(Are you frustrated with how athletes are turning out in youth ministry. Here is what I see high school sports is producing. Sharing this with parents and athletes could be a good warning of what they might become to prevent this).
A jock zombie is someone who centers their life around sports. Three things will happen to jock zombies:
1- They will be become a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who thinks that everything revolves around them and their sports. Their parents plan their family meals around their sports, they plan their weekends around sports schedules, and they also plan their summer around sports. Some students don’t even have to have jobs, because it might conflict with sports. If anything conflicts with sports, sports must have priority. Even the school day revolves around their sports. And to top it off they have an assembly where the whole school has to get out of class and go to the gym to honor and recognize the person who plays sports. It is no wonder that they begin to think everything revolves around them.
What the jock zombie needs to ask themselves is: Do their sports stats and won/ lose records make the world a better place, or the school a better place?
2- A 2nd thing that happens to the jock zombie is that they spend so much time with their teammates they can’t relate to people who aren’t on their team. They become socially dysfunctional The jock zombie will spend 44% of their waking hours with their teammates. So they feel comfortable with them. But eventually they don’t feel comfortable around other people, so they ignore them. It is almost as if nobody exists out side of the jock zombie group. They are unable do to activities that are outside of the jock zombie group.
As if the jock zombie doesn’t spend enough time with his teammates, he must have team dinners to build more unity. Sometimes before a weekend game in which they will spend 8 hours on a bus together, and eat 4 meals together and spend a night in the hotel together, they need to have a team dinner together to develop more unity.
The jock zombie doesn’t realize that there are a lot of hurting people who are lonely, have low self esteem, and many other problems. But the jock zombie doesn’t even acknowledge these people.
3- The 3rd characteristic is they get a false value system. Because so much time goes into their sports and everything revolves around it they begin to think it is the most important thing. More important than their faith, family, and friends. The happiness that comes from winning lasts about 36 hours. They treat sports like it is a matter of life and death. It is their main conversation during the day. They go through their teenage years centering their life around values that really don’ t matter.
There are many positive benefits to sports, but in reality the majority of people who play sports become jock zombies who: 1- Become self centered, 2-socially dysfunctional, ignoring people outside of the sports world, and 3- Take on a false value system. Some people need to go to jock zombie rehab.