Virtues of St Paul Award


It is always exciting to see young people receiving awards for being virtuous. Here is yet another example.

By Dan Duddy
I have a football player who has just been informed that he is receiving the Virtues of Saint Paul Award from a wonderful group in Chicago, Sports Faith International. He was nominated by me, his head football coach. I have the responsibility to teach him how to make punishing tackles, play through tough times, “suck it up”, run into the end zone and help his team win games. 

But the greatest thing I did for him was nominate him for this award, and not by any means for the purposes of celebrating like “hey mom! I got an award!”, although he personally achieved the nomination through his dedication and participation in what we call our Virtue Program. Sportsleader did the same for me last year and I thank Lou Judd for that because it did for me what it is about to do for Sean McGovern.

We honor what we value. Our players will live the values that we, their coaches honor. We are always affecting the identities of our athletes, and they will act in accordance to which they feel they are. Their actions will affect those around them, hence the chemistry of the world. So consequently we as coaches are affecting quite a lot. We need to understand this, accept it, and then man up to it. This is “no joke”, we are affecting either negatively or positively an awful lot, and there is no “in between”. Life never stands still, it is either going in the right direction, or the wrong.

Since Sean has been informed of the honor he has studied Saint Paul and his Virtues. He knows now that any man, a sinner, can play a huge role today in changing the world with Boldness and Truth no matter what he did yesterday. The impunity clause is over,”becoming a saint” isn’t any longer something that men did a long time ago in paintings with haloes over their heads. He is now called to something out of his comfort zone, just like we do in our tackling drills. He is also beginning to understand that it is his responsibility to his very own existence to become one.
If Sean can truly take this on at age 18 and give up “yesterday”, then I can too. Give up yesterday every day. Give your kids an identity with hard work that takes them out of their comfort zones every single day. Honor the traits that you want them to initiate and generate in the world. 

You’ve got not only the individual and personal world of the athlete it in your hands, but God’s world.