Volume 20, Issue 15 | December 8, 2020
The Need for Coach and Parent Education in Sports
At Play Like a Champion, we believe in providing children with the best possible youth sports experience, one that makes their physical, mental, moral and spiritual development a priority. To create the right environment for sports, it's critical that coaches and parents receive training that provides them with the information and tools they need to support this whole development. Unfortunately, recent research shows that less than 1/3 of coaches are properly trained* and most parents never receive training in how to be a more effective sports parent. Since 2006, Play Like a Champion has trained more than 130,000 coaches and parents through a community of more than 230 partners. Through our A Team for Every Child initiative (see video above) we collaborate with economically disadvantaged communities to establish athletic associations and provide training & resources that enable all children to have the opportunity to play sports. These efforts have assured that more than 1 million children have the support they need to have a fun, developmentally appropriate sports experience at the youth and high school levels. If you are getting this email, you and your children have benefited from this education.

Now we need your help. With youth sports canceled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Play Like a Champion's income from programming is down 80%. What's more, our partners in inner-city neighborhoods have been especially hard-hit. Young people are missing out on opportunities to play sports and those who are playing do so with coaches who need tools and training to provide the experience they deserve. We need your support so that we can continue to support our partners in communities across the country.

Tomorrow, on Wednesday, December 9th, Play Like a Champion is hosting a special virtual event beginning at 7:00pm EST. A Team for Every Child Showcase will feature partner coaches and their student athletes as well as special guests such as NFL Hall of Famer & Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, Homeboy Industries founder Fr. Greg BoyleNatalie Achonwa of the WNBA's Indiana Fever, & former Notre Dame & NFL running back Randy Kinder. Proceeds from the event will go to support Play Like a Champion's mission to provide A Team for Every Child as well as directly support partner programs in these areas. You can register to attend this free virtual event by clicking here.

If you are unable to attend, we ask you to consider a tax-deductible contribution to our mission using the link below. Now more than ever, we are dependent on the generosity of those who share our vision. Please donate to support Play Like a Champion and help secure the future of these programs that have helped so many.
*Report from Project Play & the Susan Crown Exchange
The Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church 490
Join Us for a Webinar on Fighting Racism in Youth & High School Sports
As America has become more aware of issues of injustice and systemic racism over the past months, Play Like a Champion believes that youth and high school sports can play a pivotal role in bringing about both healing and change. We invite our community coaches and administrators to listen, to become educated and to take concrete steps to combat racism and create a safe environment within sports programs that allows all children to thrive. How can do we do this? Beginning on December 16th at 6:00-7:30 pm EST, Play Like a Champion will host Uncomfortable Conversations on Race Leading to Understanding, Empathy, Allyship and Kinship, a three part webinar series exploring the topic of race with a visionary panel dedicated to this critical cause. The second webinar will take place on January 13th and the series will culminiate during Black History Month on February 10th with a call for partners to enact change in local communities. The conversation will continue at Play Like a Champion's Sports Leadership Conference in June, as participants report local outcomes.

The webinars are free to attend. Click the link below to register now and join us for these important conversations.
Team Reflections for the Rosary
Today marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation* in the Catholic Church. The feast celebrates Mary being conceived without sin, so that she might be "enriched by God with gifts appropriate" to bear Christ in her womb (CCC 490). As we honor Mary on this day and seek to imitate her example, we recall that she can be a powerful intercessor for coaches, athletes and teams. Play Like a Champion offers sports-themed reflections on the Mysteries of the Rosary as a powerful team prayer. Use the example below and click here to access more of these reflections online!

*Dispensations due to COVID-19 have removed this obligation in many places for 2020.

The JOYFUL MYSTERIES of the Holy Rosary
Prayed on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent; Sundays of Epiphany through Lent
The Annunciation of Gabriel to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Reflection: Remember a time you received news that filled you with anxiety. Perhaps your coach called you into a game at a critical time or when you learned you would be facing your toughest opponent in the play-off’s. Believe that God is standing with you in the uncertainty and fear. Have the courage like Mary to say “Yes” to these difficult invitations, despite your fear.
Play Like a Champion's "Daily Prayers for Champions" page has been updated! Visit www.playlikeachampion.org/prayer for more than 200 prayers plus resources that can help you and your team grow closer to God while participating in sports.
Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series
PO Box 72, Notre Dame, IN 46556 | information@playlikeachampion.org