Athletic Department

From athletic leadership to important forms.

Athletic Forms

Athletic Covenants

Royal Athletic Covenant

The Royal Athletic Covenant is designed to create a positive athletic experience. At The First Academy, athletic participation is a privilege afforded to Student Athletes, not a right, and student-athletes are expected to follow standards in order to participate. The goal is to build an ideal learning environment for the student-athlete, build credibility and longevity for the coaches and provide a positive experience for the parents. Complete support of this philosophy is essential in the success of the role in which athletics plays to the growth of student-athletes.

These areas of focus will allow The First Academy to be successful regardless of the outcome of the contest while building a strong image that will impact others for the Kingdom. By striving to reach these goals, the school will also be able to bolster, strengthen and fulfill the Mission Statement of The First Academy while providing a Christ-centered model for the development of the student-athlete.

Student Athlete Commitment

Attendance

As a Student-Athlete, I will attend and be on time to practices, games, and team functions.

As a Student-Athlete, I will contact the coach by noon or earlier that day, to notify that I will be absent.

Work Ethic

As a Student-Athlete, I will be diligent in preparation, displaying a coachable spirit, and providing great effort each time I step on and off the field of play.

As a Student-Athlete, I will not allow negative situations to affect my attitude, effort or demeanor.

Conduct/Accountability

As a Student-Athlete, I will demonstrate respect, discipline, humility and self-control in all situations working towards Christ-like character on the field of play.

As a Student-Athlete, I will always be positive toward teammates, opponents, coaches and officials.

As a Student-Athlete, I will refrain from the use of ridicule, harassment, profanity, teasing or name-calling.

As a Student-Athlete, I am afforded the privilege to participate in athletics, thus the responsibility rests on me to adhere to the standards set forth in all student handbooks.

Communication

As a Student-Athlete, I will maintain open avenues of communication with teammates, coaches and parents which will help to build community and excellence.

As a Student-Athlete, I will speak to coaches with regards to my role, playing time and areas of needed growth. These kinds of conversations will assist me in working towards developing my sport-specific skills, growth and maturity in my life skills.

Leadership

As a Student-Athlete, I understand that Team Captains will be selected based on character and leadership ability rather than athletic performance or status.

As a Student-Athlete, I will be responsible to the Captain’s Council (Royal Round Table) for my actions both on and off the field of play.

Honor Code

As a Student-Athlete, I understand that participation on a team is a privilege, not a right.

To remain a Student-Athlete in good standing (remain on the team), I must uphold the Mission Statement of the school and conduct myself in accordance with the Student-Athlete Commitment.

Parent Commitment

Competition

As a parent, I understand and agree that The First Academy Athletic Department fields competitive programs in each sport.

Playing Time

As a parent, I understand and agree that all players may or may not play during each game.

As a parent, I understand that not all players will have equal playing time.

As a parent, I understand and agree that the coaches will not discuss playing time with parents.

Role Players

As a parent, I understand and agree that each player will have a role to play on their respective team.

As a parent, I understand that the coaching staff will determine the role of the player, and I will support that decision with our child, other parents and coaches.

Coaching  

As a parent, I understand and agree to let the coaches coach and the players play while focusing my energy on encouraging and cheering rather than giving direction to my child from the stands or sidelines.

Payment of Fees

As a parent, I understand and agree to pay all athletic fees associated by the published due date for each season. All participation fees and player package fees will be billed and paid through RenWeb and managed through the Finance Office. Fees not paid by required deadlines will result in Student-Athlete being removed from participation.

Volunteering

As a parent, I understand and agree to volunteer to serve once during each season that my Student Athlete participates.  An additional fee will be assessed to each student participation fee at the beginning of the season, which will cover the cost of staffing those positions to cover shifts. Parents can receive a refund of this additional fee by signing up prior to the sign up deadline and work a two-hour shift as agreed upon.

Fundraising

As a parent, I agree not to raise funds or organize other parents to raise funds.

Conflict Resolution

As a parent, I will demonstrate Christ-like behavior in resolving conflict. I will follow the Matthew 18 principle and will not complain, gossip or criticize those with whom I may have a disagreement.

As a parent, I will refer to the General Athletic Communication policy found in the Athletic Handbook for further information.

Coaches Commitment

As a Coach, I am responsible to select Student Athletes that best represent The First Academy Mission Statement without regard to ability or status. If a student does not represent the Mission Statement, he/she should not be selected as a member of the team.

As a Coach, I will use a holistic approach when evaluating a Student-Athlete using qualities such as character, integrity, leadership, coachability and a love for the sport.

As a Head Coach, I will have the responsibility to make sure there is no sense of entitlement based on contributions, status or influence within the program.

As a Coach, I will instruct Student-Athletes using positive methods to create an ideal learning environment.

As a Coach, I will assist in the total development of all athletes by helping them through their life journey, not just their athletic journey.

As a Coach, I will provide an open line of communication with Student-Athletes that allows for questions and feedback for means of improvement.

As a Coach, I will approach parents individually or collectively to pass along necessary feedback during the season. Student-Athletes will also be encouraged to accurately communicate with their parents about their experiences on the team.

As a Coach, I will incorporate a student-driven, mid-season review using the provided evaluation review tool.

As a Coach, I agree to have my team and entire coaching staff participate in a “man down” emergency drill.

As a Coach, I will take the responsibility to select team captains that will best emulate the core Christian values expected at The First Academy. Those positions will not be based on status, position or ability.

As a Coach, I will communicate to Student-Athletes and parents all necessary information needed for fees, practice and game schedules and any other program needs prior to the first game at a mandatory parent meeting.

As a Coach, I will create and implement a meaningful practice structure to enhance instruction, development and effective use of time for all teams within the program.

As a Coach, I will work toward the desired outcome of developing the total Student-Athlete to become champions for Christ.

As a Coach, I understand that coaching at The First Academy is a privilege and not a right. I will remain in good standing and uphold the Mission Statement of the school and conduct myself according to the Honor Code.

Athletic Culture

The Royal Philosophy

The purpose and mission of the Department of Athletics at The First Academy is to fulfill the mission of TFA through competition in interscholastic sports, by implementing Biblical principles in our instruction, and by setting Godly examples. The goal of the Department of Athletics is to do our best for the Lord (Col. 3:23). It is the desire of every coach at The First Academy to use interscholastic sports as a means of developing champions for Christ.

Our coaches will:

  • Build relationships with players and parents (rules without relationship build contempt)
  • Encourage good citizenship and academics
  • Teach the team concept coupled with strong competition
  • Present teams prepared to play
  • Do all these things with the primary goal of bringing honor to the Lord

Our Values

We strive to use the arena of athletics to help accomplish the mission of The First Academy. We are here to help train up our student-athletes in the way they should go – Proverbs 22:6. This means that we will coach from a Biblical perspective and strive to be a true reflection of Jesus Christ to our student-athletes.

We strive to promote honesty, integrity, humility, loyalty, unity and encouraging total character development of our student-athletes. These traits are non-negotiable and are essential to building a “TEAM”. This will include all coaches promoting and encouraging the success of other programs and emphasizing the need to share multi-sport athletes.

We strive to show good sportsmanship, respecting others at all times in every circumstance. This includes behavior toward coaches, teammates, officials, opposing coaches, opposing players and fans. Defiance and disrespect are never tolerated in a disciplined program.

We strive to create a winning environment by displaying a positive attitude and providing daily encouragement to those under our leadership. Our student-athletes will respond better when they know we genuinely love and care for them.

We strive to foster a commitment to excellence. Success in athletics is the result of coaches and players going the extra mile. Teams who pay the price in the offseason win championships. We communicate great expectations, provide great instruction, emphasize great fundamentals and demand great effort. Most importantly, according to God’s word if we want to be great, we must model great servanthood.

Our Vision

We strive to honor God and exalt Jesus Christ through athletics.

We strive to produce disciplined, championship teams at all levels and in all sports.

We strive to be ambassadors for Christ and The First Academy at home and away..

We strive to model humility in winning and grace in losing.

We strive to graduate student-athletes committed to the bible, prayer and servant leadership.

Our Voice

We pursue greatness God’s way, through unity, service and sacrifice.

College Recruiting

The Athletics department has put together an extensive list outlining the College Recruiting process. If you’re interested in playing a college sport, this is an excellent place to begin.

Considerations for the Recruiting Process

Athletes should have realistic expectations of their level of play. Be honest with yourself and consider your ability and profile for the position you play. For example, there were zero NCAA Basketball players under 5’5″ in 2017. When it comes to college athletic recruiting, dreams and reality may differ.

  1. Take a moment to review the Athlete Profiles by Position that collegiate coaches use for consideration of an athlete. These were created by research and discussions with collegiate coaches.
  2. College coaches expect athletes to meet the NCAA academic requirements. Be sure to review your grade-based and test-based academic requirements.
    1. Division I Academic Requirements
    2. Division II Academic Requirements
    3. Division III Academic Requirements
    4. NAIA Academic Requirements
    5. SAT & ACT Sliding Scale Scores
  • In order to avoid recruiting violations, it’s important that coaches only contact athletes during specified times, see the NCAA DI and DII Recruiting Calendars.
  • Students can accept their National Letter of Intent (NLI) on a signing day. National Letter of Intents are provided alongside most formal scholarship offers and exist to provide schools with a binding agreement that a student has accepted the school’s athletic scholarship offer. NLI Signing Days vary by sport. On the contrary, verbal commitments are non-binding.
  • Athletes often wonder their odds of competing at the college level. The answer varies by sport, take a moment to review the Estimated Probability of Competing in College Athletics by Sport.
  • Although talent is the number one determinate for recruitment, coaches are also interested in other attributes that make up the athlete. You’d be wise to review the list of Attributes College Coaches Look for in Student Athletes.
  • Some Athletes may not receive a scholarship, yet still choose to Walk-on. What does it mean to be a Preferred Walk-on vs. Walk-on?
  • College recruiters are known to look at specific Athletic Camps and Combines. Here are a list of suggested events to focus on:
    1. Football: Recommended Camps and Combines
  • Similarly, the scholarships available and recruiting processes may vary by sport. Take a moment to review the scholarships and recruiting practices for your specific sport:
    1. Football: Scholarships and Recruiting Practices
  • Highlight Reel – If you intend on playing in college. You should consider creating a one to three minute Hudl highlight reel. College coaches receive thousands of emails each week, so focus on the first four plays being exceptionally dynamic. College coaches are more receptive to reading emails from coaches they’re familiar with. Be sure to check with your coach about emailing your highlight reel.
  • College visits can be a great way to gain a school’s attention. Learn from Ken Lancaster as he Breaks Down the College Visit for Athletes.Looking for more information about College Recruiting? Contact Russell Holley.

Hall of Fame

International Student Athletes

International Student-Athlete Requirements

The FHSAA office reviews non-US Citizens before the student may participate in an athletic contest. The following documents need to be on file with The First Academy Athletic Department for FHSAA eligibility:

  • Copy of student’s valid passport
  • Copy of the first page of the I20 signed by the student
    • Note: If the student is here on a Visa other than an F1, documentation of that Vis needs to be on file
  • All transcripts from the 8th year of school until arrival at The First Academy must be on file. These must be in the original language of the student’s country.
    • Note: Some countries begin school in February or March. Students must attend during that time and submit partial transcripts to be eligible through FHSAA.

The First Academy Athletic Department registers the student and sends all documents to FHSAA. Due to the volume of paperwork received from all of Florida, it can take up to 2 weeks for the FHSAA to approve student eligibility, so it is wise to have all of the documents in place in July or August.