August 31, 2016

What does it really mean to "build up?" If our school theme is "Building Up" I thought it would be great to take a practical look at one way we can apply this at Valley right now.

If you haven't been to a football game this year you may not have realized it, but this is a rebuilding year for the football program. Every sport goes through these types of years from time to time. As someone who coached football for 14 years. I understand how emotional the game is for players, coaches and fans. Football has taken on new heights in our society and everyone seems to want to be a part of it or offer their expert opinion. When we pair that with the "win now" attitude that has permeated sport, it is easy to lose focus on the bigger picture of what high school athletics are all about. This combination can create an uneasiness for parents and die hard Flame fans as we watch our team compete and try to improve this season.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

I have been to many football games and as I watch and listen some of my "favorite" phrases to hear are "Block someone" or "You have to make a tackle" and the always helpful, "C'mon, make a good pass." We yell these things from the stands as if the players didn't know they were supposed to block, tackle or make a good pass. What we are really yelling at the team is, "Why are you so incompetent at playing or coaching this game!"

This year as our team battles through growing pains and gains experience, why don't we take our theme to heart and truly encourage the players and coaches. Replace the above phrases with, "Keep working" or "Win the next play" or "Stick together as a team."

It is easy to encourage when things are going well. The volleyball team will be easy to encourage and cheer for this year as they rack up win after win, and we want to do that. But Jesus also came for the downtrodden and the broken-hearted, to lift them up and give us hope. Let's be Christ like in our cheering at athletic games this year and encourage and build up when it's not the easy thing to do. Stick with our players and coaches who go out and work to improve everyday, even when we may not see the results on the scoreboard. Encourage one another and build one another up - this is our challenge, I hope we all choose to accept it.

Mr. Robert Koehne
Executive Principal