Wake Up PEOPLE! We Have a Drug CRISIS!


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"People who have never had an addiction don't understand how hard it can be." Payne Stewart

marin riggs

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view the story of Marin Riggs and her battle against drug addiction: A MUST WATCH for all parents, coaches and educators! ***Fatal drug overdoses remain the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. above car crashes, a trend that began in 2007.


I attended a funeral earlier this week for a teenager/former athlete who was found dead by his father on Good Friday last week...... of a heroin overdose. Like many of you, probably, I've heard the stories on the news about heroin being the new crisis in our society. Sure, the news stories have an effect BUT when you see those very real consequences of that drug addiction up close, personal and in real life, it creates a whole new dynamic. Overpowering, to say the least.

Make no mistake about it people, drug overdose is a very real problem today for all of us. Nobody is safe. Don't believe me? According to statistics, approximately 100 Americans die of drug overdose A DAY!

Washington Post Article: 100 Americans did of drug overdoses each day: How do we stop that?

In fact, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death ahead of automobile accidents, homicide and suicide, and it's killing all different types, regardless of race, socio-economic status, age, education level.... all of us, including intelligent adults.


Evidently, Athletic Director Terry Connor at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky (2015-DIII Women's Basketball National Champs!) was aware of this when we at SportsLeader contacted him about doing virtue training, team building and leadership development with their student-athletes. Mr. Connor loved the idea of working together with SportsLeader to build up TMC's student-athletes but he INSISTED that there had to be an emphasis on drug/alcohol awareness with those athletes and his coaches. For, Mr. Connor KNEW the pressure and temptation to use and abuse drugs/alcohol included his athletes. He owed those athletes AND their parents who had entrusted their sons and daughters to Thomas More College something more. So, starting in early February, SportsLeader started working with ALL the TMC teams-all 19 of them-building up TEAM to help win, of course, but more importantly, to help combat the very real dangers of drug/alcohol abuse.


Members of the Thomas More Women's Softball Team


Head Women's Lacrosse Coach, Jon Durham and members of the TMC Women's Lacrosse Team


Head Baseball Coach, Jeff Hetzer and members of the Thomas More College Baseball Team


Head Tennis Coach, Chris Eilerman and members of the Thomas More College Tennis Team


Members of the Women's Track Team at TMC


Head Men's Golf Coach, Marty Kamer and members of the Thomas More College golf team


It is naive, at best, to think that our student-athletes are exempt from the temptations of drug and alcohol use. On the contrary, in our SportsLeader Drug/Alcohol Awareness Workshops done at Thomas More College, the majority of the athletes participating were of the opinion that athletes were MORE at risk than the typical student; this being due to the increasing pressures to perform and the stresses that went along with trying to play a sport at a high level, achieving academically and trying to do everything/be everything on a daily basis.


Whether we as adults want to admit it or not, there is a battle going on in our youngsters' lives......and drug/alcohol education is no longer just an option. It is a NECESSITY! If you are not exposing your students, athletes, employees, family members to the dangers/risks of drug/alcohol addiction AND introducing personal leadership techniques, team accountability methods and interpersonal communication skills training with those people, you are literally sending them into the battle defenseless.

And as so many parents, educators, pastors (and myself this week!) have discovered first-hand, tragically this battle is LETHAL....even when you do prepare and protect them.

PLEASE join SportsLeader and schools like Thomas More College in this very real battle, people! We as educators, coaches, parents are in the perfect position to help fight this fight. But, we have to come together, UNITE, and do MORE than what we are doing. Literally, the lives of our children hang in the balance.

*Dedicated to all of those that are fighting the daily fight to end drug/alcohol abuse!

Chris Willertz 
SportsLeader: Virtue = Strength!