Being a winner in sports and life requires more than just talent and hard work. It also takes courage, faith and character. Many of today’s top Christian athletes have become international role models. They recognize the importance of their on-field influence and therefore demonstrate their integrity and faith.

Learn about their character and faith through the stories through these books written by and about Christian athletes. These Christian athletes stand for something more important than their performance, and because of it, they are not just winning games, they are winning souls.

With a new school year approaching, many of us will be enrolling our children for various sports teams. Now is a great time to teach how faith and sports play an essential role in everyday life. Champions are not born—they are made by hard work accompanied by faith and honor. As long as we walk in faith, we can all be champions in life.

The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family, and Football—An Insider’s Account
By: Charlie Barnes

This special collection of essays spotlights the extraordinary strength and faith of Coach Bobby Bowden’s leadership and character. It provides entertaining insight into the national landscape surrounding Florida State football in the 14-year dynasty era. The book uncovers how faith sustained Bowden’s career on and off the field.

The Closer: My Story
By: Mariano Rivera

This bestselling memoir from the greatest relief pitcher of all time is inspirational for people of all ages. Rivera is listed along with Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig and DiMaggio as a top-five Yankee of all time. He often intimidated batters by merely opening the bullpen door. Rivera is also a man of God and family whose contributions to charity and community ensure a meaningful life long after his time as The Closer is over.

The Right Steph: How Stephen Curry Is Taking the NBA to a New Level with Humility and Grace
By: Mike Yorkey

Golden State Warriors basketball star Stephen Curry is hailed as the greatest shooter in NBA history. But the humble, soft-spoken young player does not take his talent for granted, but instead, he gives the glory to God. Read about his challenges and successes and discover how his faith strengthens him on and off the court.

Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story
By: Kim Washburn

Mike Fisher knows the true meaning of a power play. As a veteran of the National Hockey League, Fisher has much to be proud of. He plays for the Nashville Predators, was an alternate captain for the Ottawa Senators, has played in a Stanley Cup final and has been nominated as the best defensive forward in the league. But it is not just his guts, grit and talent that have taken him to the top. His power comes from his faith in Christ, and he has demonstrated his love for God both on and off the ice.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.