One of the great coaches who attends the FCA Family Coaches Conference every year with her family is Cindy Hawthorne from Brantley, Alabama. She just won her third straight softball championship. She has won six in the last ten years. She is a strong Christian and gives all the glory to God.
The most dominant college girls’ softball team is the Oklahoma Sooners. Their record this year was 61-1. That’s the best ever! They just won their third consecutive national championship. I followed their progress, partly because of their success, but more because of their Christian witness.
The players were interviewed after winning their third consecutive Natty. They immediately gave all the praise and glory to Jesus Christ.
Their theme has been “eyes up.” Whenever they make a good play or score a run, they put their fingers near their eyes and look up to say they are “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
Grace Lyon was asked what their secret is for maintaining joy and energy through a long season. She replied, “Our joy comes from the Lord and it’s really the only thing that can keep you motivated and in a good mindset no matter the outcome.” Immediately, other players said, “We agree one thousand percent with Grace.”
One of the interviewers said, “It’s very obvious that the Lord is at work on this team.”
Jayda Coleman said that she was not a Christian when she was a freshman, and they won her first national championship. She was happy for a few days, but didn’t feel joy. When she surrendered her life to Christ, she experienced real joy.
She said, “I think that’s what makes our team so strong is that we are not afraid to lose because it’s not the end of the world if we do lose. Yes, we worked our butts off to be here and we want to win, but it’s not the end of the world because our life is in Christ and that’s all that matters.”
Patty Gasso is the head coach. She credits God with changing her mindset a few years ago from a focus on winning softball games to winning souls. God said to her, “You open the door and let them in, and I’ll take over from there.” This was Gasso’s seventh national title!
Alyssa Brito witnessed how Christ changed her life. She said that they wanted to win, but if they did not win, they would really win in life and eternity. She said, “This isn’t our home. We have an eternity of joy with our Father and I’m so excited about that.”
The Brantley High School girls’ team and the Oklahoma Sooners girls’ team both know how to win on the diamond and in life. They concentrate on trying to get home to score a run, but they are more interested in taking people with them to their real home which is in Heaven. Now that’s what I call real winners!
Coaches have such a great opportunity. That’s the reason I enjoy spending time with coaches and speaking at coach’s conferences each year. They have a huge platform.
How are you using your platform?