“In a word, EVERYTHING!” - was the answer given by one of the 35 international coaches AIA hosted the first two weeks in November when she was asked about the impact of the International Coaches Academy. AIA Sports Performance partnered with AIA Basketball to impact 19 countries through this reverse missions project. Participants receive instruction in their area of expertise and in leadership development, and clearly see and hear the gospel proclaimed. These coaches brought with them struggles and excitement and their languages, which makes it fun to communicate and translate…with translators of course. 12 Of the coaches completed AIA’s Equipped Discipleship training which prepares them to return to their country to share the love of Christ with others.

Billy Graham said, “A coach will impact more people in a year than an average person will in their lifetime.” For this reason, we strive to make a difference in these coaches lives. One coach from Africa, left his home just days after his one year old son was severely burned by accident. He faced people telling him the “gods” were angry with him. While here, he was able to talk with his wife who assured him his son was fine and he was where he was supposed to be. He also experienced the love and care from our staff and other international coaches during the Academy. Then, he responded to the gospel by asking Christ into his life!

This was the fifth annual International Sports Performance Academy held in conjunction with the International Basketball Coaches Academy which has been held for over a decade. Several coaches from a variety of backgrounds have come to a knowledge of having a personal relationship with Christ, while others have returned to their country to equipped to share Christ through sports. AIA Sports Performance partners with local universities and professionals to provide a high level hands on educational experience. Seven local partners were represented among these speakers, along with Dr. Phil Bishop, PhD from Cru Faculty Commons and our AIA Sports Performance team.

It takes over 30 AIA and Cru staff to host the 35 international coaches and months of planning and prayer. Annie M, a second year intern with Sports Performance, did a great job as the Sports Performance Academy Director. Her efforts were assisted by first year intern Michael P. They served all the coaches well, crossing over to help with the basketball Coaches in addition to their duties with the sports performance coaches. As a result, there are 35 reasons to be thankful and one new brother in Christ to praise God for!

The International Coaches Academy!

The International Sports Performance Academy visiting Kettering Sports Medicine!

With Dr. Phil Anloague, sports performance consultant to the Indiana Pacers!

International Coaches learning how to use Thera-Band!

Coach Billy Kennedy, former Texas A&M and Murray State University men’s basketball coach addressing the Academy!

Michael leading a talk on periodization of training!

Two coaches learning hip anatomy!

Annie and Michael with the International Sports Performance Academy Participants with their certificates!