Long Shot (Hammer Throw)

Medal Rounds: August 12, 18 (Shot Put); August 13, 16 (Discus); August 15, 19 (Hammer); August 18, 20 (Javelin)

Get Out and Play!

Gather:
tennis ball
soccer ball
measuring tape (optional)

Go:
1. Mark off a starting line.
2. Each contestant takes turns throwing the tennis ball as far as possible. The judge measures each throw, either stepping it off or with a measuring tape.
3. Contestants then kick the soccer ball from the same starting point. The judge measures how far the ball traveled.
4. Repeat until each contestant has completed three rounds.
5. Award medals for top-scoring round, longest throw, longest kick or most consistent score.

A Champion’s Heart

Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. —1 Timothy 4:15

At first glance, all of the throwing sports seem like a competition over who has the biggest biceps. But Olympians don’t shot put the same way you throw a tennis ball. Arm strength isn’t enough to fling a 16-pound ball 75 feet across a field. Instead, athletes spin around in tight circles, using their whole body to generate momentum.

It takes a lot of work to learn how to spin fast enough, release the weight at the best angle and then regain your balance without stepping outside the circle. But with enough practice, athletes develop muscle memory. It’s how a pitcher “knows” how to throw strikes or a tennis player “knows” how to twist her racket so the ball spins mid-flight. Eventually, your body has done something enough times that it does it almost automatically.

Do you get annoyed when older Christians bug you to read your Bible, pray or pay attention in church? It doesn’t always seem like it, but they’re trying to help you develop spiritual muscle memory. If you thank God before you eat 15 days in a row, you’ll also want to thank Him on day 16. And while the first few early-morning Bible studies might leave you sleepy, eventually your body will adjust and it won’t be so exhausting.

Furthermore, as you practice forgiving others, being generous and telling the truth, these traits will start to fuse into your personality. With God’s help, you’ll become an honest, generous, loving person . . . and that’s way more impressive than a gold medal.

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