Building the foundation
By Dante Sabatucci
This is an expansion of a message that was in my February 8th, 2013 newsletter about the true goals of Play Ball Sports Academy.
Everything is coming together to be able to execute the vision that our instructors have for Play Ball Sports Academy. I believe that this is because God has a bigger plan for this business that I am humbled to be a part of. Within a few years, we will not only be seeing the results of highly competitive baseball and softball development but we will also see the fruits of our goal to develop young men and women of Christian character. There will be professional players who come through this academy and our goal is to use baseball as a tool for God to use as a witness for Him. The best example of this is Tim Tebow.
The plan for accomplishing this is to promote the mission work of Meeting God in Baseball which I have been affiliated with for about two years now. My first mission trip to the Dominican Republic changed me from the inside and I want others to experience this change, even if they can't travel there. I don't know why it happened the way it did but if you read about Tim Tebow's background, he was heavily involved in mission work as a young adult. We plan to "connect" our youth to the youth of the Dominican Republic through baseball to create bonds that will bear fruit.
I did not intend to get into this subject so heavily in this newsletter but I am feeling a sense of urgency to continue to grow the ministry here in Northeast Ohio. I am appalled at the messages coming from Hollywood, Washington and from our athletes. I think it's great that athletes are finally paying the penalty for their cheating and I hope that kids are seeing that no amount of money or fame is worth trading your good name for. As a sports academy, I hope that we can teach them that if they can make it big based on their own hard work and God given talents that they can be a positive influence in society instead of the negative influence that we have seen in the recent past. If they don't make it in sports, I hope that they realize that God has a plan for them and hopefully the LESSONS they learn at Play Ball Sports Academy can be applied to any area of their life.
Those lessons are not from me or any of my instructors but from God via the Bible. Those lessons can be nurtured through a personal relationship with Jesus. Our G.R.I.P. program which meets every other Saturday is designed to offer a fun environment where they can learn something from the Bible that may apply to their lives. I am trying to find other ways to bring this message to the athletes who are open to hearing it. For the players who are not ready to hear the message yet, we will continue to teach them high level competitive baseball concepts that can take them to the next level. However, I cannot see any way to separate the acknowledgement of this basic foundation for life if we are trying to prepare them to become better athletes.