Insight from a Junior Varsity Parent“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”  President Obama

If anyone equates someone as a junior varsity player, insinuating they are not as capable or as good as the varsity squad, shows they know little about the heart of a junior varsity player.  For the past few years, my husband and I have lived our lives as parents of a junior varsity player.  We have seen the heart of someone who wants to be a part of the Varsity team.

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Everyone understands what President Obama meant when he compared ISIS or jihadists “local power struggles” to a JV team.  We know his “sentiment” was correct. In the world of athletics, if you are a JV or developmental league player, there is an incredible chance you will never play on the varsity squad or in the pros.  He is correct just putting on a jersey doesn’t make you a star.  If that is the case, Sunday morning church services in the fall, are filled with a ton of NFL players!

However, where Mr. Obama missed the analogy, was the heart and mind of a JV player. Obama has the typical “varsity” mentality.

You know the players who seem to just walk onto the court and make the team.  A percentage of these players work in the off season to make the varsity team, while others make it because of natural talent or “connections”.  What usually happens to the varsity player, no matter how they make a team, is they forget what it is like when you don’t get to the wear the varsity jersey.

How soon the varsity squad swaggers around campus, sometimes ignoring the players they were afraid of during tryouts.  The fear and sting of tryouts vanishes in a whisper once you read your name on the varsity roster.  Suddenly, you are the top dog!

The junior varsity player, who truly wants to “make the team”, would give anything just to sit on the varsity bench.  Some don’t even care if they ever walk on the court.  They just want to be on the team.

The players who truly want a spot on the roster, the ones who have a dream, a goal, a deep desire to play, work harder than others who come to tryouts.  They spend hours in the weight room preparing their muscles for the grueling task of the competition which lies before them. They spend hours upon hours honing and fine tuning their game.  Working with coaches, finding their weaknesses and what needs to be done to overcome them.   They realize their strengths and continue growing those areas.

JV players study their sport. They watch film, read books, and learn plays.  It doesn’t matter what it takes, they prepare themselves not just for the current junior varsity season, but for the eventual promotion to the varsity squad.  They have a dream and desperately want it fulfilled.

This is what ISIS has done.

For the Commander in Chief of the United States and his advisors to recklessly label a growing terrorist organization as anything other than “varsity in training” is inexcusable.  Obama and his “coaching staff” have truly underestimated their opponent, in fact believing they didn’t really even have an opponent.  ISIS was just a little JV squad from the undersized, under-financed part of town.  How many times in Mr. Obama’s athletic pursuits and viewing parties has he seen the underdog team come from out of nowhere and dominate?  There is always a Cinderella story; this is the nature of any aspiring athlete or team. In Obama’s case, it’s an aspiring terrorist organization.

Aspiration is all about heart, drive, and determination.  Who will rule the court is no different than who will rule the world.

As America watches ISIS declare a caliphate and set a public goal to have their flag flying over our White House, it is obvious this “junior varsity” team isn’t just talking trash.  They have come to play and win.

America isn’t prepared to protect our house.  We are resting on our idea that the world is really a peaceful place, especially since Obama apologized to everyone.  Did the President miss the coaches’ meeting where our world dominance was discussed?

Every sports fan realizes there are some teams who dominate their sport just because of their history in the game.  Athletic programs have their problems, but there are still college and professional teams when their name is mentioned, a shudder flows through the crowd.  Their dominance is known and it doesn’t matter how great your roster is that season, you know you can’t compete against that team.

America used to be that team.

This should be a lesson learned, not only to Mr. Obama but to the Defense Department and anyone else who analyzes potential threats to our homeland and our citizens abroad.

Too many times have I sat at games and watched teams think they were going to beat a “lesser” team.  Too many times I have been the parent who said, “You thought you were going to win but you underestimated your opponent” to their player.

At this time in our history everyone has come to play.  If we don’t consider each new terrorist organization a well groomed team with the ability to beat us in our house, we are stupid.  If we don’t realize other countries are practicing and developing play books with the intent of taking our way of life down, we have the most out of touch, inexperienced coaches in the league.

Wake up, Coach Obama!  You can fill out brackets and give championship recognition speeches in a heartbeat.  It’s time to get your head IN the game.  Yes, you are an inexperienced coach.  You hardly “played” the game yourself, before you were promoted from the JV squad.  All of America has seen your JV/Varsity analogy, firsthand.  You put on “Kobe’s jersey” and it certainly didn’t make you a professional.  But you were drafted and now we have to play you.  You’re the Coach and Captain of this team.

Here’s the recap of the game.  We are in the third quarter and losing.  What play will you send in now?  You thought our varsity squad was playing a JV team.  We aren’t.  The other team was playing you.  The ball is in your court.  Huddle up our team.  Send in some solid plays. You’ll still get to do the post-game interviews and if you do well, you might even get a trophy.

Just don’t ever make the same mistake twice.  Don’t underestimate the heart of a JV player because no one ever wants to stay on the JV squad.  Real players want more–they want to move up and be champions. They want the big lights, the center court experience.

They want to win.

Tina Drake

Arizona PolitiChick Tina Drake has been teaching and mentoring Junior High and High School students, in churches where she has been active, since her time as a college student, over twenty-five years ago. Tina believes politics and religion can, and should, be discussed together. She says she is a lifelong follower of Christ and believer in the true significance of God's power in each and everyone's life and she believes in the absolute need for God and Christ to be honored and included in the decisions made for our country. Tina continues to mentor students in this age group, along with her husband, multiple times each week. She believes that encouraging people, especially students, to see the need for a relationship with God and Jesus Christ in their everyday life, is an absolute need in her life. Tina volunteers weekly in her children's school, allowing her to witness how today's students are learning and developing in their social, educational, political and spiritual beliefs. Witnessing how students experience life, during the timeframe of Junior High through College, is immensely important to Tina. She believes this age group needs to be mentored, so they will have the tools with which to navigate today's societal pressures to live life without God, rather than with Him. Tina has also been a teacher to women in churches, teaching small groups, as well as speaking to large groups on a variety of spiritual topics. In addition to Spiritual Formation, Tina has been actively following and discussing the many facets of politics. Tina is a graduate of the University of Arizona, having earned a degree in Communication and a minor in Political Science. After college, she worked in the field of Advertising and Marketing, specializing in Media Buying and Planning, as well as directing entire Marketing and Sales departments. She has been a writer for since 2012 and says she enjoys the opportunity to encourage Americans to live out their faith in Jesus Christ, while they stand firm on the principles set forth by our forefathers in their political beliefs.

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