May 25, 2024

At CBU, coaches and athletic trainers create a unique environment above conventional sports training. Their approach extends beyond physical skill, incorporating principles from the Bible to nurture the mental and spiritual growth of athletes. This approach to athlete development has garnered widespread acclaim, highlighting CBU’s commitment to shaping well-rounded individuals.

Amber French, a member of the CBU swim and dive team, shed light on integrating faith into athletic training. 

“We incorporate faith through all of our practices,” she explained. “From Monday meetings with guest speakers or coaches leading devotions to pray before every practice and meet, faith is woven into our journey as athletes.”

French further emphasized the indispensable role of her coach, Jim Bossert, in her personal and athletic growth. 

“I love that I can come to Coach Jim with everything,” she shared. “Whether it’s personal, family, or swimming-related issues, he provides technical guidance and godly advice that helps me navigate challenges confidently.” 

She also highlighted Bossert’s feedback during practice sessions.

“He also gives me feedback about my swims and at practice that encourages me to change what to do well and what I can do better. It makes me more confident going into a meet with a coach who watches my technique at practice and helps me for my races,” French said. 

French’s reflections illustrate the universal approach embraced by the team, where spiritual grounding, expert mentorship and technical guidance empower the resilience and confidence among its members.

Anaiyah Tu’ua, a standout basketball player at CBU, echoed French’s sentiments about integrating faith into athletic aims. 

“Our team values spell out Christ—Commitment, Humility, Resilience, Integrity, Selflessness and Trust,” Tu’ua explained. “These values shape us not only as athletes but as individuals striving to match Christ-like behavior on and off the court.”

Jarrod Olsen, head women’s basketball coach, emphasized the impact of faith-based principles on athlete development. 

“Coaching goes beyond the court; it’s about shaping individuals,” Olsen stated. “At CBU, we strive to instill values that endure beyond sports, focusing a lot on personal growth and character development.”

Olsen highlighted the importance of weekly devotionals and the role of assistant coaches in nurturing student-athletes, especially within his team. 

“We’re intentional about our devotionals and values,” Olsen said. “But the relationships built by our coaching staff, including great female role models, truly make an impact. We aim to create an environment where growth is natural and organic, rooted in faith and mentorship.”

The commitment of CBU coaches and trainers to universal athlete development continues to inspire and empower students to realize their potential. As athletes like French and Tu’ua thrive under their guidance, CBU’s dedication to cultivating excellence in all aspects of student-athlete life stands as a testament to the transformative power of sports charged with faith-based principles.

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