How is a Catholic Athletics Program Successful?


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Fr. John Riccardo, Pastor of Our Lady Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI, recently partnered with SportsLeader.

Fr. John is a nationally renowned speaker with a weekly radio program titled Christ is the Answer.

Before the initial coaches training he gave this introductory speech to set the vision.

One question he invited us all to reflect on was the following:

How would we determine whether or not an athletic program at a Catholic Church is successful?

We strongly encourage you to watch the whole video. Fr John has a simple clarity of vision that is truly enlightening.

If you are short on time, please watch from at least 9:07 - 18:04.

There is no "platform" capable of reaching as many young people today for Christ than sports.

Virtue = Strength, 
Save the Date: November 15-17, 2016 SportsLeader Conference

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For more on Fr. John's vocation story click here

OLGC Partners With SportsLeader To Boost CYO 
Pastor Says Program, New Vision Are ‘Transformative’

Plymouth, Aug. 5, 2016 – Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Athletic Department has partnered with SportsLeader, a Catholic virtue-based formation program for coaches, in order to achieve its goal of becoming a program that not only competes to win, but teaches virtue and leadership and, above all, offers our athletes, coaches and families an opportunity to meet Jesus and become intentional disciples.

SportsLeader, which has partnered with hundreds of Catholic schools throughout the country, is a teaching tool that helps athletic departments create a culture of virtuous leadership among coaches and athletes. It is based on four pillars: virtue, mentoring, ceremony, and Catholic identity.

SportsLeader Director Lou Judd, who presented the program live last Saturday to many of our coaches and coordinators, said it “will help our young people grow closer to Christ through the platform of sports.” Judd will be working closely with OLGC for the next four years, and will return this winter for another live presentation. A video of last weekend’s presentation will be available soon.

Meanwhile, OLGC soccer coordinator and coach Jeremy Borys echoed Judd’s sentiments and noted that the presentation was “moving and inspirational,” and provided great clarity on how we as a parish “can achieve success and make a significant impact” in our children’s lives. He said he left the presentation energized and is “already planning how to implement the jersey ceremony, mentoring, daily virtues, and letters to mom.” Borys noted he already re-told some of the stories he heard on Saturday and that his kids were hanging on every word. “They are powerful.”

OLGC Pastor Fr. John Riccardo called the program “transformative,” adding that this is a giant, “radical” step toward achieving our athletic department’s vision to utilize sports as a way to offer our children and their families a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

“There are many options out there for our children, but what sets us apart is that we measure success by the number of our young athletes who have an encounter with Jesus Christ through our efforts. That is why we exist, and that is why we are always looking for new ways to transform our program. SportsLeader is one of those ways.”

Implementation of the SportsLeader program will begin immediately.