Sports Are Not Our God

Sports Are Not Our God

Yes, we are a sports family. Yes, they dictate our schedules and pay our bills. Yes, we genuinely love (almost) all things sports.

But sports are not our god.  

I know I might be risking my credibility by saying this to other people living in the sports industry, but I'm willing to do it. Because after 20 years, while almost everything is still unpredictable, the one thing I know is that nothing good comes from serving the fickle god of athletics.

What I mean by this is that sports are not where we place our ultimate hope. Winning is not where we find our total worth or validation. Our firm foundation does not rest upon the opinions of others and whether or not they find favor in us today.

People will praise you, congratulate you, seek you out, love you, etc., when you're on top and winning. But when they get used to victory, they develop an insatiable appetite for it. They want it more and more. And if you can't deliver even once, their memory fades quickly, and your status of significance does too.

People especially love to cheer for the underdog, but do you know what happens when the underdog works hard enough to become the top dog? They will turn on you and root for the new guy. They will not hesitate to tear you down once you're up there.

People will also ignore you, blame you, and criticize you when you're not winning. Even though they do not put in the same level of energy or time commitment, they start to think that they know more than you and could definitely do it better.

If you let all that be what defines you, then this lifestyle will be a bumpy ride. Yes, winning is great. It serves as instant validation for all of coach's hard work and all of your sacrifice. But it's not a testament to your ultimate worth or your ability to impact.

I promise you, nothing good comes when you serve the god of athletics. It will eventually rob you of your passion, make you question your purpose, and leave you empty.

If my comment offends you, I only ask that you take some time to reflect on why. And please don't let it be because it seems like I'm saying, "My God should be your God." Because I am not.

I am simply saying that if you want to last a long time in this lifestyle, sports should not be your god.


Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife living on the East Coast. They have three young kids and have been living this life since 2004. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay-at-home mom). Jess started writing, hoping that by sharing her stories and lessons learned, she might help others learn “the easy way.”
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