What is a student-athlete? Why is there a need to further describe a student that chooses to play interscholastic or intercollegiate athletics? We do not tend see students that participate in the science club or on a debate team as student-scientists or student-orators. The answer lies in our culture's promotion of sport participants to a level of recognition not set aside for other extracurricular activity team members. From kids to collegians, we loudly applaud those who can run faster, throw harder, jump higher, and triumph over their opponents in sports.
Benefits of Being a Student-Athlete
Ideally the term student-athlete describes an individual who is enrolled in a course of study and has chosen to participate in sports. Student-athletes should be the leading examples of how to benefit from the “out-of-the-classroom” education opportunities offered by today's educational system. Lessons that are best learned outside lecture halls, laboratories, and computer terminals are part of the core mission of all institutions of higher education.
Today's Christian colleges are becoming more adept at recruiting and retaining the student-athlete. They have found that their mission to assist students in developing a Christian worldview can sometimes be best taught in the ebb and flow of competitive athletics. Member schools of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) report that over 20 percent of their students participate in intercollegiate athletics. The opportunities to succeed and fail, win and lose, and practice to perfection are taught throughout scripture. When one can view Christ and his disciples as a team under the guidance of the greatest coach in history, then the life applications available in athletics are endless. There is the recruiting process where Christ offers no enticements to the fishermen, the doctor, or the tax collector. He simply asked them to come and they did. Then you have the three years of training where...
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