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Culture & Sports Recognizing that the history and culture of any country constitute the basis of its

survival and progress, we support individual and collective actions in the fields of art and sports. Guided by the eternal values of sports, such as participation, peace, equality, cooperation and sportsmanship, and believing in Henry Ward Beechers motto whereby real culture is the culture that helps us work towards the social improvement of all, we promote practices that serve the intellectual, ethical and physical development of people in all the countries where we operate; at the same time, we support the participation of our staff in cultural and sports events. Faith and Belief Introduction In this article I aim to outline a clear and important distinction between the concepts of belief and faith. In the world of sport the importance of having belief is regularly emphasised, however I argue that having belief is not as powerful as one may think. What is belief? Belief by definition is to have confidence in the existence of (a person or a thing), or the occurrence of (an event) Oxford English Dictionary. Beliefs are directly related to the events that are happening around you. This means seeing is believing with what you experience working as evidence to prove or disprove your beliefs. Therefore in competitive sport, the athletes belief in their ability is usually dependent on how well they are performing. If the athlete is performing well positive beliefs about their ability are reinforced, whilst during times of defeat and setback, belief in the athletes sporting abilities is likely to be damaged. If belief is dictated by performance, it can be argued that belief holds no or little value of its own, as it is only a commentary of how well the athlete is doing at a given time. By definition belief cannot exist if the object of this belief is not visible. For example if an athlete continues to play badly for a significant length of time then it becomes increasingly difficult for them to create high levels of belief in their ability, because of this lack of evidence and reason to do so. Is it possible for the athlete to have a deep rooted belief in their sporting abilities even when they are performing badly? The answer is yes, however what was once called belief is now referred to as faith. Faith is believing in the absence of success, Nideffer (1992) Faith is knowing that whatever your sport throws at you, you will still achieve your professional goals.

The real power of faith comes from its unmovable properties. While belief is dependent on what is actually happening in the realm of sport, faith remains fixed in place, irrespective of the surrounding circumstances. During times of loss, faithful athletes are able to remain confident and committed to their cause, while athletes that only have belief, allow the quality of their performances dictate how they subsequently feel. Here are 2 flow charts that show how faith can impact on performance when an athlete makes a series of mistakes in the field of play: Series of mistakes----- Creates a lack of belief (No Faith)----------Unmanageable feelings of self doubt-----------Start playing conservatively---------------Opponent takes control of the game---------Increased chance of losing Series of mistakes---- Unmoved level of belief (High level of faith)---------Manageable feelings of doubt---------Playing with assertiveness and courage-------Regain dominance in the game-------------Increased chance of winning The flow charts show that faithful athletes never compromise who they are and how they play in the face of challenges and tough situations. The power of faith in action In 2001, the Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanisevic won the grand slam Wimbledon, despite being entered in the tournament as a wild-card. Before 2001, no wild card had ever won Wimbledon! Ivanisevic was given little or no chance of winning the title that he had desired throughout his career, having lost in the final three times prior to that year. He entered the tournament following two disastrously bad seasons in 1999 and 2000, during which his world ranking slumped from 12 to 97. Much had been speculated about the reasons for Ivanisevics unprecedented success that year. After being quizzed about his unlikely achievement, Ivanisevic attributed his success at Wimbledon that year to a deep rooted sense of faith. He talked of how he made a pact with God to give him one more chance of winning the title that had eluded him throughout his illustrious career. Apparently from the onset of the tournament with all the evidence pointing towards him being out of form and at the end of his career, in his own words he still knew that he was going to lift the trophy

trength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions An increase in research examining the purpose of religion in the lives of intercollegiate athletes has occurred in recent years (Balague, 1999; Storch & Storch, 2002a; Storch & Storch, 2002b; Storch, Storch, & Adams, 2002; Storch, Storch, Kovacs, Okun, & Welsh, 2003). Religion can be an important aspect in athletes lives and may serve a protective function against psychological distress and maladaptive behaviors such as substance use or aggression (Storch, Roberti, Bravata, & Storch, 2004). Viewers of sporting events can frequently observe athletes pointing to the sky, engaging in team prayer on the court or field, and glorifying God following athletic competitions. Numerous studies report athletes to be more religious than nonathletes (Fischer, 1997; Storch, Kolsky, Silvestri, & Storch, 2001; Storch et al., 2004). According to Storch, Kolsky, Silvestri, and Storch (2001), four reasons may explain why religion interacts with athletic performance. First, athletes may identify with religious beliefs for direction and humility. Second, athletes may turn to religion to gain a sense of optimism and security, benefiting from such beliefs following a disappointing athletic performance. Third, religion can be used for emotional and psychological support in stressful circumstances like the uncertainty of athletic competition, which can cause athletes an overwhelming amount of anxiety. Religious beliefs can offer the internal strength to persevere through the stress. Fourth, religion provides a cognitive framework conducive to the relief of anxiety associated with competition (Storch et al., 2001, p. 347). This framework allows relief from fear and anxiety on the basis of the athletes understanding (i.e., belief) that a supreme being is in complete control of the situation. For example, athletes may rely on religious faith to place a poor athletic performance in perspective.