Jessica Hain, Founder of JC Soccer Camps

“Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship,” Romans 12:1

If you have been involved with Sports Outreach Institute in any capacity, you have most likely heard or read that simple, evocative tagline, “It started with a ball.”

After Christ and the Gospel message, soccer has undoubtedly been a foundational element of SOI’s ministry success. The internationally renown sport is often touted as a type of universal language to quickly establish common ground and hopefully communicate the Gospel.

One avid supporter of SOI is actively embodying the Lord’s greatest commandment to disciple her team and help further SOI’s work.

Jessica Hain, former Liberty University’s head soccer coach. Hain arrived in Lynchburg in 2008 and has been a prayerful supporter of SOI since. She was connected to the ministry through SOI’s Domestic Outreach Coordinator Kendall Alvey, who served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Lady Flames soccer team.

“I like that their mission is to use the platform of sports,” Hain said.

Before her time at Liberty, Hain served as a coach for the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the United States.

According to Hain’s Liberty coach profile, her coaching helped her team to experience “one of the biggest single-season turnarounds in program history.” Her feats earned her Big South Coach of the Year Honors.

Apart from her accolades, Hain does her best to foster a Christlike mindset among her players. She is apart of a group called the “Fulcrum Coaches”. The program is meant to train leaders who will be able to interact with teams on a relational and spiritual level.

“Being a fulcrum coach, we’re transformed so we can make disciples,” Hain said.

Additionally, Hain developed a coaching and ministry philosophy as a branch of “Fulcrum Coaches” called the “Center Circle”.

The “Center Circle” furthers the discipleship mentality by using a few key scriptural mandates to mold their players including: the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), the renewing of your mind and presenting yourself as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).

The idea and challenge of identity is something that Hain consistently addresses in the “Center Circle”.

“We talk a lot about their identity and their worth and value. They are constantly wrestling with their identity in Christ versus their identity as a soccer player. Who you’re becoming in Christ is more important than what you achieve between the lines,” Hain said.