The SportsLeader Blog

SportsLeader will be hosting a Father-Son Campout June 1-2 at Camp River Ridge in Oldenburg, Indiana. I realize you may live too far away to participate in this personally but maybe you would like to host one in the future at your place. If you'd like information, a sample schedule and other... Read more
We at SportsLeader are blessed to have the support of numerous men and women around the country who believe in our mission with as much passion as we do. One of those very generous people is Duncan Taylor. L-R: JJ Everage, Dan Burch, Pat McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Duncan Taylor Duncan is the... Read more
Being that the school in question is so close to where I live personally, it hits a little closer to home. Let us pray for this student and his family. As of right now I believe he is still alive. This is not about blame … it is about searching for a solution Really how can we help stop this... Read more
I recently did a virtue camp with a high school baseball team here in the Cincinnati area. A virtue camp is a team building event where you focus on your team's strengths and weaknesses in order to forge greater leadership on the team. We tried something I had never attempted before and it went... Read more
The dictionary defines camaraderie as: Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. Example: A genuine camaraderie on the football team. We all want it on our teams and our coaching staffs but many times the business of life gets in the way. How about passing out a... Read more
One of the most common objections we face at SportsLeader from coaches is the phrase, "We do that already." Meaning that they as coaches teach character and virtue in their coaching. 99% of the time they are absolutely right. They do and they do a very good job of it. Some are content... Read more
One of the things I most enjoy about my mission with SportsLeader is the opportunity to talk with coaches from all over the USA and Canada. I had a phone conversation recently that I found particularly inspiring. It was with the head track coach at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Vince... Read more
Yes, even McDonald's needs virtue. Less virtue = more complaints = less customer satisfaction = lose $ ... not good. Sometimes we have to lose $ before we wake up. Virtue = Strength, Lou SportsLeader Web Site McDonald's Tackles Repair of 'Broken' Service By Julie Jargon | The Wall... Read more
No doubt many of you have either seen, read about or both ... The 7-year old boy named Jack Hoffman who ran for a TD during the University of Nebraska Spring Football game. More about it below ... It is an inspiring and moving act of charity on the part of many people, Nebraska Football in... Read more
One of the pillars of SportsLeader is CEREMONY. This is one of the things that sets us apart. The Father-Son Jersey Night is one of those ceremonies that should be a part of every season, on every team. Everywhere. The purpose of this ceremony is to give every Father and Male Role Model the... Read more
June 25-27, 2013 Steubenville Conferences and SportsLeader are teaming together for the Faith + Virtue + Athletics Conference. Click HERE to for more information and to register Faith + Virtue + Athletics is a Conference for Coaches, Athletic Directors, Administrators and Youth Leaders who are... Read more
Explore why you coach. Write a single sentence stating the difference you are trying to make in the lives of your players. Here is an example of Joe Ehrmann’s transformational coaching purpose: “I coach to help boys become men of empathy and integrity who will lead, be responsible and... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of the Cincinnati St Xavier High School baseball father son jersey ceremony last night. As always, it was an extremely powerful and emotional evening that brought the team closer, families closer. One of the young men on the team was the personification of the virtue of... Read more
I'd like to ask everyone to remember in their thoughts and prayers a young man by the name of Jordan McDonough. He is currently a Junior at Cincinnati St Xavier High School. He is a very talented Catcher on the St Xavier baseball team and has already signed a letter of intent to play baseball... Read more
Two SportsLeader wrestling programs celebrated individual state champions at the Ohio High School Athletic Association's(OHSAA) State Wrestling Championships held in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller had two champions, Dakota Sizemore(jr.) at 160 lbs. and Chalmer... Read more
REMINDER: SportsLeader Coaches Clinic this coming Saturday March 16 in Wyandotte, MI. Tyler Hamilton is a SportsLeader graduate from Wyandotte, MI. He is currently double majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University while playing football and... Read more
It is truly awesome to be associated with such great men and women ... I'm talking to each of you receiving this, and especially the author of the testimonial here below, Kevin Cicak. May we never tire of teaching our young people that Virtue = Strength! Lou Judd SportsLeader The Lady Saints... Read more
I was blessed to welcome a new team into the SportsLeader family last weekend in Chicago, IL. The Elk Grove Grenadiers HS football team. And we had a ton of fun doing it! Head football coach, Larry Calhoun, is a tremendously dedicated and loving coach - he tells his players straight up that he... Read more
A great example of how one can be a great mentor! Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd The advice he used to give in the playground became known as “the word in the ear.” For as long as he was able to, Don Bosco took part in the boys’ recreation.... This gave him the opportunity to get to... Read more
Below is a heartfelt testimonial from a coach, Jeff Mulvey, who just went through the SportsLeader program for the first time this season. The photo was recently taken, months after the "official" football season was over but the bonds he has established with his players have continued on... Read more
Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. In their book... Read more
We are striving to host a number of clinics this year. The first one scheduled is in Wyandotte, Michigan which is a little south of Detroit - 25 minutes from the Detroit airport. These are great opportunities to get to know other people who are passionately dedicated to building up a culture of... Read more
I started doing SportsLeader back in 2005, while coaching football at Cincinnati Moeller High School with Bob Crable. Mentoring was (and still is!) a key component of those early years doing SportsLeader and I was privileged to be able to mentor many great young men coaching football in those years... Read more
"Climbing a mountain is no big deal!" I told my close friend and fellow teacher/coach back in the fall of 2005, when he suggested climbing Mt. Le Conte, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So we borrowed a backpack, climbed the mountain in early December(the last two hours in... Read more
SportsLeader focuses on three main things: Virtue, Mentoring and Ceremonies. One of the ceremonies we encourage teams to install is called Letters to Mom. The objective is to help our young people express their love, gratitude and appreciation for their Mom's and other important women in their... Read more
This past weekend, my brother and sister-in-law baptized their new son, Andrew, officially adding him to theirs and God's family. No matter your specific faith belief in baptism, it was a great and joyful event. What a way of celebrating life! Uncles and aunts were there. Grandparents were... Read more
Over the years I've been blessed to develop a lot of great relationships with coaches all over the USA and Canada. Men and women who have become some of my closest friends. One of the those men is Bill Sweet. He is an Emergency Room Nurse by day and Offensive Line Coach by night if you will... Read more
Tuesday January, 22, 2013 was an historic day for SportsLeader. We had our first training with a University that has embraced our Virtue Program for their whole athletics department: Franciscan University of Steubenville in Eastern Ohio. We met with the coaches of all of their spring sports: Men... Read more
One of our first SportsLeader schools from Georgia helped make a dream come true last week. The 8th grade boys basketball team from Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, GA near Atlanta was honored to be asked to serve in a special way. Joseph Brunelle, manager of the Vickery Creek Middle School Vipers 8th... Read more
With all of the lies, hoaxes, and scams swirling around the sports world in these recent days - how about celebrating some genuine honesty from the sports world? Bobby Jones was a famous golfer ... Here is a short 2 minute video that displays the virtue of honesty perfectly. PLEASE show this to... Read more
An "inside the heart" view of how one coach transformed his team through SportsLeader. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd How Mentoring Changed My Program I feel bad that I have not taken the time to share all that has happened. It really has been a very challenging but rewarding period for us... Read more
When I went to Church today I was inspired by the elderly gentleman sitting next to me. He had some issues with his legs and it was a herculean effort for him to sit, stand, kneel, anything. Anyone would have completely understood if he simply sat through the Mass but no he wanted to participate in... Read more
Here is a great testimonial from a girls basketball coach in Pennsylvania and how SportsLeader has helped a great program with a rich tradition make an even greater impact in the lives of their coaches, players and parents. Coaching Strength, Lou Judd Lou: I thought you might be interested in an... Read more
SportsLeader will be hosting a Father-Son Campout June 1-2 at Camp River Ridge in Oldenburg, Indiana. The event is for fathers and their sons (age 5 and older). Even if your son is 29 ... come have a great weekend together joining men from all over the midwest. Activities will include fishing,... Read more
On a recent visit to Franciscan University of Steubenville, I heard a great comparison that I felt was worth sharing. Michael Hernon, Vice President for Advancement, gave the example of how bank tellers are taught to distinguish real money from counterfeit ... Very simply they are given tons and... Read more
One of the great benefits of being a member of the SportsLeader Coaches Association is that you get to hear great ideas from fellow coaches from all over the country. Some you may want to implement and others maybe not. Here is one from Coach Theresa Guard of Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, GA. Do... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of the Cincinnati McNicholas HS football banquet recently. All of us at SportsLeader are very proud that Sam Becker took home the prestigious "12th Man" award for his service and virtuous leadership devoted to his football team. Congratulations, Sam. Here below... Read more
Congratulations to Monroe, Michigan St Mary's Catholic Central Girls Volleyball team on winning the State Championship. I met their Athletic Director-Head Coach last June at a coaches seminar in Philadelphia and I could tell right away she was a coach who truly cared about her players. I have... Read more
Below is an article that Ashley Abaloz wrote for her interpretive journalism class. The class is basically learning about writing editorials and opinion pieces for print pieces i.e. newspapers or magazines. She is studying at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in her last semester so she'll... Read more
I was honored to be a part of another Father-Son Jersey Night yesterday. It was the third annual one for the Lloyd Memorial High School boys basketball team from Erlanger, KY. Over the years some coaches have opted to only include Seniors in this life-changing event. But last night was further... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of two different Virtue Camps last week. One with the Lloyd Memorial Boys basketball team and one with the Girls basketball team. The boys team camp was held at Camp River Ridge while the girls one was held at the school. The main objectives of Virtue Camp are to give the... Read more
As our SportsLeader family grows we have more and more teams experiencing success both on and off the field. Most importantly growing men and women of virtue but having fun winning isn't bad either. Both-And if you will. There are many more teams we should mention here but ... let's... Read more
Some interesting research that backs up some good ole fashioned common sense. It would follow that the more we love our players the better off they will be as well. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd LIKE SportsLeader on Facebook at How to Get My... Read more
I'd like to ask each and every coach on this email list to consider writing a short summary-testimonial about your season. It is a great way to re-live the experiences, especially the powerful moments, the memories that will last a lifetime. It also gives you a chance to share your perspective... Read more
Another great example of sports building leaders. The Eminence Warriors football team finished the season at 7-3 and were 2 plays away from being 9-1 (they lost 2 games on the last play of the game). This having about 20 healthy players or less each week. The took the time to do this service... Read more
As our fall sports seasons come to an end ... hopefully not quite for most (smile) ... And you begin to think about your awards banquet ... a SportsLeader tradition we encourage every coach to put into place is a personal letter from every mentor-coach to each player they mentored. Think about it... Read more
Three great stories to share from Arizona, Michigan and Kansas. Click on the links for more photos and info. Virtue brings happiness! Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd Originally Published: November 1, 2012 By Rick Reilly | How about a... Read more
The more I am blessed to be a small part of these life-changing ceremonies, the more passionate I am about spreading this to every team across our world. Please help us spread the word! Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd After our first-ever “Father/Son Jersey” night before our first football... Read more
I noticed this sign at one of our local hospitals yesterday. Behavioral Health Business Health Sleep Disorders Zone 3 of St Elizabeth Hospital Maybe this was not their intention but it is pretty clear ... If you are not virtuous in your everyday life - Behavioral Health Then you will make bad... Read more
Wyandotte MI Roosevelt High School football team blends Virtue into everything they do. They have the help of an extremely talented artist named Ashley Abaloz. From logos, yearbook covers, calendars, service projects ... They even wore pink jerseys to support women in need. Thank you, Coach Ron... Read more
We are going backwards and losing our humanity in the process. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. This is categorically... Read more
It is awesome when you can combine winning with transforming lives. BOTH are possible. Here below is solid proof from Sandusky St Mary's Central Catholic Girls Cross Country Team. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd ... Lou, Just a quick note to let you know how our father-daughter night went. We had... Read more
Sam Becker of Cincinnati McNicholas High School has been providing some awesome feedback of what it is like on the "inside of a young man's heart" as he and his team go through a season with SportsLeader. I recommend sharing this with all your athletes. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd... Read more
This piece is further statistical proof that we desperately, urgently NEED our ceremonies of Father-Son / Father-Daughter Jersey Night and Letters to Mom. This difficult and painful situation is going to be with us for generations. Maybe we can't influence present adults to get married but we... Read more
As many of you prepare for your Letter to Mom Ceremonies, it is good to remind your players that there are so many women on this planet who have done truly amazing things and are never properly thanked or awarded for them, whether they be Stay-at-Home Moms, Social Heroines like Irena Sendler or a... Read more
Here are three great pieces from one school - St Marys Central Catholic in Sandusky, Ohio. They have embraced SportsLeader in all of their sports throughout the entire school and they're an excellent example of how the virtue program can work with any sport. Chris Mielke, Cross Country Coach,... Read more
Dear Coaches and Supporters of SportsLeader, Sacrifice! Brotherhood! Commitment! Focus! Discipline! Honor! Great words, coaches, words to live by, for sure. At SportsLeader we are consistently urging coaches to make these words a part of your team's everyday vocabulary. Stories, quotes, song... Read more
Suicide is one of the most tragic elements of human existence. The causes are too numerous to count and a "one size fits all" solution is not possible. But three things that I believe can HELP are purpose, mentoring and virtue ... and these are the strengths of SportsLeader and coaching... Read more
Here is a testimony from a current College Freshman ... looking back on his football - SportsLeader experience. Please think about at least 1 other coach at another school you could forward this to. Our world needs more virtuous young men like Tyler and SportsLeader can help. Virtue = Strength, Lou... Read more
Some coaches are afraid that SportsLeader won't "work" with their players ... that they won't like it or even worse they will ridicule it. Ayden Opfer of Sandusky St Mary Central Catholic, OH, is an example of a young man who is the opposite. He has embraced the virtue program and... Read more
The key difference between a value and a virtue is that a value is knowing something is right and a virtue is doing it. Service projects are excellent ways to help our athletes put the virtue of the week into action. Victory Day is a virtue-service project started by SportsLeader Coach Aaron Segedi... Read more
Chris Tracy, Head Football Coach at Franklin County HS in KY, has recently started a new tradition where each Friday a different coach writes a letter to the team letting them know how much Franklin County football means to them. The coach writes the letter and then reads it aloud to the team... Read more
Sometimes we get to see some "light", some "fruit" of our labor. Other times not so much. Here is an example of some light. Virtue=Strength, Lou Judd ... I found this note on my desk today from a player of mine who I've been coaching and mentoring throughout the season. As a... Read more
Many Assistant Coaches are hesitant to dive in 100% to the SportsLeader program - especially the mentoring. Here below is a testimony from an Assistant Coach, Dave Simon from Cincinnati McNicholas HS, who wanted to encourage all the assistant coaches out there ... Well worth your time. Please... Read more
An important aspect of creating a structured environment to our Mentoring-Virtue Program is really using your team motto. You need to find creative ways to get your motto constantly "in front" of your players ... in breakdowns, one-on-one sessions, team talks, posters ... helmet stickers... Read more
Never underestimate the importance you have as a coach. You can never replace a young person's father but you can be a leader and a role model who steers them in the right direction. You are desperately NEEDED! Embrace mentoring! Sam Becker shares his third testimony below. Virtue=Strength, Lou... Read more
ESPN did an interesting article on Urban Meyer, the President of the SportsLeader Coaches Association. The link below has the whole article. I wanted to highlight one portion of it... Read more
There are 24,000,000 young people in the USA living without a father in the home. This is a catastrophic tragedy that too many sweep under the rug. The teams that have been courageous enough to step up and work together with SportsLeader are doing something real, concrete and powerful to counteract... Read more
I have had the privilege of working with the Eminence (KY) High School football team for many years now. Head football coach Steve Frommeyer is truly one of the most humble and dedicated men I've ever met. It is a very small school, about 60 boys in the whole high school. This year they started... Read more
Here is an example of a HS football captain living and transmitting this virtue - making virtue go viral. Minnesota teen, Kevin Curwick, got fed up with cyber bullying at his school and decided to do something about it. The Osseo High School senior Football Captain started the Twitter account @... Read more
An important aspect of the SportsLeader program is establishing a team motto. It is a simple way to galvanize your philosophy, goals and hopes into a short phrase that everyone can bring to mind, heart and soul in an instant. It also establishes the - "What our team is about" - that... Read more
As I had mentioned in a previous email, I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people in coaching and sports. Sam Becker is one of them. He has agreed, with his parents permission, to blog with us about his experiences of life as a manager, a sports fan, a young person taking part in the... Read more
Coaches, Please take a moment to read this letter from Urban Meyer. I know it will inspire you to continue doing what you are doing building up our young people. Virtue=Strength, Lou Judd ... Dear Coach, The challenges that all of us face in living today are daunting and energy draining. To many... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of the Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas High school football practice yesterday. They have their mentoring groups all set up and they are getting it all started next week. As I was making my rounds I had two amazing conversations with young men that really confirmed for... Read more
SportsLeader would like to congratulate the Regina Saskatchewan Unidad 98's under-14 boys soccer team. Last week they won their division at the prestigious international competition called The USA Cup. For more info on the tournament you can visit The USA Cup is the... Read more
The great majority of us have heard about the Penn State - Jerry Sandusky scandal. We first and foremost extend our sympathies and concern for the victims and their families. No words, punishments or money can repair what has been done. But what we can do moving forward is to truly take a look at... Read more
Some numbers take a bit to sink in. 2,225 2,225: Inmates in prison serving life without parole for crimes committed as minors 73 of them committed the crime at 13 or 14 years of age That is 44.5 per state Imagine - 44 young people serving life without parole from your state. ... Our young people... Read more
$68 million dollars? Climate controlled lockers? Over 400 possible football uniform combinations? Further proof that it is never enough. Funny how with all this money being spent on lavish athletic complexes it does not seem to be building up more virtuous men and women. Coaches, I encourage you... Read more
We are experiencing a lot of growth this summer at SportsLeader. It has been very inspiring to see new schools, teams and coaches join the movement to be more intentional and specific about teaching virtue. One of the new teams to join is the Cincinnati Mason High School and Middle School football... Read more
SportsLeader was blessed to be a part of a very special first annual camp and coaches clinic with Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach at Ohio State, and Dean Hood, Head Football Coach at Eastern Kentucky, on July 5th. Urban and Dean grew up together in Northeastern Ohio and they wanted to give back to... Read more
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement for Apple and their new laptop, I'd like to share a few thoughts on what I learned from watching a simple "new product video." One phrase that we hear in the coaching world all too often is that "we do that already" or "we... Read more
Coach Ron Adams of Wyandotte (MI) Roosevelt High School shared this email he just received from a former player who is now serving our country at West Point. Ron and his staff do an amazing job of integrating virtue and mentoring into everything they do and this note shows it. "Season of Life... Read more
We've recommended to teams many times the idea of getting away and doing a virtue camp, really focusing on the things that matter - giving the most important things their due time. Here is an example from a D1 football team that gave it its importance. Let's do the same. If you need help or... Read more
There's still time to get in this event if you have not done so already. You won't regret it. It is called Senior Sendoff and the objective is to gather your graduating Seniors one last time ... Here is a recent example. Ryan Wikel, head football coach at Sandusky St Mary's Central... Read more
I had a pretty tough phone conversation with an athlete who I got to know rather well during this past year. I got to know him well during a fall sport. His coaches did an amazing job mentoring and installing the virtue program and it was both fun and inspiring watching them grow and excel... Read more
I would recommend forwarding this to all of your coaches and athletes. We all need to hear this type of encouragement more often. ... A Navy SEAL's Wise Advice to Graduates By William J. Bennett, CNN Contributor STORY HIGHLIGHTS • Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens was commencement speaker at... Read more
One of the most powerful elements of being a coach is that the young person is choosing to be with you, choosing to learn from you. In many instances, especially with boys and young men, they identify themselves with the sport they play. They see themselves as a football player, as a baseball... Read more
Building traditions within teams and schools is an integral part of what we try to do at SportsLeader. It is all a part of creating/strengthening a culture of virtue that inspires everyone to be a better person. I was honored to be a part of two of those traditions over the past few weeks at... Read more
I was blessed to be with an inspiring coaching staff last night at Madison Southern High School in Berea, KY. They are integrating the SportsLeader virtue program into all of their sports. Head football coach Jon Clark has been with us for over a year now and the impact that he and his staff have... Read more
I heard a song recently that really inspired me. It is a bit on the heavy side but the lyrics are powerful. Combined with NFL Linebacker Junior Seau's passing ... the words ring even more urgent. As coaches we have amazing opportunities every day around the young people we coach to make a... Read more
A great way to unite your team over the summer is a Virtue Camp - an opportunity to get away, say for 24 hours, and focus on your team goals, team chemistry, and the real purpose of sports. Ice-breaker games, swimming, physical challenges, dodgeball, bonfire, fishing, movie clips ... just some of... Read more
When I first became a head football coach I soon realized that coaching football fundamentals and schemes was a small part of coaching. The other part was the need to teach life lessons, values, and counsel these young men in times of crises. I came up with many ways to accomplish this and many... Read more
Dear SportsLeader Supporter, We are now working with well over 100 schools across the United States and Canada and momentum is growing. We have touched over 5,000 lives with mentoring, father-son and father-daughter jersey nights, virtue camps and dozens of other traditions that have imprinted... Read more
One of the traditions that we encourage coaches to make a part their program is a "season-ending letter" to each one of the players in their mentor group. I just recently had a personal experience of how amazing a simple letter can be, both for the writer and the receiver. 23 years ago... Read more
Coach Tom Ryan is a special man at the collegiate level. The pressure to win, the pressure to get your priorities out of whack is unrelenting ... but as you can read from the story below, he has his perspective very clear. By Paul Daugherty: Ohio State wrestling coach discusses heartache of losing... Read more
As a follow-up to our list of things high school athletes DO WANT in a coach ... Here are the top 5 they DO NOT WANT in a coach. 1. Mean, disrespectful, yells with no purpose. Discouraging and negative, belittles players. 2. Lazy, not dedicated. They are only there for practices and games and they... Read more
Lou, I wanted to thank you for introducing our wrestling team to the virtue formation program. The St. Xavier wrestlers, parents, coaches and community really appreciate the unique benefits of the Sports Leader Virtue Program. This season you could see the positive impact, on the mat and off. We... Read more
Here is a tremendous testimony written by a former player ... this is a number of years after his experience. You can see how much of an impact his coaches made. Well, well worth the read. LIKE SportsLeader on Facebook at FAITH, LOVE, AND... Read more
I had the opportunity to speak with twelve athletes last week at Newport Central Catholic High School. The group consisted of 6 boys and 6 girls, all Seniors, who had played a variety of sports. I was impressed to see that their answers were all very similar. They answered the surveys individually... Read more
Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of spending the day listening to a man of wisdom. His name is Bill Myles. I went with Joe Lukens and Chris Willertz to discuss SportsLeader, mentoring and many other things. It was a memorable experience. One phrase my Dad would say frequently was, "That... Read more