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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Faith, Sports, and Pressure

Recently I commented on the faith and demonstrations of faith by Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow ("A Hijab Fencer, The Flying Scot, and Tim Tebow"). In an interesting piece by David Briggs of the Association of Religion and Data Archive's (the ARDA), he argues that research suggest that prayer helps players (and anxious father's) calm their nerves and, in turn, enhance their performance ("Prayer, Tebowing and the Super Bowl: The evolving relationship of sports and religion"). Here's the abstract of his column:
The success of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his personal expressions of faith - including the addition of a prayer posture now known as Tebowing - has reignited conversation about the relationship between sports and religion. Some secular commentators argue against any breach in what they would like to see as a wall separating faith from the playing field. Many religious folk fear too great an accommodation with big-time athletics can promote worship of false idols. As Super Bowl XLVI approaches, however, research provides evidence that for both athlete and fan, prayer may serve to help them cope with the pressures of sports, and help them keep in perspective that, in the end, it is just a game.
It's worth reading and considering.

2 comments:

  1. If the player praying thinks it's just a game, then why does he need to pray about it? Does the advise of Jesus about going into the closet to pray have any relevance here?

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  2. Even games can be high pressure (just ask most Little Leaguers); thus, praying can help athletes calm their nerves by reminding them that in the grand scheme of things, there are other things that are more important.

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