Wednesday, November 01, 2006

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING

Article from CCF

Is there a relationship between strength and conditioning to the performance of an athlete? Does it play a key role in an athlete or team’s quest for success in competition? Has it been a factor for YOU and your team, so far while you have been playing in this league?

The Olympic games is the most spectacular international sports spectacle which is held every four years. Only the best and brightest qualify, set foot, and compete in this most prestigious sports competition. Athletes who wish to represent the country must be willing to pay the price. They have to subject themselves to the most rigorous training regimen, which will enable them to be in the best shape of their lives and have the advantage against their competitors.

What are some of the factors does an athlete have to take into consideration if he wants to be in the best competitive shape possible? In other words, what must he do and not do to be ready for competition? (Wait for reply or ask certain members of the team. Below are some suggested answers you should look out for:)

1) PROPER PRACTICE- Improper practice makes PERMANENT but PROPER PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
2) WORKING OUT- Toning the muscle and eliminating the fat will make one better, faster and stronger for competition. (A probable exception might be Sumo wrestling).
3) HEALTHY DIET- An athlete needs to be watchful of the composition of his food intake because it will inevitably affect his body, whether for good or bad. That’s why teams and coaches nowadays hire dieticians that advise players of the amount of proteins and carbohydrates and vitamins that will complement the training regimen and strengthen the athlete and enhance his physical condition.
4) GOOD SLEEPING HABITS- No matter how strong or gifted an athlete is, his body needs to have the proper amount of rest so that it can recover, both physically and mentally. Sleep is vital in enabling the body to function at its peak performance. In fact, poor performance and many severe injuries can be avoided if the athlete is responsible to give proper care to his body through the right amount of rest.
5) MENTAL CONDITIONING- An athlete must have the right mindset, the passion, commitment and the drive necessary to accomplish his goals. He must be prepared and willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve the goals that he sets for himself.

The Bible says in the book of Hebrews. “…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out before us…”(Hebrews 12:1)

108 years after the very first Olympic games started in Greece, the international sporting event is back where it all began. But did you know what runners wore in ancient Greece when they competed for the prize? . They wore absolutely NOTHING! Not only were they barefoot, but they ran around naked, literally! That’s because the competitors wanted to be as light and unhindered as possible realizing that it was a grueling path that lay before them and that they had to be free of any encumbrance in order to emerge victorious in the race.

During our generation, swimmers shave all facial and body hairs because they found out that it could slow them down when they compete. And in competitions such as theirs, every 1/100th of a second matters! Some of them even wear body suits that have been authorized, probably designed to have the water slide off their bodies and enabling them to glide through the water with the least amount of resistance as possible. Here, we get a glimpse of what the author of Hebrews means when he says: … throw off everything that hinders…”

But not only are we to “throw off” that which hinders us, but we are to “put on the new self created to be like Christ Jesus.” Paul uses the metaphor of a race when he talks about the Christian life because he knows that in order for us to run the race of life well, we have to be in good spiritual condition. Unless we prepare ourselves well, we will inevitably stumble and fall or simply end up quitting the race.

And so it is in the Race of Life. The Apostle Paul says, “Do you not know that in a race, the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”(1 Corinthians 9: 24)

Today, we will learn 4 very simple yet profound principles that will get you in shape and ready to run the Race of Life and finish it with a flourish! These Four principles are summed up in what we call CROSS TRAINING. We have coined the phrase Cross training because this will help us remember the 4 simple principles: 4 arrows that go in four different directions, which form a CROSS.

As we talk about these 4 principles, the Bible itself puts it all in perspective when it declares, “Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”(1 Timothy 4:8)

NORTHBOUND ARROW ^ —This symbolizes us communicating to God through PRAYER. Prayer is the backbone of a Christian’s life. A prayerless life is a powerless life, and if we fail to pray, we are telling God that we don’t need Him and can make it on our own. In fact, the bible commands us to “pray without ceasing (continually)”, and “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6.). God wants to bless us more than we want to bless ourselves, but sometimes because we forget to pray, we are not able to receive all the blessings God has available for us. If we fail to pray, we are like hi-tech electrical appliance that is not plugged in to the electrical outlet.

SOUTHBOUND ARROW—This symbolizes how God communicates to us—through His Word, the Bible. Every player needs a coach who will tell him what to do to maximize his potential and what the game plan is. What would happen if a player refuses to listen to his coach, or is just plain ignorant of what the coach wants him to do? He will mess up the team and end up humiliating himself and others. He will also end up sitting on the bench until he learns to follow the coach’s instructions. Do you want to be usable for God in building His eternal kingdom or a benchwarmer watching from the sidelines? Paul reminded his young apprentice Timothy that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16,17).

EASTBOUND ARROW-------> Symbolizes us communicating and growing together in the faith with other Christians. This is called FELLOWSHIP. This is actually a crucial component of our strength and conditioning as a Christian. When we see more mature believers living out the Bible right before us, it encourages us to live for God. When we hear stories or testimonies of how God worked in the life of another person, we are motivated to follow in his or her footsteps because we realize that we are serving a living God who is involved in each one of our lives. And when more people are gathered together for fellowship, the impact is even more dynamic! This phenomenon is called Synergy, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The bible says “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). As a practical application, many members of this basketball team actually meet together within the week to fellowship and study the bible together. You are most welcome and encouraged to join us as we seek to grow in the Lord together and help each other run the Race of Life ‘til the end. King David himself exclaimed in one of his songs, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

WESTBOUND ARROW <-------------- Symbolizes how we should be communicating our faith and relationship with God to those people who may not yet have a personal relationship with the Lord. This is called WITNESSING. A witness is one who talks about what he has personally seen, heard and experienced. This is often the most neglected part of Cross-training but it is just as vital as the other components. God has not yet taken us into heaven after we came to know Him in a personal way because He wants us to stay here for a mission—and that is to talk to others about the forgiveness and salvation that God offers through His Son Jesus Christ. And when we do this, God honors it by causing the growth in our lives. Listen to what one of the New Testament writers says, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you may have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (Philemon 6). As an athlete, we may not be getting all the vitamins and nourishment vital to our strength and conditioning if we fail to share our faith to other people through witnessing. Just like taking the game winning free throws can be frightening, doing this can really be scary, but imagine the rejoicing that will take place after you are able to do your part because you have practiced well. After all, all God asks is for your availability!

The Christian race is not a difficult one—it is impossible! Only Jesus Christ can live it, but we can persevere in His power and strength by making sure we are in the best spiritual condition possible. As we end, let’s read what the Apostle Paul said: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

You are invited to Bible Studies and Worship Services at CCF:

CCF ST. FRANCIS SQUARE
4/F Saint Francis Square Tiangge Building
Julia Vargas Ave. cor Bank Drv.
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Tel: (63 2) 635-3410 to 17; (+632) 6333483; (+632) 6333484
Fax: (63 2) 635-3418
CCF St. Francis Website

CCF ALABANG
3F, CCF Bldg. Prime St.
Madrigal Business Park
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Tel: (63 2) 772-3035 to 39
Fax: (63 2) 772-3031
CCF Alabang Website

Other CCF Locations

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