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  • CrossTraining today announced its third Timothy Project award recipient for the 2012 season. The project will feature church and Christian leader development in Mongolia to help leaders use the sport of soccer to reach out to youth and to battle against a growing epidemic of youth alcoholism and help plant 12 new churches near the Chinese border of Mongolia. The Mongolia Project request has come from David Irby, who is part of the mission organization Surge International. Irby was recently featured in one of the 2012 CrossTrainer articles - the CrossTrainer is a monthly publication provided to the players, coaches, and staff of the Portland Timbers and Colorado Rapids. The Timothy Project will help team members with some travel needs

  • In the buildup to the July 9 departure for the team to the Czech Republic, the first recipient of the 2012 Timothy Project, already has a story to share - and on this side of the pond. The Cherry Hills Community Church Czech Initiative teams expect to have 25-30 players ages 15-20 attending the inaugural soccer camp from July 16th through the 20th. While the Timothy Project has been used to help provide soccer balls for the players, the team will be doing a lot more. Working alongside Czech coaches and leaders there will be a special time for camp participants. On the Tuesday afternoon of the camp,there will be an outdoor adventure training and focus on manhood.  A Christian guest speaker

  •  The countdown is underway and the team is nearly set to go. The July 10 departure date will see a team of high school students and adults from Cherry Hills Community Church in Colorado fly to Pisek and host a soccer camp for Czech teenagers from July 14-July 22. The soccer camp is part of a larger outreach initiative to reach out to the Czech peoples. One of the team leaders, David Guetig, recently e-mailed CrossTraining to confirm the delivery of several soccer balls acquired through the Timothy Project. "I did receive seven size 5 Nike indoor soccer balls ... yesterday.  They are in beautiful shape and will definitely help the team out with respect to our mission trip!" The

  • Happy Father's Day to fathers today. Working as the team chaplain for the Colorado Rapids for the last 11 seasons means that I have spent a lot of time around the sport of soccer. Whether attending or watching games or watching training sessions, much of my free time has been spent around the "world's game." I even had a brief stint as coach for a U-12/13 ("u" means under) girls soccer team for a local youth soccer club to earn some extra money while in seminary. Now, with four daughters of my own, people often ask - "When are you going to put your kids in soccer?" It is a question that I wrestle with personally. Perhaps, it is because I

  • The typical coaching contract for coaches in Major League Soccer is three years, though the average length of stay is somewhere closer to 2 years (2.3 according to one source). If those statistics are comparative (there is some question to how scientific) to other leagues, then MLS coaches are among the lowest in terms of average length of stay among professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) as suggested by this New York Times article written in 2008. So what has to happen in that 2.3 years that an MLS coach takes the reins? There are several things that a new head coach must undertake, but before looking at a few important tasks, let's look at a few reasons for

  • The longer I serve as team chaplain, the more I am reminded that not all stories are equal. Let me explain what I mean: sometimes, in our different roles and positions, we can become so engrained and entrenched in the day to day that we forget to see people uniquely. We can fall into the trap of thinking that people's backgrounds and experiences are similar to our own.   A Chinese proverb has stuck with me for a long time and I use it frequently, "A fish in water doesn't know it is wet." Those words are a constant reminder to me to not become so enmeshed (whether in the work or ministry or everyday trappings of life) that