The Defender Way

The Defender Way.

It’s a term that has been used a great deal in the Dordt Athletic Department over the past several school years. While the actual term may not be unique, I believe the Dordt College approach to implementing it is.  I thought this would be a great opportunity for our athletic director, Ross Douma, to explain  the Defender Way and what it means as we get into the 2017-18 school year.

mbyk

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship

Defender Nation,

As the calendar turns from summer to fall, we once again embark upon an exciting time in the athletic department as athletes sport the Defender uniform for a variety of activities.  The return of the fall sports season marks a time of anticipation and excitement as teams return to their respective venues of play.  Using their talents in the various athletic arenas, Dordt College athletes have a longstanding history of representing God, the institution and their teams well.  In an effort to continue to march in step with the mission of Dordt College, the athletic department constructed key target areas, known as the Defender Way, that will continually shape our athletic programs going forward.  In essence, the Defender Way is how we do athletics Christianly at Dordt College.  Romans 12:1 is the scripture verse that supports the four target areas that comprise the Defender Way.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship

The Defender Way

  • We are committed to the Great Commission
  • We are committed to equipping student-athletes to be servant leaders
  • We are committed to the academic development of all student-athletes
  • We are committed to the pursuit of championships

Great Commission

The Defender Way is a holistic approach to athletics that aims to tap out the potential of student-athletes during their time at Dordt College while providing participants with an enriching experience.

The Defender Way is a holistic approach to athletics that aims to tap out the potential of student-athletes during their time at Dordt College while providing participants with an enriching experience. Each specific program will develop their own initiatives that address the four cornerstones of the Defender Way.  Suffice to say, many impactful ventures are already in place.  Discipleship initiatives such as the Chicago Experience the men’s basketball team leads at West Side Chicago Christian and the football team’s partnership with the Special Olympics each spring are two such examples.  A number of programs also serve as the hands and feet of Christ while assisting at the Gospel Mission in Sioux City or volunteering at Kidzone, an after school program at a local church.  We look forward with anticipation as more teams devise ventures that touch at the Great Commission.

Servant Leadership

Providing student-athletes with the means to grow their leadership skills is vital to the success of their respective teams, but also a necessary trait they must acquire as developing Christians.  Each coaching staff is creating initiatives that meet that criterion.  In early September, the athletic department hosted a Senior Athlete Breakfast with campus leaders, athletic department staff and current senior athletes in attendance.  Ms. Kate Du Mez (’10) served as the keynote speaker and challenged seniors to lead their respective teams in a Christian manner as they invest in others.  The primary message conveyed to senior athletes that morning is that campus leaders will come alongside and empower them in their pursuits this academic year.

Academic Development

Intersecting athletics and academics continues to be a natural relationship at Dordt College.  Having a systemic approach ensures student-athletes are maximizing their potential.  Each semester, professors provide timely feedback to coaching staffs by way of progress reports.  These reports take into account attendance, course participation and overall grade performance.  Using these reports, coaches are able to consult with individual student-athletes and recommend use of peer tutoring through the Academic Enrichment Center on campus or additional sessions with professors.  Working in step together, professors and coaches help each student-athlete realize their potential.  During the 2016-2017 academic year, Dordt College athletes compiled a 3.27 GPA in the classroom.

Pursuit of Championships

We will devise programs that are fully functioning in which the process takes precedence over the result.  That said, we will not apologize for striving to win.  Our staffs will have coherent blue prints for their programs.  Included in these formulated plans are player development activities, recruiting strategies and program promotion mediums to name a few.  It is pertinent each program has a concise roadmap for success.

In short, the Defender Way is an intentional strategy to move our athletic program forward in a distinctly Christian manner.

In short, the Defender Way is an intentional strategy to move our athletic program forward in a distinctly Christian manner. We firmly maintain discipleship initiatives; equipping student-athletes to be leaders, achieving academic excellence and outstanding athletic performances are not mutually exclusive.  It is important our student-athletes be part of an athletic program that enhances their spiritual walk, partners with professors to ensure academic development while playing for teams that compete at their potential.  Done well, athletics supports and enhances the purpose of Dordt College.  We count it a privilege to use our sphere of influence in athletics to further God’s kingdom.

Ross Douma;  Dordt College Athletic Director

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑