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Sports Chaplaincy and Its Foundation Elements

The relationship between attitude and presence as foundation elements in sports chaplaincy (SC) relies on the responsibilities of chaplains in guiding athletes spiritually. The concept has evolved over the years in various continents across the globe to incorporate the role of chaplains in sports. SC plays a significant role in helping sportspeople cope with failure, stress, depression, and even build ethical mentalities during sporting hence improving their attitudes. Chaplains are crucial in times of need, difficulties, or crises that can occur during or after a game (Whitmore & Parker, 2020). They help players develop positive relationships on personal identities to performance. By not associating a win or a loss with individual traits, players can effectively achieve their targets. This field has faced various evolutions and modifications based on modern life and the new social culture where sports chaplaincy is embraced and valued even in diverse events and contexts.

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Sports chaplains help shape the attitude of a player positively by making them understand that their situations are not exceptional. Sometimes failure causes players’ discouragement and low self-esteem. Chaplains intervene by educating players that the value of the game is not in the win or the loss, but rather in growing skills and spiritual strengths. The attitude they develop after failure or success in sports influences the steps they take in their careers (Hemmings et al., 2019). They help them dissociate performance with personal characteristics, which set positive attitudes towards the outcomes of a game. Sports chaplains take care of the emotional, mental and spiritual welfare of the people who participate in various competitions. Chaplains are crucial in times of need, difficulties, or crises that can take place during or after a game.

I find it intriguing that sports chaplaincy is impactful in modern culture since people start to develop the notions of individual spirituality rather than societal views on spirituality which influence presence. Through support from chaplains, individuals can achieve presence, which is a higher sense of self-awareness. These aspects help to build the people’s personality through proper guidance by chaplains on the gospel, which allows them to identify their identities and shape their future. Chaplains help players understand that a game is not all about winning. According to the Bible, King James Version, (2017), we should rejoice in our suffering since it yields endurance and endurance, build a character that produces hope, and the hope does not put us into shame (Romans 5: 3-5). Guiding the sportspeople in spiritual empowerment helps them work on attaining better results without losing hope.

The ministry of presence means that chaplains are expected to serve all people even if they are uncomfortable. In sports, it entails being there for players or other staff in a game in anxiety, fear, crisis, or loss. In Galatians 6:2, the Bible says that Christians should serve one another by bearing other people’s burdens. Sports chaplains can only achieve success in ‘shepherding’ through educating on personal responsibilities and theological information and treating all equally (Reid, 2019). God is love, and because of his love, he aims for the good of all; therefore, it is appropriate to help others when they are low. The chaplain should guide sportspeople on attaining personal achievements and acknowledging that life is not always about performance. The ministry of presence encourages players by having an individual whom they can share with their grief.


Whitmore, W., & Parker, A. (2020). Towards a theology of sports chaplaincy. Practical Theology, 13(5), 493-503. Web.

Hemmings, B., Watson, N. J., & Parker, A. (Eds.). (2019). Sport, psychology and Christianity: Welfare, performance and consultancy. Routledge.

Reid, S. (2019). Dig deep: Sport. Faith. Life. Report on the Second Global Congress on Sport and Christianity. Pointers: Bulletin of the Christian Research Association, 29(4), 7-10.

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King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online  (Original work published 1769). Web.

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