Building Up Your Team As a Family

Virtues: 

 


sports

I recently did a virtue camp with a high school baseball team here in the Cincinnati area. A virtue camp is a team building event where you focus on your team's strengths and weaknesses in order to forge greater leadership on the team. We tried something I had never attempted before and it went over extremely well. Awesome is an understatement.

 
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Cincinnati St Xavier Father-Son Jersey Ceremony 2013

 

One of the coaches, Don DiGiacomo, reached out to former players via text and email. I believe he sent out about 40 messages in one way or another.

The message was basically - "Hey we are doing a virtue camp, could you write a short testimony about what playing baseball at the school meant to you and more in particular the position you played, share a great memory"

The hope was to receive at least 1 letter for each position as the ideal. So if you were a First Baseman for example you would get a letter from a former First Baseman. If fewer came in, then you would just get a letter from a former player.

Well in less than 1 week Don received about 35 letters. Every position got at least 3 letters. During the virtue camp, 4 more had come in.

 
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I've included one of the letters below as an example from Rocky Boiman, who went on to play in the NFL helping the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI.

We ended the day of the virtue camp ... as the kids were going to bed, they got handed their little packet of letters, they were asked to be quiet (good luck with that part -smile), read their letters and go to sleep.

Since so many letters came in I think they are going to read one a week or something like that ... There is so much mileage you can get from this ...

Maybe you can't get one for every position, maybe you can ... but I definitely recommend you do this ...

As a tradition starter ... at the end of every season, have your graduating players write these letters so you can begin building up your stockpile if you will.

This will also help you build up your team alumni association ...

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
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Coach D,

As a St. Xavier baseball alumni, I look back with great fondness on my 3 seasons of playing baseball for the Bombers. While I don't remember the score of any game I played, I routinely reflect back on the high caliber of men that I played with and the commitment to "team" that we all shared. I remember the pain of the 6am workouts, the beginning weeks of the season that were usually marked by snowfall, and the ending weeks playing double headers in the tremendous heat. But those hardships were a minuscule price to pay to beat Elder for the GCL or to make it to the State Regional finals in just my sophomore year. It was an honor to wear the blue and white and to have the memories of overcoming obstacles to achieve with some of the best friends and players in the city.

I was a player who played both infield and outfield which I saw not as a slight but as tremendous asset. I took pride in the fact that I was not a "one trick pony"...that if the team needed someone to make an adjustment and play not his everyday position, I could do it and do it better than anyone. To make a comparison, my NFL career lasted over 8years bc I was versatile. I could play weak side LB, strong side LB, MLB, Special teams, and even rush end. Where other players who could only play one position's career lasted maybe a few years I was able to play 4 times the average career bc of versatility. I kept making rosters bc I was more valuable to a team bc I could do more than the other guy. The same applies in the workforce or business world. Bosses, coaches, and managers want versatility because few situations in v,I've work out the way they are "supposed" to....there is always a wrinkle. Work to be more valuable than the next guy, it will pay off.

I wish all of you the best of luck on what I know will be a successful season in one way or another. Keep working hard and God bless!!

Rocky Boiman '98