Nicole Newman led Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddles at Drake University and FCA Camps. Today, she is a professional softball player in the National Pro Fastpitch league for the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota. Newman was named a 2018 third-team NFCA All-America selection and named to the prestigious “USA Softball Top 25 College Player of the Year” finalists list. She also threw five perfect games during the 2019 NCAA Division I softball season to lead Drake to a Missouri Valley Conference softball title and a berth in the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament. Ultimately, it is God that motivates this leader to excel in sports and in life.
Learn more about Nicole Newman and her passion for Christ on CNJ:
How does your relationship with Christ impact the way you play?
I know I am playing for something bigger than myself, and I am using the abilities God gave me to glorify Him. I pray before every game, and I know He has already determined the outcome. It is easy to get caught up in the wins, losses and performances; I am guilty of it at times. But then I remember it is just a game and there will be another opportunity. I wear two active faith bracelets that say, “In Jesus’ Name I Play” and “My Game. His Glory.”
How has the Fellowship of Christian Athletes helped you to know and grow in Christ?
FCA hosted small- and large-group discussions, prayer walks, coach and athlete story sharing, child sponsorship, teaching mini-series and many other things! By my last two years at Drake University, I was on our leadership team. Initially, I felt unsure of being worthy of Christ’s love. A big part of my growth was learning God loves me for who I am and forgives. With the help of FCA Area Representative Dave Applegate and many amazing people, I grew significantly over my five years.
What is God teaching you right now?
It is easy for us to base our self-worth on appearance, possessions, achievements and approval from others. I am guilty of it and even wondered if my life has value based on these four things. It is what society tells us matters. But God is teaching me that His opinion of me is the only one that matters. And I can change. I’ve had a lot of change lately between graduating, playing professional ball, and now going to grad school. Each day I give it my all and trust His process.
How do you help others know and grow in Christ?
I led an FCA Huddle and was a Huddle leader at FCA camp. I am always looking for an opportunity to have a conversation with someone about Christ and be a positive part of their day. As a friend, mentor, coach and leader, I try to get others to think about Christ and encourage them to read the Bible and devotionals, go to church, small groups, FCA, listen to podcasts and pray often. FCA’s resources help me feel more comfortable talking about my faith and reaching out to others.