YOU Are a Valuable Member of This TEAM!

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"I don't know you but you are doing a great job!"

Sign at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon-Sunday, May 3rd

SportsLeader believes whole-heartedly that affirmation is a MUST for any person, any organization, any team. We, as human beings, thrive on being accepted and valued by the "Team". Constant, habitual communication-praising and encouraging- therefore cannot be just an option but instead a MUST! Our very survival as healthy functioning people depends on it.

 
unbroken better

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view scene from the movie UNBROKEN where Pete shares his faith in Louie even though his brother doesn't believe in himself.

 

May is the month of ceremonies: Mother's Day, Memorial Day and for many, many young people, Graduation Day. Parties and presents have become a fixture to most of these May celebrations; and SportsLeader believes that they should! However, we urge you to consider maybe taking it a step further by possibly putting your feelings into written words. Many of us know the power of words whether spoken or written. Too often we use those words to beat ourselves (or others) up:

"I'm so stupid!"

"What was I thinking?!"

"I know this is not going to work!"

This May, let's take the opportunity to do the positive instead and write down exactly what we think of those loved ones that are most dear to us. It could be a Mother's Day letter, a graduation letter to our son/daughter/graduating senior or a letter to a veteran alive or deceased that gave his life to defending our country. Regardless, putting down on paper why somebody is so valuable in one's life---so they can have a little treasure to hold for life--- might be the present they MOST need this May. Make no mistake, life can be hard. Many of us are assaulted every day that we don't measure up, we don't matter, we have no real purpose. Show somebody (even if you've said it a million times before!) that today you are thankful they are alive.

Below are two examples of letters written to loved ones. * The first is from a high school athlete to his mother; and the second is from a high school football coach to one of his favorite graduating seniors.

 

Dear Mom,

I love you!

For sharing your wisdom and understanding of our God and our Faith...for pushing me to develop spiritually as a man of God...for reminding me to always be humble..

I love you!

For pushing me to grow intellectually...for teaching me about the world and about people when I was young...for sending me to the best schools where I have the best opportunity for growth and development...

I love you!

For being my number one fan...for pushing me to achieve excellence and man-up (especially during long car rides homes while I was in tears)...for giving me internal fortitude...

I love you!

For encouraging me all the time with your wonderful abounding enthusiasm...for cooking delicious food...for putting up with my ego and keeping me down-to-earth...for showing me how to be chivalrous and treat women...

I love you!

Though I know I never can, I hope that one day I will find a girl who possesses half these qualities which make you the most amazing woman in my life. I am so lucky God made you my Mom! I LOVE YOU!

 
McFarland USA

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view clip of Head Coach telling his team exactly what they mean to him before the race, in Disney Movie, McFarland, USA.

 

Dear Greg,

You must lead the way, Greg! You must play with talent. You must be a "winner". You must work harder than everybody else. Your example must show the others, your teammates what Greg ____ is like, what ________ football is like and what ________ football is supposed to be like. You must help them see what it is like to be a champion. Trust me Greg, you can do it! You have it in you! You are special and you have been trained. I did not see it in myself when I was a young man, not ready for college football. So I went with the crowd, and was on the team but I did not lead. Finally, I did figure it out but I wish I would have been courageous enough to start being a man back when I was 18 instead of when I was 22.

Sadly, there are obstacles to your greatness. You will encounter some at college. You must be aware of them and work hard to avoid some and overcome others. There will be many temptations in college. Do not allow those temptations destroy you. Find a good friend, a teammate that has some convictions and values similar to your own. I found one, he was a great friend and teammate.

Greg, you are going to do awesome, no matter what happens. If it's an injury (it happens to most football players), another player coming in and fighting for your playing time (it happens to most football players also!) or a coaching change (it happens all the time)......you WILL overcome. Expect things to be tough and meet all challenges head-on.

You are going to have a great college career----I BELIEVE IN YOU!

No matter what.

Your coach and friend.....ALWAYS!

Often, we don't see our strengths, our abilities..... our PURPOSE. For those times we NEED a friend, a teammate, a family member to remind us who we REALLY are and what gifts we possess. Tragically, our culture is becoming more and more fragmented where individuals have no consistent support to remind them that they ARE so, so valuable. Let's do something about that. Instead, be part of the solution TODAY. Just take 5-10 minutes and write a note to somebody you love; encourage them, praise them, acknowledge them. Write something special from the heart that will speak to them. You never know, you may be that person that saves a life today.

Chris Willertz 
SportsLeader 
Virtue = Strength!