LaGrange Park, IL. The following testimony, written by football player
Nick Koehn, shows how good fruits of personal and spiritual
growth are coming out of the SportsLeader program at
|"Each and every goal that I have set for myself and achieved is a direct representation of what the SportsLeader program has done for me."|
A Life-changing Commitment
By Nick Koehn
Before my sophomore football season at Nazareth, I was an
unguided and unpleasant teenage boy. I was more than often
argumentative with my parents. I was sometimes rude to people
and judged them on the music they listened to, the
way they dressed, or the people they called their friends.
I had little interest in helping people less fortunate
than me. I had been continuously chipping away at the
relationships that I had formed with my sister because of
a few grudges that I held against her from the
holiday season almost an entire year before. When a teammate
of mine told me that a little humility could go
a long way for me during my freshman year I
remember telling him with hate in my voice, "Kiss my
Above all, I hadn´t been to church in
probably 3 to 4 years. I acted as though God
didn´t exist. I was angry at almost everyone all the
time for no reason.
With the introduction of the
SportsLeader program at Nazareth, and the assistance of a coaching
staff devoted to the development of young boys to men
of love and integrity, I have truly changed my life.
Before the season I filled out a goal sheet
and challenged myself to become a better person as a
part of the SportsLeader program. I wrote down that I
wanted to set up a charitable event at my school
with my teammates to raise money for wounded soldiers coming
back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Though the process hit multiple
speed bumps, I eventually got it done with the help
of my coaches and teammates. By the end of the
fundraiser my team had collected nearly 800 dollars to go
directly to the wounded warrior project.
|Nick with his Nazareth Academy football team.|
Aside from fulfilling
my goal of raising money for our country´s veterans, I
met my goal of rebuilding the relationship with my sister
which I had single-handedly destroyed. Not only have my sister
and I rebuilt our relationship, but I am going to
go spend a weekend with her in Washington D.C. in
two weeks, just the two of us.
extremely proud of the person that I have become since
the time before my sophomore football season. Though I have
met or exceeded many of the goals that I crafted
for myself through the SportsLeader program, the accomplishment I am
most proud of is my spiritual growth. Before I attended
Nazareth I had never gone to church unless my grandmother
dragged me. After this football season I found myself not
only talking to God several times every day, but I
go to church almost every Sunday by myself.
next goal after the football season was to make a
heartfelt and humble confession. Just two weeks ago I faced
my fear and gathered the courage to tell God that
I am truly sorry for the sins that I have
been committing regularly for over six years. Now I find
myself in relationship with my Lord that I never thought
I could achieve but I could only dream of.
In the last eight months I have been reborn in
many ways. My parents continuously tell me about how proud
they are of the man I am becoming. I am
friendly and respect everyone that I meet now even if
they don´t respect me. I have set up a foundation
to help the men and women that defend our country.
I have participated in a soup kitchen and I have
signed up for three more dates in the next month.
I have rebuilt a loving relationship with my sister that
will hopefully continue for the rest of our lives. I
don´t have a single enemy on my football team or
in my community.
Each and every goal that I
have set for myself and achieved is a direct representation
of what the SportsLeader program has done for me. It
has taught me to be a man of charity, humility,
determination, courage, integrity, and love. Without the coaching staff that
has helped me find my path to becoming a man
I wouldn´t be where I am at today.
the SportsLeader program I would probably be the same lying,
cheating, argumentative, deceiving, cocky, uncaring, rude, selfish, egotistical, grudge-holding, unpleasant,
unguided football player telling my teammate to, "kiss my (blank)"
that I was before my sophomore football season. I owe
my success entirely to this program, my coaches, my parents,
my teammates, and God.
Learn more about the SportsLeader
program by visiting the web site at www.sportsleader.org.