Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Bible influences sports psychologist

March 6, 2004


Sports psychologist David Cook is good enough at his job to have helped motivate the San Antonio Spurs to NBA championships in 1999 and 2003.

Now the former Kansas University employee is using his talents to help Christians across the country lead more fulfilling lives of faith.

Cook, 46, will lead a men's retreat called "Beyond Success: A Man's Search for Significance" March 12-13 at Christ Community Church, 1100 Kasold Drive.

"I've never found anything outside of God that fills someone's heart. I work in the field of success, yet it doesn't fulfill people. The 'Beyond Success' program is going to help (participants) discover where fulfillment does come from: a relationship with Jesus Christ," said Cook.

"Everything (at the men's retreat) will come straight out of the Bible, but I will also weave in stories from my own life and the platform God's given me in sports psychology to help men understand and live a life of significance, versus a life of chasing success."

Cook is in his eighth year working as sports psychologist for the Spurs basketball team. He is also president of San Antonio-based Mental Advantage Inc., a performance enhancement firm that bridges the gap between the sports and business arenas. Cook is the former director of applied sport and performance psychology at KU, where his peers elected him president of the National Sports Psychology Academy in 1992.

During his 12-year tenure (1984 to 1996) at KU , Cook said he counseled more than 1,500 athletes and coaches.

Cook said he and his wife, Karen, were one of seven founding couples who started Lawrence's Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 1988. The church is now located at 3312 Calvin Drive.

"We loved Lawrence, we loved our church and we loved the University of Kansas greatly. We just felt God moving us in a new direction. We felt a different calling. The Lord gives you seasons in life, and that one in Lawrence was so wonderful," Cook said.

The couple, who have two children, left Lawrence in 1996 so Cook could pursue business opportunities in San Antonio.

Cook will draw from his experience working with world-class athletes when he leads the Christian men's retreat in Lawrence.

"That's the platform that I come from (sports). My credibility is that I've been with some of the greatest performers at the peak of their careers, and I've seen it leave them empty," he said.

"It's kind of like, 'Life didn't stop, the crowd noise is gone, I've still got to do something. What am I going to do for the next thrill? Where's my significance going to come from?' The day after you're a champion, you're a past champion."

Cook said he believed retreat participants will be able to learn from the stories and insights he'll share.

"What I hope they get out of this is that ... the world says success is the ultimate goal, but that's not what the Bible says. The true adventure, the true fulfillment in life is seeking a life of significance. That's where a man will find fulfillment in his heart," he said.

Greg Capps, a member of Christ Community Church who is organizing the retreat, is a longtime friend of Cook's from the time the sports psychologist lived in Lawrence.

"I just think the world of David; he is a terrific speaker. I'm real excited about it. He's entertaining and exciting, and he has tons of stories to draw upon that liven up the presentation," he said.

"Much of what he says, for many Christian men, won't be brand new, but it's always good to be reminded and refreshed. He has a number of specific points that he will talk about in relation to your family, your church and your community. He's always extremely highly rated (as a motivational speaker)."

Sports psychologist David Cook will lead a Christian men's retreat, "Beyond Success: A Man's Search for Significance," from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Christ Community Church, 1100 Kasold Drive.Tickets cost $25 per person, or $10 per student. The retreat is geared toward young men and adults, as part of the 2004 men's ministry programming at the church.There will be room for about 350 participants at the retreat.Tickets are available at Signs of Life, 722 Mass., and both Hy-Vee Food Stores in Lawrence, 4000 W. Sixth St. and 3504 Clinton Parkway.They are also being sold at the following Lawrence churches: Christ Community Church; Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church; First Christian Church; First Southern Baptist Church; Free Methodist Church; Morning Star Christian Church; Mustard Seed Christian Fellowship; Clinton Parkway Assembly of God; and Lawrence Wesleyan Church.Tickets also will be available at the door the day of the event, but advance purchase is recommended.For more information, contact Christ Community Church at 842-7600.To learn more about Cook, visit his company's Web site at

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