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Something Good from Nazareth’s SportsLeader Program
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE
“In the last eight months I have been reborn in many ways.”

Nick in action
"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."
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 Nazareth Academy.
 
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 (blank)."
 
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
entire team
Nick with his Nazareth Academy football team.
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.
 
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.
 
I am 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.
 
My 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.
 
Without 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.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2010-02-13


 
 

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