Numbers are important to me.
I am very excited about our upcoming track season at Eastern Greene High School. The school has just under 400 students and this spring we are expecting around 50 student athletes to be a part of the Thunderbird Track & Field program. Those are huge numbers for a school of our size.
And it is exactly how I want it.
The two sports I coach are similar (cross country, track & field) in that every athlete that participates can pretty much control their own playing time. In addition, these are activities that athletes can participate in and have measurable improvement in their performances, even if they are not the best athletes.
Of course you do not have to have numbers in track and field in order to have success. I have seen schools win California State championships with six elite athletes. Our current boys coach can even tell you how his Thunderbird team won a conference championship with just nine guys on the team.
But I love having big numbers. Because it means more students are getting to wear the red and black of their school with pride. It means that more students get to graduate from their high school having been a part of something more than attending classes. And it also means that more students are learning a sport that they can stick with later on into life. They are learning how to get and stay fit, and how to push their bodies beyond anything they have ever done before.
It also benefits the school because when students wear the colors, they take pride in what they do in the classroom, and they take pride in what they and their classmates are accomplishing. At Eastern Greene High School being on the team makes it mean something to be a Thunderbird. When I coached at Vacaville High School, being on the team made being a Bulldog something to be proud of.
Numbers mean there is a movement.
It is also important to me that as many students as possible are reached by our church youth ministry. At our church, numbers are important. Of course they are not everything, the most important thing is students growing in Christ. But I want as many students as possible to grow in Christ.
It is part of my philosophy in both track and youth ministry to recruit as many adults as possible to be on our team working with students because the more adults you have on board, the larger your capacity to reach more students, ideally.
People enjoy jumping on the bandwagon.
In both my ministry at the church and on my teams on the track, I want students to feel like what we are doing is the place to be to experience growth. At church, that growth is in becoming like Christ. On the track, that growth is in becoming a better athlete. And it is no secret that young people, no scratch that, all people enjoy being a part of something bigger than themselves.
It is why gyms fill up when the local high school team is on a winning streak. It is why movie theaters fill up when the latest adventure film hits the screens. People enjoy being part of something big that other people are also a part of.
I believe that track and cross country are good experiences for students in high school.
I believe that a life lived like Jesus can change the world.
So I am going to work as hard as I can to get as many students to be a part of these things as possible.