My Pack Gives Me STRENGTH

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"NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,

And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."

Rudyard Kipling

here comes the boom better

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view scene from movie- Here Comes The Boom-where teacher Kevin James shares with the class the power of restoration and TEAM.


In the book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Communitywritten by Robert D. Putnam, Putnam contends that we have seen the decline of "social capital" here in the United States since approximately 1950, describing this as a reduction in ALL forms of in-person social interaction between people. Sadly, this reduction had always been a foundation upon which Americans throughout history used to found, educate, and enrich the fabric of their social lives. Obviously, Mr. Putnam contends that this reduction of in-person communication has had a tremendously negative effect on our country and all of us.


"Social Capital" is an interesting term. Some might contend that it's the same or at least very similar to the current terms of "Soft Skills", "21st Century Skills" or "Emotional Intelligence" More and more educators are recognizing that instruction in these VITAL skills-communication skills, personal leadership skills, etc...- that used to be taught by fundamental institutions such as family and church have to be now emphasized, no matter how essential the teaching of the "hard skills" may be. But where do you find time to do it?? Teachers are already overwhelmed with everything they have to do from preparing their students for standard tests and more. As Putham points out, the role of social clubs has been greatly reduced and is only getting worse, so potential instruction and practice there is limited at best.

Sports seems like a perfect vehicle. As we all know, sports has taken over as the primary social club for children and adults alike. Where better to teach "Social Capital"? At SportsLeader, we know that many parents, coaches and educators claim that the players are being taught these life lessons. And we believe they are. However, are those life lessons really a priority?? And if so, are those lessons really being incorporated into the every day fabric of the team where they can make a difference? For "Social Capital" to be valuable it must be invested in and practiced constantly, habitually, in actual working relationships. Sadly, too many coaches just don't know how to do this.


However, there are coaches that DO know how to do it. One coach, in particular, who knows how to do this is OSU Head Football Coach, Urban Meyer. In fact he credits much of the success of the Ohio State football team this 2015 National Championship season to team members and coaches alike embracing the concept of "Social Capital" referring to it as the "Power of the Unit". OSU coaches persistently cultivated that bond of love and family and brotherhood within the individual squads on the team, INTENTIONALLY AND DAILY! Coach Meyer is a total believer in how fostering those intimate relationships between teammates had a tremendous influence on the success of their football team and the success of his individual players long after their football careers are over.

So, if this is true, why aren't more of us embracing this concept and applying it to our teams? What is more, why aren't more of us embracing this concept and applying it to our individual LIVES? Call it whatever you like, your SQUAD, your TRIBE, your TEAM, your PACK, whatever. Regardless, having a group of people that are committed to each other, that want to make each other AWESOME, that honestly have to and want to depend on each other, can accomplish SO MUCH!


Whether we want to admit it or not, God made us as social creatures. We want and NEED to belong, to love, to serve and to be be part of something. But these days, it seems that there are just too many of us are not participating, whether on purpose or not. As a result, the collective group is suffering greatly! (and all of us not participating!) The fact is, all of us need to be a part of a squad, a REAL squad. There are far too many of us that are doing it "alone" in our culture today; a child from a broken home, the elderly widow in our neighborhood/assisted living home, the single mom trying to raise a family, the strict teacher/administrator at work or at school. It seems, that "going it alone" has become the new normal. But it's not normal. We were all meant for more.

Make a decision TODAY, to be radical, to be bold, to be different and reach out and create a team, YOUR team that will have the power to bring life to those who think they have no alternative.....including yourself. Make yourself rich and invest in some real "Social Capital".

Virtue = Strength!!