NLA’s Athletic Philosophy

Developing Champions and Graduating Leaders

New Life Academy’s mission to educate students in a Christ-centered environment extends beyond our classrooms. One of the areas where we do this is in our athletics department. With over 75% of our students in grades 5-12 participating in sports, we see a huge opportunity to impact and develop students.

The athletic philosophy of “Developing Champions and Graduating Leaders” helps to foster an environment for students to cultivate leadership, teamwork, and Christ-like character.

Our goal is to use athletics to develop students who embody the characteristics of a champion. We want these students to graduate from New Life and be leaders during the next phase of their life. Developing champions is a process that can be done without ever winning a championship.

But what is a champion?

King David from Scripture is a great example of what it looks like to be a champion. Long before David became a king or defeated Goliath, he developed skills, character, and leadership ability that would eventually enable him to do great things for the Lord. David was ready to step up to a challenge when the opportunity arose. He was a champion for the Israelites when he faced and defeated Goliath. He did for the Israelites what they couldn’t do for themselves.

When David defeated Goliath, it foreshadowed the ultimate champion – Jesus Christ. Jesus did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He defeated sin and death, ensuring our final victory. Jesus represents the ultimate champion, the one we model our lives after.

Champions strive for excellence in whatever they do and fight for those who may not be able to fight for themselves. Champions display courage and bravery during difficult circumstances and trust fully in God. They do everything, big or small, for the glory of God. Champions are made long before the final result is ever decided.

Our goal for the New Life athletics program is to develop our athletes’ skills and character daily, away from the bright lights of competition. What a champion does daily in practice is what prepares them to be at their best when their best is required. We strive for excellence in competing, which includes wanting to win, but we believe a person can develop into a champion regardless of if they ever get the opportunity to play in a championship.

Winning is our goal, but it is not our purpose.

Winning a championship does not make you a champion. You are a champion because of how you are developed in the process. We hope our athletes graduate with a deep understanding of their identity in the Lord, long-lasting relationships, and cherished memories.

When we host opposing athletes, fans, and officials for sporting events, our goal is to treat everyone with the utmost respect. We hope that our fans are passionate in a way that honors Christ. We train our athletes to play as hard as they can with great sportsmanship. Our coaches do all they can to give our teams the best possible chance of success without losing sight of the big picture.

While successes help reflect the efforts of our teams and coaches, the path it took to get there is what leaves a lasting impression on our students. Through both wins and losses, our athletes learn to play with excellence and honor God through their skills and talents.

– Dan DeWitt, Athletic Director