Sometimes, when we think about little league sports, the first thing that comes to mind are pushy coaches and over-competitive parents. However, there are many positive character qualities that children can develop while playing team sports. Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau help to instill these virtues in their two books, The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football. Their books are based on the fruits of the Spirit as seen in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
The Spirit in Football focuses on the same virtues and format, but applies the fruits of the Spirit to football. Some examples include:
• The fans cheered with excitement and JOY as our team scored the first touchdown of the game.
• If we are upset about a penalty, instead of acting out in anger, God calls us to react with GENTLENESS and respect.
• We must show SELF-CONTROL by not losing our temper when we are tackled aggressively by the other team.
The Spirit in Football includes a forward by Matt Hasselbeck, NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, encouraging children that “drive and competitiveness should never come before obeying the rules and being a good sport.”
Both books are great gifts for little league teams or any child who participates in sports. The books include a page for autographs, so parents can buy a copy for every team member and the children can sign each other’s books as a keepsake for years to come. The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football provide a practical way for any parent or coach to apply the fruits of the Spirit in the everyday lives of their children.