Do You Have Your Mentoring Groups?

I was blessed to be a part of the Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas High school football practice yesterday. They have their mentoring groups all set up and they are getting it all started next week.

As I was making my rounds I had two amazing conversations with young men that really confirmed for me the power of mentoring.
 
Mind you, these young men had never seen me before and did not know me from Adam. So if they open up to me this quickly, imagine how much good their coaches can and will do ...
 
The first young man approaches me, Sam, and we get to talking. Sam is the team manager and has cerebral palsy (CP). 
 
He is one of the most inspiring young men I have had the honor to speak with. 
 
Sam taught me more than I could ever hope to share with him. There was a fire in his eyes, a desire to help, a need to be a part of the team, a passion to learn about virtue and the program.
 
He spoke of his CP as a blessing, as an opportunity to help others. He spoke about his hope to create an organization to inspire greater awareness for CP but most of all he wants to talk with kids who have CP and give them hope, give them a smile.
 
McNicholas HS is truly blessed to have Sam on their team. Sam struggles to walk at times but there he is walking around the field brining water, bringing cold towels ... all with a smile.
 
I was moved.
 
How often are we moping around because it's too hot, or too cold, or too this ... 
 
The lesson in all this - that if we didn't take the time to listen to Sam, we might miss all this.
 
There are so many players who get overlooked on our teams. And maybe WE are the ones missing out the most. Maybe WE are the ones who would benefit the most by speaking with them. Maybe THEY have more to teach us - than us them.
 
After my conversation with Sam, I commented on the "Spider-Man" like hands of a particular player as he made a pretty cool one-handed catch. This was Pat, the team kicker-punter.
 
Pat is a great student and is striving for an academic scholarship. Another inspiring young man in his right.
 
The team manager and the kicker ... two players that might not be on the top of anyone's list.
 
Let's change that. Let's make sure every player gets mentored every week this season.
 
You will NOT regret it!