Athlete, Discover Your Heart


Athlete, Discover Your Heart

Jonathan Van Horn

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Change is one of the few things guaranteed in life. But when change occurs, there is an unsettling that goes on in our lives. Like playing volleyball or throwing a frisbee in the sand; when you plant your foot, it moves. No matter how well you plant your foot, when jumping or planting; it will shift.

So how do you maintain focus, strength, firm foundation when life seems to change right from under you?

“Cor” is the Latin word for heart. Just as your physical core is essential to your physical and athletic success, your “cor” is essential to your emotional and spiritual success.

Your heart is what pushes you. Your passion, drive, motivation all flow from your heart.

It is no wonder that Solomon urged his readers to guard it with all vigilance — “Keep vigilant watch over your heart, that’s where life starts” (Proverbs 4:23, The Message). And more succinctly, “Guard your heart above ALL else, for it determines the course of your life” (New Living Translation, emphasis added).

Coaches talk about showing heart and giving your all. Your heart moves you toward overcoming the obstacles, difficulties, setbacks in sport. Heart is what gets you up in the morning and pushes you through those 5 a.m. workouts.

Heart is what drives your motivation and passion. When you display courage (root word is “cor”), you are reflecting your heart through your sport and life.

Your heart is what moves you to action and is reflected through your character. The love and life of Christ experienced is shown through your actions. Your heart is revealed through your beliefs and your character.

Jesus talks about how your heart can move you toward Him or pull you away when He talks about treasure during the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV).

Jesus goes on to state that you can’t serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other.

Athlete, how will you guard your heart today? How will you fix your heart, your “cor,” on Christ and derive your motivation and passion from Him?

This week’s devotionals walk you through the SHIFT framework, assisting athletes through successful transition in sport and life. You can hear stories and learn more about SHIFT on The SHIFT Podcast on iTunes and Spotify as well as online at


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