Speaking to the Hearts of Mothers

Coach Dan Duddy of Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River, NJ recently had his Letter to Mom Ceremony and it was a memorable evening.

His words speak to the heart and by the comments of the Moms below ... it worked.

We need to desperately speak to the hearts of the mothers of our athletes. By and large they are the ones that are raising our athletes. There’s a pretty good chance that the dads are not in the lives of our players as much as they should, if at all.
The moms need to understand what a “man” is, and it’s up to the men to define it. Talk is cheap, it means nothing. Action is everything. A mom simply can’t model to a boy what a man is. They can help make one into one, but more prevalently they surely can be a huge obstacle in gaining manhood for our boys, and innocently so. Every mom wants their boy to be a man. The problem is absent husbands and fathers give a very disturbing definition of one to moms, and leave the women in a state of distrust as well. She is called to do things that are not in her nature, and the boys suffer, staying just that, a boy, and supposedly the future leader of the world. But if you haven’t noticed women are taking over and the middle-aged boys are watching it happen.
Have you checked out a beer commercial lately? The women are sarcastically putting down the lousy representative of men for all of our boys to see on commercial breaks after just watching the contrasting Tim Tebow miraculously and insidiously change souls with his boldness amidst the fire and criticism of the world, Surprise, surprise. As a group we deserve criticism. But Tim Tebow has opponents because he has put himself into the fight. Are you in the fight? Or are you simply “in the group”.
Without taking specific actions, you are “in the group”.
As coaches it is our calling as men to redirect this. Take a time out every day. Break out your best play. No time for trickery, its smash-mouth time.
I finally listened to Lou and put in our Mother-Son pasta night this week after years of Father and Son Jersey night. I saw the moms that are home while we do that “men’s night”, knowing that many of those men are stand-ins, uncles, older brothers, or fathers with a different address  now married to other women, stepfathers etc. But of course we had our share of outstanding and dedicated men, the fathers of sacrificial traditional families.
The players read heartfelt letters aloud to their moms. The seniors spoke in front of the whole crowd, and then the underclassmen read theirs eye to eye afterwards. Yes, talk is cheap, but the whole evening was ACTION, and action that brought tears to all.
The players sat down for a week and struggled with what to write. They had to REFLECT outside of their comfort zones and witness personal revelations, express  GRATITUDE for SPECIFIC ACTIONS by their moms that made them FEEL LIKE A MAN,  actions that made them WANT TO BECOME AN EVEN BETTER MAN., 
They therefore defined “manliness” and “manly needs” for their moms. Moms found out what motherly action it is that makes men feel like men. Moms want their sons to become men. They left with a much better understanding of how to facilitate that.
Coach Duddy,
Last night was a very moving and touching experience that I had with my son and I will forever cherish.  Last night was a wonderful gift.  These are the experiences that are so important in children and parent's lives. There was not a dry eye in the house.  It was so moving to see teenagers express the love that they have for their mothers in front of their peers and coaches.  The team that you have coached this year is really a special group of young men.  
Thanks again.  Kristen
Dear Dan,
Thank you so very much for the Mother/Son dinner tonight - it was a beautiful evening!  To see these young men stand before us all and share their love and pain is amazing!  Jesse said you have taught them they need to step out of their comfort zone to be a better man and you have surely done that with these young men - thank you!
I am glad that Jesse toughed it out this season and did not walk away - he too has grown in many good ways!  Next year is his!
Hi Dan,
Thank you for implementing this tradition this year.  It was so touching to hear these young men put their feelings on paper.  I hope those who are fortunate enough to have their mothers in their lives realize that tonight.  What stories, some I did not even know, and those that I did, to hear their son express what they did to all of us is just an amazing feat….all thanks to YOU!!!
Now all that is left to do is BEAT MANCHESTER...GO GRIFFINS!!!
Thanks as always, Andrea
I just wanted to thank you for planning the Mom/Son Pasta Night.  It was a very special evening for us, and I think it will be a great tradition to carry on.  Thanks.