July 5, 2022

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Rockford grad writes ebook to assist athletes combine sport and religion

Brian Smith tried out three varsity sports activities his freshman yr at Rockford Excessive Faculty and was minimize out of all of them.

Not that these disappointments deterred Smith, who teamed up with Dathan Ritzenhein on the Rams’ cross nation and monitor groups, serving to Rockford win a Division 1 cross nation title in 2000. Smith finally earned a scholarship to run at Wake Forest.

Smith additionally discovered a option to get pleasure from basketball by making a highschool basketball league that continues to thrive at present.

“The whole lot I’ve tried for me has minimize out,” Smith stated. “I actually struggled with who am I if I’m not an athlete. I ended up partnering with Blythefield Baptist Church, which is now Enlarge Church in Rockford, to create the Blythefield Basketball Affiliation for youths who weren’t on their highschool group however nonetheless wished to play. It began with 50 youngsters and now has 250. A bunch of different colleges now take part within the league.

“If you happen to put me again in my freshman yr, I might have moderately made these groups than bought minimize and began that basketball league. However having a much bigger perspective now and seeing what God is doing via the losses in life, I might be minimize off once more. I feel the payoff was better on the finish of this league than me sitting on the bench of a basketball group for a half of play.”

Smith now hopes to provide readers of his ebook, The Christian Athlete: Glorifying Athletes in Sports activities, a broader perspective on easy methods to combine religion and sport. The 240-page ebook grew to become out there Tuesday, April 5, 2022, and may be bought from Amazon.com and www.thechristianathlete.com.

Smith has been a part of Athletes in Motion for the previous 15 years, and that included disciplining and mentoring monitor athletes on the College of Wisconsin. He has labored with many faculty {and professional} athletes, together with Gwen Jorgensen, who was the primary feminine triathlete from the USA to win an Olympic gold medal. He additionally labored with former Nationwide Soccer League security Chris Maragos, who received the Tremendous Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.

“(The ebook) is absolutely a solution to the query posed by the athletes I’ve educated and mentored,” Smith stated. “The ebook is devoted to what it actually means to glorify God in each class of your life as an athlete as an alternative of simply competing. What’s it prefer to honor God via your relationships along with your teammates? What’s it prefer to honor God via your relationship along with your coach? What about apply? How do you strategy apply in a means that honors God?

“I attempted to think about as many classes of sport as potential after which ask the query, what does God need for me on this space of ​​sport?”

Smith resides in Lowell together with his spouse, Linsey, and their three kids Hudson, Hadassah and Judah. Smith was a member of Rockford’s 2000 Division 1 State Championship cross nation group, ending fifth total.

He graduated from Wake Forest in 2005.

“The viewers is anybody from center faculty to school and all the best way as much as the skilled ranks,” he stated. “I attempt to write it with the faculty athlete in thoughts, however I wrote it with a tone {that a} center schooler or excessive schooler can pull off. My hope is that it offers sensible solutions to athletes who, on the intersection of religion and sport, surprise what it’s prefer to honor God with their life as an athlete.