Flexing Personal Courage

Schools across the country are beginning to see the need to dedicate a full time person to Virtue and Athletics.

Coach Dan Duddy of Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ shares his personal journey and the exciting steps underway in his new position.

I have recently been hired by our Principal and the Pastor/Director of our parish community consisting of a grade school, a high school, and our huge church to inject Sportsleader throughout our high school building, consisting of 35 sports, which I have personally been able to do for the past 6 years in my football program of which I am head coach.

I am what is called “Pastoral Minister of Athletics” following the title of a dedicated gentleman at Moeller High School of Cincinnati Dan Dever, and somewhat common among our leading Catholic Universities. 

It was a bold and cutting edge offer from our leadership. As coaches we are the leaders of the most influential sector in our nation, athletics. 
Therefore we are in fact the most influential men and women in the strongest nation in the world, and in dealing with our youth; we hold the greatest impact on the future of the WORLD.

Having never entertained retirement from my past job (as of August 1st) as teacher in a public high school, I suddenly found myself with the decision of “handing in my papers”. 

It made no sense to do so to most people. 

After weighing the pro’s and cons by listing them in separate columns and evaluating the list, I found that the “negatives” list was much longer that the “positives” list. 

In fact there was only one item on the positive list, but it outweighed all the negatives. 

“Flexing my own personal courage”, was the lone item that overpowered them all. 

I would never be able to live through the haunting of not taking on this mission. 

“I would leave all doubts about job security, finances, ridicule and conflict from ‘naysayers’ and put them into the hands of my faith”, I thought…and so I have.

This is what Sportsleader is about in 2011 – “BOLDNESS” and “COURAGE” by our coaches.

I have been very pleased to meet or come to know more deeply wonderful coaches and support staff at my new school that is embracing this mission with me. 

Our boys and girls soccer coaches, a great and dedicated married couple with successful traditions, are embracing the program and will be kicking off The Virtue Themes of the Week next week. 

Our Girls tennis coaches have already begun provoking a specific resolve to action from their athletes within this week’s theme – “Boldness”.

Next week’s “Theme of the Week” will be sponsored by the tennis program – “Patience”, will be the “Sports Virtue Theme of the Week” as it is announced throughout the building daily and posted on a massive bulletin board with all the sample resolutions and quotes that are in our Sportsleader playbook.
On Friday the Sports Virtue Athletes of the Week will be announced to the school for all to hear and celebrate. 

I’m living with an excitement that is loaded with challenges, bumps, and triumph. Be BOLD and COURAGEOUS about what is RIGHT.

We need each other for strength. Know that I am here working and gaining strength from you, and keep stepping up to the plate. 

The world needs you. You’ve been called.