Life is About Relationships

 

 

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Naperville Central (Naperville, IL) High School Head Football Coach Mike Stine has been in our SportsLeader Coaches Association for many years.

 
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Coach Mike Stine in center with his Mom and Dad.

He has told me a number of times that, "Life is about Relationships and I try my best to create opportunities for my players to forge a lifetime of memories in a relatively short season such as football."

 
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To that end, he has take some extra steps in numerous different ceremonies that he has planned throughout the season to create these memories.

Almost every home game has a special dedication:

Mom's Week 
Dad's Week 
Education Appreciation Week 
Student Appreciation Week 
Black Out for Easter Seals

 
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During these weeks, the players are invited to give their opposite jersey to (Mom, Dad, a teacher, a student) as a sign if appreciation, love and respect. They invite them to wear that jersey all day of that Friday's game, while they themselves are wearing the home jersey, to come to that game Friday night, and that they will be offering up that game in a special way for them.

What an honor to receive this invitation from a football player …

 
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Recently Coach Stine had his very special annual Mother-Son Brunch. It is a Letters to Mom Ceremony done out to the max.

There is a special invitation sent to each Mom, everyone gets dressed up … It all takes place at a banquet facility.

 
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Upon arrival every Mom gets a photo taken with her son and his football helmet. There is time for mingling and small group photos. A full buffet, guest speaker …

Each player then escorts his Mom up front where he presents her with a rose and then Mom in turn puts a sticker on her son's helmet to symbolize that he will be playing for her that next game. Each player tells his Mom that he loves her into the microphone. It is an honored moment that everyone has a genuine respect for.

 
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After this each player presents his Mom with his letter.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mrs Betsy Rodgers who has been blessed to be a part of this ceremony for the past 3 years with 2 sons.

She shared how much she has looked forward to this event because she knows how much football means to her sons and this has been a concrete way to bring her closer to her sons through this experience.

 
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But the brunch is just the kick off to the whole week dedicated to Mom. Each player is encouraged to give his Mom a hug and to tell her that he loves her before going to school and before going to bed each day … in the hope that this continues forever, not just during Mom's week.

After the game on Friday night, all the Moms are invited to the end zone where each son goes to give her a post game hug.

 
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Mike has surrounded himself with excellent people who help him organize all these different events.

It can be done. If you would like more information just drop me a line.

Let's build those relationships and create those memories.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
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