how to glorify God while playing my favorite sport. Was I supposed to point up at the ceiling after a kill? Was I supposed to pray before the match and dedicate each game to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Was I supposed to make sure I smiled when I slapped hands with the other team so that they could somehow see in my eyes and smile that they needed Jesus? All of those things are great, but it still seemed pretty hard for me to justify that playing volleyball was serving God.
One of my college teammates reminded me of Colossians 3:23 one day. It says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Whatever we are doing, we are commanded to give it our very best. Whether we are on mission trips to third world countries or doing the dishes at home, or whether we are running lines in practice, cheering from the bench, or leading our team in kills, whatever task God has set before us, we need to give it our very best.
We can bring God glory through volleyball—or any area in our lives—when we remember Who has given us our opportunities and abilities. We are called to give our very best and nothing less simply because God calls us and allows us to in every situation. That doesn't mean we have to be the very best volleyball players of all time or else we fail to bring Him glory. He wants us to work at each task with our whole hearts and to the best of our individual abilities, and that brings Him glory. Honestly, I don't think God is concerned with whether we win or lose. A team can lose every match and still honor God while other teams can be successful but only bring glory to themselves. I think God is concerned with how we win or lose. When our best efforts still fall short of a victory, God is still honored because we worked at whatever we could with all our hearts.PEAK PERFORMANCE 10"I PLAY FOR VICTORY"
THE FOLLOWING IS A COLLECTION OF ARTICLES WRITTEN BY OUR VICTORY PLAYERS.
EACH DESCRIBES WHAT PLAYING FOR VICTORY MEANS TO THEM.
Twelve Girls with Twelve different personalities from eight different schools were brought together to work as 1. One team, One mind, One desire. A desire to play for God. In my past years of playing club volleyball I was selfish to think my talent, ability, and skill to play was because of how I always pushed to be the best. Two years ago I Came to Victory not believe that the club season would be different from any other. Victory made me realize that I could grow better, faster, and stronger by playing for God and glorifying him for giving me the talent to play.
I wish I could say I was at church helping out all the time. I wish I could say I had been on multiple mission trips. I wish I could say everyone at church knew who I was based on my faithful commitment. But I can wish all I want and it wouldn’t be true.
Select volleyball player’s situation is a unique one that few people have the opportunity to experience. For the past five years I have been playing for Victory. There are several club teams located throughout the North Texas Region however Victory stands apart from all the rest; it is Christian-based. This means that the coaches all instruct with a Christian demeanor, each teams play with a cross on their backs, and devotionals are conducted before practice to talk about God and how He is part of our daily lives. Having played with a different club in the past, I can say from personal experience that there’s something vastly different and rewarding playing with a group of girls that don’t cuss every time we lose or take the Lord’s name in vain when they make a mistake. Aside from this personal benefit, we get to travel around the nation playing a sport that we love and spreading the news of God simply by promoting the cross on our jerseys. Parents from opposing teams have confronted us a myriad of times asking questions about our jerseys and the purpose of our club team. This opened a gateway to share our knowledge of God and his powerful mercy. However, these parents and players would often times mistake Christian to mean passive and noncompetitive, which I can assure you is not in the least bit true. My teammates and I would also attest to the other players by inviting them to pray with us after the game, whether we win or lose. More often than not they would kindly agree and occasionally a team would decline, but the important thing was a lot of people were reminded of who put us here and who had given us the opportunity to compete that day. This is such a significant reminder for everyone, especially adolescent girls. Most tournaments we participated in took both Saturday and Sunday to complete. At first this concerned me because I would miss out on my church attendance but gradually I began to realize that although the volleyball aspect is important, so is the religious facet even more so. Victory volleyball has exposed me to a variety of people over the years and has forced me to go outside of my comfort zone into the realm of those who are unaware that there is someone mightier than all the world. And although it pulls me away from the church, it draws me even closer to God.
I have been playing at Victory for three years now. It didn’t take me three years to realize Victory is different from other clubs. I played at one club before this and I remember it being all about winning and playing. The coaches and players at Victory are just so different than anything else. We play for a higher and nobler cause than anyone else. At Victory there is not only good volleyball, but there is a good message. Before Victory I had never heard of mixing God with sports, but it makes sense. These are two things that run our lives. Before when I played volleyball, I didn’t play for God. I thought about him after I played, after the game. With Victory I am constantly thinking about God and playing for him. I think it’s amazing how important God is to this club and the people in it. My favorite part in all this is the praying. I play for 17 Elite here at Victory now. My team prays after every practice, before games, and after games. This really helps us to give all the glory to God. The coaches and people at Victory are always working to help us all meet not only our volleyball goals, but also our spiritual goals. I honestly think that playing for God allows us to play harder, and I think it also allows us to play better. This club is different in an awesome and amazing way, and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.
Isaiah 40:31:Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint
“Live to Win” is not just a motto at Victory volleyball club- it is a way of life. It’s not just a way to play volleyball- it is the way to achieving success by applying Christian principles to everything you do. The things I’ve learned at Victory will last long after my volleyball career is over. Teamwork, setting goals, overcoming adversity, and constantly pushing towards excellence are just a few of the life lessons reinforced by our coaches. On the court we play hard and do our best to come out on top. When the games are over, win or lose, we will always have great friendships and memories to take with us.
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Winning a volleyball game isn’t everything; wining at life is the only thing that matters and the best way to do that is through Christ. Playing for a Christian club provides a different aspect on volleyball and life in the fact that no matter how hard things get- Jesus will always be by your side. At Victory, not only can you have fun playing a great sport, but you can also further your relationship with Christ.
My experience with Victory has been wonderful. It should also encourage any player that has doubts about her ability to keep pursuing her dream. I made the Victory 12 Elite team after a really rough tryout. The tryouts were tough for me and I was hoping to make the Victory 12 Elite Team. When we got the results, most of my friends made the team, I was an alternate. I actually ended up being put on the team because a spot opened up. I remember the coaches saying, “All of you deserve to be on this team, and you are here for a reason.” I remember thinking that I wasn’t chosen to be on the team, I just got lucky.
Coach Kyla and Coach Steve made the season so enjoyable for me, they made me feel like an important part of the team and that I had something to contribute. They gave me the same opportunities as the rest of the team to earn a starting position. I earned my playing time.
This year has been a great year with Victory. Our 12’s team has many wonderful girls, who put in extra work to help our team be successful. We are all great friends, which makes it fun and easier to play together.
Victory gave me the chance to prove I could be a better player. I think Victory offers great opportunities for players that began the season like I did. There is hope for every single player on the court to be their best. Victory brings out the best in their players.
I feel very blessed to be part of this club; part of this family. I’ve been part of this club for two years, two great years. I hope to play with Victory for as long as possible.
"For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!" -Deuteronomy 20:4 (NLT)
My name is Morgan Seidl and I play with Victory 12 Elite. I am a 3rd year club player, but this is my first year with Victory. My first experience with Victory happened my first year of club. At one tournament, my team played against a Victory 12s team, and we lost. After the game, the Victory players came over to my team in the snack area and told us we had played well. Even though we had lost to them, it made us feel good that they would say that to us.
I love my team. I love my coaches. I love the whole Victory family. Playing for Victory is awesome! I love playing for God, cheering for God and at the same time we are having fun with good experiences. When we walk on the court, we are committing ourselves to our team and to Christ. Pain is temporary, Pride is forever!
I have been with Victory for 2 years and I LUV it! I have learned life lessons through the devotionals, and how to be a good teammate and leader. I have had the opportunity to be a leader/captain on both teams. It is a big responsibility but the coaches and teammates are there to support you. Victory really prepares you conditionally, skills wise and mentally. Every coach works with you and takes you into consideration. They work on your skills and where you are weak at to make you stronger. They really make sure you are mentally focused on the game and understand who you are playing for. Victory shows everyone we use “HIM” (Heart, Intensity, Mind) to play the sport we love. This club wants you well conditioned so you are not tired for 3 day tournaments so that you can push through the tough times. Victory is like a family where all the players and coaches get along. They support and cheer on everyone. Each coach (even if they don’t coach your team), will be there to help you at anytime. Victory is a good, safe and comforting club that is open to anyone. Go Victory 12 Elite!
"My Commitment as a Christian Athlete"
by Allie Rankin, 17 Elite
It’s my honor and privilege to step aside for this next Peak Performance and have you all see the heart and the talent of one of our own players, Allie Rankin. Allie plays on our 17 Elite team, and as you’ll see in her devotional which follows, she shows the true core of Victory Volleyball Club. We’re so proud of Allie’s contributions on and off the court, and so thankful that she has allowed us to understand her passion for being a Christian athlete. Thanks, Allie!
My Commitment as a Christian Athlete
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10: 23-24
"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need
to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive
what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming
will come and will not delay." Hebrews 10: 35-37
Hebrews 10: 19-38 Calls us to persevere in Christ Jesus and so we are called
to persevere as athletes in His name. We are called to have confidence and spur our teammates on.
Therefore as a Christian Athlete. I am part of the fellowship of the team.
I have Holy Spirit Power. The game has begun. I have stepped onto the court.
The decision has been made. I play for Him. I won't look back, let up, slow down,
stop pedaling, or be still!
I am finished and done with slow movement, heartless dreams, smooth knees, tamed passion,
silence, weakness, selfish ambition, and small aspirations.
I no longer need glory, fame, or popularity. I play for the One
and His team. I don't need to be recognized for my achievements, but
I achieve none the less. I play for Him and for the team. I lean on my girls,
my sisters, and prepare with prayer.
I am ready! I believe as I reach for the prize, knowing the goal extends
past today. Though the road is long and sometimes rough, we know our mission is clear.
Our heart and our dreams cannot be compromised, lured away, turned away,
or delayed. It's GAME DAY! I will execute and not expect less than the best from them.
I will not hesitate or ponder at the pool of self righteousness or of past mistakes.
I WON'T STOP! I won't give up, shut up, let up until I have passed up, set up, stayed up, prayed
up, and played up for the cause of Christ and OUR TEAM!
I am a Christian Athlete.
I play until the end, give until I drop, pass to the spot, set and never stop, and
I hit to see their jaws drop! And when they see us play, they will know us by our DESIRE, our HEART,
Our LOVE, and our WILL to WIN FOR HIM!