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Local Catholic football program participates in Stations of the Cross workout

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McNicholas high school football players listen to head coach Mike Orlando after completing the SportsLeader Stations of the Cross workout. (Screen shot)
McNicholas high school football players listen to head coach Mike Orlando after completing the SportsLeader Stations of the Cross workout. (Screen shot)

SportsLeader, a virtue-based program for coaches based in Louisville, Ky., has come up with a Lenten

challenge for high school athletic programs and at least one local school has accepted that challenge.

The SportsLeader Stations of the Cross Workout capitalizes on the Lenten practice of reflecting on Christ’s passion with 14 workouts. Teams that complete the workout are encouraged to challenge their rivals or fellow programs to do the workout.

According to SportsLeader’s instruction on the workout, the purpose is to “help the athlete grow closer to Christ by experiencing the fatigue, sweat, effort that our Lord suffered for us in his Passion and Death.”

Each station comes with a suggested workout, a virtue and a brief reflection that can be read by a coach or player before beginning that particular workout. For example, the second station of the cross is “Jesus carries his cross.” In the SportsLeader workout, the virtue is determination.

“Not only is Jesus given the death penalty, He also has to be publicly humiliated by carrying the piece of wood he will be nailed to,” reads the reflection. “And yet He does it willingly. He embraces the cross. He is determined to do God’s Will, He is determined to show us that He is willing to suffer anything for us.How many times do we workout truly doing it for our teammates? Let’s embrace the challenge, the difficulty, the sweat, the fatigue … like Jesus embraced His Cross.Let’s get stronger for our teammates, let’s get stronger so we can serve better.”

Cincinnati’s Archbishop McNicholas High School, led by coach Mike Orlando, was one of the first schools to do the workout. In a video of the workout (see below) Orlando talks to his players about the meaning of the exercise.

“When we do things like this it’s not to sell tweets or get some advertisements out there,” he said. “It is part of what we do. The whole point of this was Jesus died for us, the toughest guy who ever walked the earth. If we realize that everything we need to do goes through that cross, we’ll be better for it.”

At the end of the video, Orlando and the team challenged their GCL Co-Ed Central Division rivals to do the SportsLeader Stations of the Cross Workout as well.

Learn more about SportsLeader and the Stations of the Cross workout HERE.

 

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