Why I Coach Softball: Megan Smith


Why I Coach Softball:

After my second year coaching, I vividly remember sitting myself down to find the answer to this question. Why do I coach?  I couldn’t easily answer that question at the time, nor had I put much thought into it. The simple answer was that I loved softball and I loved to teach, but I needed a deeper reason. I was at a crossroad of sorts, in that I recognized I had a path to choose. I could either view my players as a means to a professional end or I could view them as young women who needed someone to see more in them than they could in themselves. I could coach simply for where it would get me or I could coach for something more important.

I decided that God had given me coaching as a means for me to make a difference in His world.

With every year that passes, I recognize the great need and the great opportunity I have to make a lasting impact upon another person. I still believe that God put me on this path to bring light. The world of sports is vibrant, exciting, challenging, and uplifting. Athletes learn discipline, hard work, and the thrill of overcoming what they thought impossible. There is so much good in this world! Yet, I see the dark side of this world, too. I see the lies Satan tells. I see the celebration of self over all. I watch as athletes buy into the lie that in order to be strong and independent, they cannot cry or that acknowledging weakness is embarrassing. They crave confidence. They crave assurance. But the world of competition never offers these things, at least not in a lasting way. I watch and hope they ask, so I can help set the record straight. I wait until they are ready to know a better way.

As someone with a degree centered around sport psychology, I am all about trusting the process. I had to choose the process. I had to trust that coaching the whole person would produce better results than only coaching the athlete.

In the process of finding my “why,” I realized that I could not claim Christ but coach for me. If He is everything, I had to let Him have everything. I could not coach as if the most important thing is winning, especially if it’s not.

So I coach process, and hope that I can teach my girls that the process, their mindset, and their perspective can change their outcome.

The older I get, the more I learn about myself and others. I have learned about fear and desire. I have learned about joy and disappointment. I have learned that we all have gifts inside of us that are meant to be used for the good of the kingdom of God.

I have learned that Christ will shine out of me when I use my gift for Him. I have realized we all truly want a purpose, to be part of something bigger than ourselves: a team. I get to be on God’s team. I live out a metaphor of life every day at work.

Every part of the game mirrors real life. I get to teach that to my players. I get the chance to help them develop skills that will impact their lives forever. I coach for that. I coach because I have an automatic platform, and God gave me the gift of teaching. So, I teach. Birds fly. Teachers teach. I bring my talents to Him, and He is teaching me to use them.

I have the chance to make a difference, maybe small, maybe big, but I have the chance. Isn’t a chance all we really want?

And when I get a little lost in the haze, I remember this:  “We were made to respond to inspiration. Everybody wears an unseen sign that reads, “Inspire me.” Remind me that my life matters. Call me to be my best self. Appeal to whatever in me is most noble and honorable. Don’t let me go down the path of least resistance.” –John Ortberg


By: Megan Rhodes Smith, Lipscomb Softball Pitching Coach

Follow The Teams:

Lipscomb Softball

Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation
Twitter @LipscombFCA, Instagram: @LipscombBisonsSF

Join the Team:
God calls both “goers” and “senders” to His roster to be vessels for His Kingdom work to be done. The Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation team,  and all the mission trips the teams go on are supported through fundraising.  If you would like to be part of what God is doing through Lipscomb Athletics, and be part of the “sending” team; this is the link to gift funds to Lipscomb Athletics: https://secure.lipscomb.edu/gift (Designate Area “Athletics-University” and then designate “Athletics Spiritual Formation,” or “team of your choice,” or in special instructions box, type in “athletic mission trip- the team you would like to fund, and if applicable, the name of the specific student athlete”).

Thanks so much for being part of the stories of our team, and witnessing what God is doing through the platform of sport.

Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Team

What God Has Taught Me Through Sport: Lipscomb Volleyball – Taylor Racich & Morgan Elmore

What God has taught me through Volleyball:


God has taught me the gift of being on a team! I had 12 teammates and for me it was special to think that Jesus had 12 disciples. Spending time with my teammates off the court made me realize what it was probably like for Jesus to constantly be with his 12.  I have learned from my teammates, but been inspired by the Lipscomb volleyball staff! Pre game locker room speeches by Brandon, dance parties with Billy as the MC, warming up Peppering with Justin Beachy. Inspiring videos from MJ!

God showed me how to have fun playing the sport I have grown up playing.

The staff developed their relationships with us that made it a healthy environment for everyone. We became a family fast because we spent so much time together in community!

Taylor Racich, Senior, Lipscomb Volleyball




After my first season of college volleyball, I can say I learned more than I ever expected. God taught me things about volleyball, my school, my teammates, myself, and my faith this season. Looking back, I see how God played a part in all of these things. Personally, this season was something completely new. I wasn’t sure of exactly what it would be like.

In the beginning, I was nervous at times, but grew to trust in my coaches, teammates, and God.

Several struggles occurred for the team early on in the season, with some difficult losses, but we took a step back and decided to just have fun playing the game we love. Although these times were heartbreaking and difficult, I now see what God’s plan was. He placed us in struggle in order to find strength in each other, ultimately making us ready for success. We were constantly reminded of our many blessings, and volleyball was just a piece of our happiness, not all of it. The support from the Lipscomb community is among these blessings, and the team is in the position it is because of these people that God placed in our lives. I realized that I am lucky to attend a university and be on a team that keeps faith as a priority. I believe God has a plan for every person, and I am grateful that He made Lipscomb a part of mine.

Morgan Elmore, Freshman, Lipscomb Volleyball


Follow the Team!

Webiste: Lipscomb Volleyball
Twitter: @LipscombVball
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lipscombvolleyball/

What God Has Taught Me Through Sport: Ryan Speer, Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country


What God Has Taught Through Sport:

When I reported for training camp in mid-august, I had some mixed emotions. I was excited to be back with the team and get the season rolling. I had just wrapped up probably one of my best summers of training and ended freshman year as the ASUN 800m champion. However, from all this success, I seem to also place emotions of high expectations that also come with nerves and anxieties.

As the season progressed, these anxieties started to come into others areas of my life like school-work and relationships with teammates. Everyday I woke up, I felt like I had to control these anxious thoughts. I would pray over them and it would work for a particular race, test, or confrontation with someone, but they seemed to come back the next morning. Fighting with anxieties, expectations and nerves is normal for most athletes. On one level it shows how much you care about your sport, school work, and relationships. On another level, it reveals to you where you place your identity.

This semester I’ve learned that I need to constantly be placing my identity in Christ, because one day we’re going to wake up and realize that running, school work, and relationships go away, but Christ will always be there for us.


Two passages of scripture that this semester have seemed to bring light to this subject are Hebrews 12:1-2a and Philippians 4:4-9

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2a

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9


A typical prayer I like to say before a race goes something like:

“Lord, Give me strength in my legs and mind. Help me to be a servant for today, looking for ways to help out others. Keep me reminded that whatever the outcome is, my victory has already been won in You. Because of your goodness and grace, I get to race!”


The more we focus our efforts on keeping God at the forefront of our lives, I believe we will be able to walk through life knowing that whatever anxious thoughts come our way, we can rest assure that through God’s goodness, we will be taken care of.

By: Ryan Speer, Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country and Track


Follow the Team:

Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country





What God Has Taught Me Through Sport: Sam Remington, Lipscomb MXCT

Sam Remington, Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country and Track

What God Has Taught Me Through Sport:

God instills interests, talents and passions in all of us. It’s kind of a win win for everyone because we all get to enjoy things that we are good at doing and God gets to use these areas to teach us and mold us into who He so badly wants us to be.  In my life, the platform that God has been able to use the past nine years has been running.

I have failed, succeeded, and most importantly learned to love equally, live whimsically, and act courageously throughout my years as a runner. This past summer I felt led by God to make this cross-country season my last season of competitive running in order to focus on other specific areas in my life. With that in mind, these past 6 months of training, racing and teammate shenanigans have provided me with lessons different than any from the past nine years.

God taught me the importance of being at peace. Peace is a concept that I am quick to overlook or deem as less important than other values. There is the kind of peace that comes through lounging in a hot tub, placed in the middle of a forest on a chilled winter day with nothing to see but a fresh layer of snow for miles, there is the kind of peace that comes in little candy form and tastes like a peanut butter-chocolate heaven, and then there is the type of peace that is rooted deeper than whatever circumstance you find yourself in, good or bad. That last type of peace is the kind that I was fortunate enough to learn and experience over the course of this cross- country season.

Whether it was learning how to dance in the back of a Tour Bus on a seven hour ride to South Carolina or embracing my teammates with delirious hugs right after we raced our hearts and guts out together; with every memory I gained, the decision to not be a part of the team next year became more difficult to come to terms with. But I was still at peace through the confusion and second-guessing. My freshmen teammates instantly became some of my closest friends on the team but even though it hurt to think about leaving them as quickly as I got to know them, there was a peace that was stronger.  This season arguably turned in to my favorite and most successful season of running ever, and even though I became curious of the unknown amounts of success I could possibly achieve in the seasons to come, God ’s peace lead me down a different path.

While meeting first with my coaches and next with my teammates that same evening, emotion weighed heavy on my heart as I choked up the words “I will no longer be running.”

Doubt began to creep in my mind, making me second guess a decision I had spent the past six months thinking and praying about. Even now, three days after the fact, there is a pressing sadness and bitter sting that comes along with the thought of never toeing the line with my teammates again; never being their teammate again.

I guess the reason I am sharing this sob story is to show just how much stronger and hopeful this God-given peace is. It is amazing that in the midst of pain, sadness and confusion, there is something rooted deeper that is continuing to drive me in a different direction. Although there is pain in letting go, there is comfort in moving forward. This decision has and will continue to take a lot of trust.

But when I think about it, this is what I want my relationship with God to always look like. I want to always be in positions where I have to trust Him because that means I am living in an active and obedient relationship with God.

And although trusting God sometimes means doing the scariest thing we could possibly imagine, we get to have peace knowing that this omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being that we get to call Father, will not abandon us.

Part of the reason why I am choosing to stop running is to spend more time getting plugged in to my church and knowing God.

There is a difference between knowing about God, and knowing God; and I believe that the more I know Him, the more I will be able to not only recognize this peace in my life, but His presence in its entirety.

Even now I am learning to cope with the fact that I cannot and will never be perfect, but this doesn’t keep God from wanting me to know and understand His presence. Through lies of the enemy, I am the only thing that gets in the way of knowing God’s peace, His love, His voice and everything else about His presence. This season I learned that when God is telling me do to something, no matter how mind-bogglingly difficult or confusing, there will be a peace that comes along with it. A peace that is stronger than any doubt or any pain. Thank you Father for making me aware of your peace and allowing it to give me the courage I need to follow your greater plan.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”  -Colossians 3:15

By: Sam Remington, Junior, Lipscomb MXCT

Follow The Team:
Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country and Track

What God Has Taught Me Through Sport: Elise Andrich, Women’s Soccer

Elise Andrich, Lipscomb Women’s Soccer Player

What has God taught you through your sport this season?

Believe. Seven letters. Such a simple word with so much meaning. This word has absolutely transformed my life and has opened my eyes to what I’ve been missing all along.

God has used the game of soccer as a tool and a bridge to ultimately teach me the purpose of my life. I’ve been a deep thinker for as long as I can remember; constantly questioning why and how things happen. We live in a world where pain, sadness and grief are present and evident every second of every day. However, this same world somehow has the ability to emit joy and love, which have been proven to heal the broken hearts of those all around us. How could these two extremes coincide realistically in the same world? I could not wrap my mind around the idea of life, and it felt like absolutely nothing made sense. So, since day one here at Lipscomb, I’ve been on the search for answers. I grew up in the Catholic Church with the idea of God, but did not actually know God for myself. Seeing so many people at Lipscomb with this unexplainable sense of fullness and joy first took me by surprise, and I could not pinpoint specifically what it was about them that became the source of my envy. I knew I wanted, and honestly needed, whatever it was that they had. I found myself participating in Bible studies, attentively watching sermons, studying song lyrics and reading articles…all in hope of getting to know this God that everyone seemed to know and love. No matter where I searched though, I could not find exactly what I was looking for. I began to question my self-worth because my heart yearned so strongly for this relationship with God that could not seem to be found. Feelings of loneliness and emptiness had replaced the slight belief I had left in myself, and my tank had been completely emptied of the little fuel it had left. I had nothing to turn to, nowhere to go, and no one who could bring my spirit back to life.

That’s when the game of soccer became God’s platform for proving His existence to me, and for making His way into my heart.

I developed a passion for the beautiful game at a young age, and spent every day with a ball at my feet. I constantly strived to perfect my skills at this game that at the time was my ultimate source of joy. It wasn’t until my transition into the teenage years that everything started to take a turn. I slowly and painfully began to feel my coaches and teammates lose belief in my potential and ability on the field, so I naturally lost belief in myself as well. This negative and withholding mindset began to affect other aspects of my life, and I found myself in an emotional slump for the next few years continuing all the way through high school. Although it may not have been evident on the outside by the way that I acted and carried myself, I knew something was missing on the inside, and my heart hungered and ached for more. The one thing that once brought me unfathomable amounts of joy now felt like a chore, and my carefree passion for the game had escaped me. After countless hours of contemplation and many exhausting discussions about quitting the game that had stolen my heart, something continued to hold me back and kept me tied to the sport, something that I couldn’t pinpoint or put into words. My passion had diminished and soccer was no longer the source of my joy, so what was keeping me from letting go?  Why couldn’t I agree to just move on?

I now know the answers to these questions. God used the beautiful game to first, bring me to Lipscomb, and second, to teach me what it truly means to believe.

The Lipscomb Women’s Soccer team has absolutely transformed my life. Each and every player and member of the coaching staff was brought to this school and this program for a reason. My purpose for attending this school, being on this team, living in this challenging environment, and playing the game of soccer has now been revealed to me. I finally understand why I spend countless hours working with these specific girls and coaches towards our common goal of not only becoming a better soccer team, but also becoming better followers of Christ. At first, I didn’t understand the full meaning of 1 Corinthians 10:31, the verse we wore on the back of our jerseys to practice every day:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

What does it look like to do something for the glory of God? It’s when you give your utmost effort, not selfishly for your own good, but for God. Because He’s the one that deserves it, all the success and everything that comes with it, not you. This new motivation and drive to glorify God has become my purpose in life. My purpose for waking up in the morning, for striving towards success academically, for working towards the point of exhaustion physically, and for making an impact in this vast, broken world that has swallowed me and led me astray time after time. God is writing this unexplainable story of life that I will never fully understand. What I do understand is that I’m not, and never will be, the main character of this story. I am simply a tiny piece of this massive, extensive puzzle. However, without my piece, the puzzle would not be complete. I fit into this world because God has created me with a distinct and unique set of strengths and weaknesses with the purpose of glorifying the one who gave them to me. I have been blessed with a talent and a passion for the game of soccer, so it is my responsibility to use this platform as a stage to celebrate and shine light on the God who has blessed me, and each and every one of His people, with more than we could ever deserve.

Believe. Again, such a simple word, two syllables, seven letters long. The word that has left my heart feeling empty for as long as I can remember, but that now fills me with self-worth and my purpose for living. God has shown and proven to me that when my belief lies in Him first and foremost, then all other aspects of life will begin to fall into place. I could not be more grateful for this incredible opportunity I have laid out in front of me; the opportunity to play the game that I love, with the people who bring me endless amounts of joy, while growing closer to the God that has changed my life forever. Simply saying I’m thankful would be an understatement. I now strive to glorify God in everything that I do, in every aspect of life, because that’s what I was ultimately created to do. I have been taught one of the most difficult, and probably the most important, lessons in life, and it has led my heart to the feeling of fullness for which it has been so strongly yearning. All because of this simple word: believe. All we have to do is believe, and God will take care of the rest. I challenge each and every one of us to ask ourselves the toughest question of all: “What’s the purpose of my life?” Finding the answer to this question is the most fulfilling and rewarding feeling that I pray everyone will one day experience. God is incredible and truly has the ability to change lives forever, just like He has done with mine.

By: Elise Andrich, Sophomore, Lipscomb Women’s Soccer

Elise is planning to go to El Salvador this spring break on the team’s mission trip! She and her teammates are excited, please join us in praying for them!

Follow The Teams:
Lipscomb Women’s Soccer

Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation
Twitter @LipscombFCA, Instagram: @LipscombBisonsSF


Join the Team:
God calls both “goers” and “senders” to His roster to be vessels for His Kingdom work to be done. The Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation team,  and all the mission trips the teams go on are supported through fundraising.  If you would like to be part of what God is doing through Lipscomb Athletics, and be part of the “sending” team; this is the link to gift funds to Lipscomb Athletics: https://secure.lipscomb.edu/gift (Designate Area “Athletics-University” and then designate “Athletics Spiritual Formation;” or to give to a student’s athletic mission trip: https://www.lipscomb.edu/giving/loose-giving-forms/student-mission-gifts.

Thanks so much for being part of the stories of our team, and witnessing what God is doing through the platform of sport.

Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Team

Spiritual Formation for Lipscomb Athletics: Higher Calling (Digital Brochure)

This is our Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation brochure.  Take a look through our digital brochure format to learn more about our team, and how you can join us!  Click on the play link above and follow the page tabs to turn the page.

This is My Calling: Jewell Dobson, Lipscomb Volleyball

Jewell Dobson from Lipscomb University Volleyball team shares about her ACL injury and how her identity in being a student-athlete was challenged and later transformed.