What is an Impact Weekend?
Uncommon Sports Group’s Academy experience is made up of two parts. The first is an eight-week virtual course that challenges participants to spend daily time in God’s Word through USG’s curriculum titled The Playbook, as well as reading the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and being pushed to grow as young professionals in the sport industry through assignments and coaching. The latter part of the Academy experience is an in-person Impact Weekend. In this blog, we will discuss what an Impact Weekend is and its purpose.
Put simply, Impact Weekends are a fully-funded trip to a city within the United States that brings together Academy participants for an in-person event upon completion of the eight-week virtual course. In the past, USG has done Impact Weekends in Phoenix, AZ, New York City, NY, Tampa, FL, Minneapolis, MN, and Indianapolis, IN, among others. Because of USG’s Clean Out For A Cause program, each participant is able to attend the weekend absolutely free! This includes travel expenses, lodging, food, and other activities. The purpose of this weekend experience is to bring together future leaders of the sport industry for a time of fellowship and to challenge each other to put what they have learned during the eight-week virtual course into action. USG’s core values are living called to the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20), being committed to becoming more like Christ (Romans 12:1-2) and getting connected to Christian community, and accountability within the sport industry (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Over the course of the Impact Weekend, each participant is prompted to live out these core values through the various activities provided in hopes that they would continue to live out these values in their careers within the college and pro sport industry.
During the Impact Weekend, participants are provided with a variety of unique opportunities for growth and development. USG emphasizes the importance of the core value of getting connected through fellowship time, strengths activities, facility tours, and guest speakers. On Friday night, USG offers a fellowship time at a local venue such as Top Golf, which provides set aside time for participants to get to know each other better and develop deeper relationships with the group. USG also does strengths activities using each participant's Gallup CliftonStrengths results as the center of each activity. During the eight-week virtual course, Academy participants are required to take the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment. USG utilizes the results of each participant on the Impact Weekend to help the group connect and get to know each other's gifts better. Another important part of getting connected is through networking with present leaders within the college and pro sport industry. During the weekend, participants are able to hear from guest speakers from local college and professional sports teams. Participants are able to learn from the experiences of the guest speakers, as well as ask the speaker questions. Guest speakers will often provide the group with a tour of their team's practice facility, stadium, and/or arena to provide a better understanding of the day-to-day operations of the organization.
The core value of living called is emphasized in a variety of ways, as well. The most obvious and challenging is through local community outreach. USG provides each weekend participant with an opportunity to engage in local outreach through sharing their faith with people in the surrounding community. Each participant is given an overview of the outreach process and instructions on how to go about having a gospel conversation. After the training is completed, participants split up into small groups and are sent out into the city to interact with people through prayer and/or sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Secondarily, in an effort to encourage participants to live called in their own organizations and communities, USG sets aside time during the weekend to train participants on how to start and lead a Discovery Bible Study (DBS). The DBS process is easy to replicate and has no costs attached, which makes it a great way to engage coworkers and friends with Scripture.
Finally, USG emphasizes the core value of being committed to becoming more like Christ during the weekend through group Bible study and prayer training. The entire group spends time together studying Acts 2:42-47 and learning what attributes the early church had that can be applicable to their careers within the college and pro sport industry. This study follows the DBS format mentioned above in an effort to display its effectiveness and simplicity. USG also provides guidance and training on participants' prayer lives and the importance of prayer in the Christian walk.
Impact Weekends are a fundamental part of Uncommon Sports Group’s development of Christ-centered leaders within the college and professional sport industry. Each participant is left feeling encouraged to live called, be committed, and get connected. Once participants complete the eight-week virtual course and the Impact Weekend, they are granted membership status within Uncommon Sports Group. Members of USG have access to further development opportunities such as fully-funded international mission trips, domestic conferences and events, our private app, and more! Learn more about membership here.
If you are a young professional in the college or professional sport industry aspiring to be a Christ-centered leader, apply for our Academy and receive a development experience that will leave you feeling equipped and encouraged both spiritually and professionally!
If you are interested in learning more about our Impact Weekends, click here to read a blog directly from some of our participants!