I Am NOT Afraid to LEAD The Way!

Image 2

One man with courage is a majority.

Thomas Jefferson

As a coach, I pray daily for more courage; Help me do the tough thing; Help me make the tough decision; Help me give of myself regardless of the cost. Help me face my fears.....every day.


Coach Jim DeJoy and one of athletes during Jersey Ceremony night.

One SportsLeader coach that has been an inspiration to me, personally, demonstrating that type of courage over and over again is Jim DeJoy, Head 8th grade football coach at Sycamore Jr. High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Coach DeJoy two years ago had the courage to go in the unknown implementing the in-season SportsLeader program with the 8th and 7th grade football teams at Sycamore Jr. High. He believed in character and leadership training so much that he courageously chose our SportsLeader character program for his football teams even though he had been doing his own version of character education already in his school.


Coach DeJoy with some other participating coaches at Sycamore Jr. High School.

Coach DeJoy and Athletic Director Jason Foley were so happy with how the football season went using SportsLeader with their athletes. They wondered what more could they do. Jim courageously volunteered to mentor and support the other coaches in the building doing the SportsLeader character and leadership program with their teams. Throughout the winter and spring seasons, he met with coaches and helped them implement the SportsLeader program with their athletes. Coach DeJoy discovered the coaches were all in different places in being able to implement character education with their teams. Regardless, Coach DeJoy worked them ALL so they could do virtue better.


Father/Son Jersey Ceremony: 7th/8th grade Tennis team at Sycamore Jr. High.

As it always seems, yet another challenge presented itself to Coach DeJoy. (Doesn't it always work that way?) After another successful football season, and a great winter supporting coaches last year, Jim discovered there was a need for a tennis coach in the spring. So, courageously, Jim agreed to coach tennis( a sport he had never coached in 20+ years of coaching) while at the same time still supporting the spring coaches! Coaches taking on more things for their people is a cliche, I know. Yet, rarely do you see football coaches volunteering to coach tennis!


Letters to Mom is always a HIT! CLICK on image for the BEST video on changing the world I've ever seen!

Maybe the most courageous act this past tennis season is when Coach DeJoy decided to give his tennis parents a parent survey evaluation on the tennis season at the end of- season banquet, thus opening himself up to criticism. Talk about being courageous! In the survey, Coach DeJoy asked:

A. Do you think your child's behavior improved at home because of the tennis program? 
B. Do you think your child was more disciplined with his time during the tennis season? 
C. Was our character word of the week ever discussed by your child at home during the season? 
D. Rate the Jersey Ceremony and the Letters to Mom Ceremony. (these were all 10's by the way!) 
E. Does your son plan on continuing to participate in tennis at Sycamore School District? Why/why not? 
F. As a parent, do you have any comments, or suggestions for me as a coach to make next year's tennis season even better?

All Coach DeJoy wanted was feedback in how he could do a better job for his players. What an example, we should all do the same!


Coaches, sometimes we forget that the call to coach includes the call to be courageous EVERY DAY! That's right, being a great coach-a great leader- means for every one of us to embrace being courageous EVERY DAY. Too many of our brothers and sisters have forgotten this vital element of our great country; COURAGE! Can we be courageous enough to show them the way? Thank God, Jim DeJoy has chosen to be one of these people.

Thomas Jefferson was right in saying, one man with courage IS a majority. 
Let all of US be that majority TODAY!

Chris Willertz 
More Than A Coach: SportsLeader!

This week's BRAIN TEASER:

Move one (only one!) digit to make: 62 - 63 = 1 ......true.