Faith in the Game is a blog containing submissions by athletes of faith. Each of them was asked one question: Tell us a story about a time when your faith was most present in your life. Rather than tell us about their faith, we asked them to show us.
These stories are oftentimes uplifting, and at all times profound, raw, honest, introspective and heartfelt. These are not the sort of stories you hear in a press conference. Some of them take place on the field; others, off it. They are presented without agenda or judgment. On many levels, we think you'll find them fascinating, as they pull up the veil on a side of sports that is rarely revealed but very often present.
This blog is moderated by author and father Ben Petrick, a former Colorado Rockies catcher thought to be the only professional athlete to have his career shortened by Parkinson's Disease, along with writer and father Scott Brown. In addition to their professional and family lives, both men are also coaches of youth sports. A selection of the stories they've collected will soon appear in a book, and together they're also working on Ben's autobiography.
If you'd like us to email you when new stories appear on the blog, please send us a note at email@example.com.
From the New York Times, on American distance runner Ryan Hall, who decided to go without a coach and put his training in the hands of a higher power:
Hall, who will turn 29 next week, said he came to his decision a year ago when he was the great hope for an American winner in Chicago, as he is this year. He had come in fourth in Boston, with a time of 2:08:41. But on Sept. 29, 2010, less than two weeks before the race on Oct. 10, he announced that he was overtrained, too tired to race, and withdrew.
“I was just way overfried and overcooked,” he said in a telephone interview.
He began to consider whether he really wanted to be coached and run with a group — he had been running with the Mammoth Track Club, where he was coached by Terrence Mahon.
“The thing that was disappointing, even though I was training really hard, I wasn’t seeing any improvement,” Hall said.
And he felt he was not close enough to God, he said. As a Christian, he decided he would, in effect, let God be his coach.
“I really wanted that,” Hall said. “To wake up every morning, to get down on my knees and say: ‘God, I need your help. I don’t know what to do.’ ” He reasoned that even if his running got worse, he would gain something because he would be closer to God.