The SportsLeader Blog

Virtue Promotion! We should all do more to get VIRTUE front and center on to our attire. Let's teach VIRTUE with every method available... Read more
Two awesome examples of virtue in action - instigated by being part of a sports team, a brotherhood, a family that goes way beyond "just" the Friday night lights. Thank you for your testimonies and your service. ... Coach Jon Clark Madison Southern High School, Berea KY A group of 30... Read more
The below statistics show two things very clearly: A. There are so many kids playing sports - a true spring of hope and possibility to teach them virtue and life lessons. B. Getting a college athletic scholarship is not so easy. So only .6% of our nations high school baseball players may earn a... Read more
SportsLeader is proud to announce that a college wrestler from one of its participating teams, Logan Stieber of Ohio State, has won the National Championship. Congratulations to Logan and head coach Tom Ryan. Excellence and competitive greatness on and off the mat! Virtue = Strength, Lou www... Read more
Coach Aaron Segedi spoke at our Coaches Clinic a few weeks back. If you would like the pdf of his power point presentation about Victory Day just send me an email and we will get it to you. ... Local Coach's Idea to Help Special Needs Children Goes National By Nate Stemen, Trenton Patch Two... Read more
Here below is a testimony from Mike Key the AD and Boys Head Basketball Coach at Lloyd Memorial High School in Erlanger KY. They have been with SportsLeader for two seasons now and this year they had a tremendous turnaround and a District Championship title for the first time in 13 years beating a... Read more
The inspiring fruit of working daily on virtue. You think anyone present at that banquet will forget this? That is a memory that will last a lifetime. By Bruce Scifres Head Football Coach Indianapolis Roncalli High School As I reflected back on our 2011 season, I was filled with a great deal of... Read more
Coach Dan Duddy of Monsignor Donovan High School in New Jersey has been a part of the SportsLeader association for many years now as a head coach but something special happened this past summer. The local Pastor of his Church was so excited about what was going on in Dan's football program that... Read more
I believe this is worth forwarding on to all of our athletes, both boys and girls. Boys - this is what we are training them to become. Girls - this is what you should be looking for in a man. Five Indicators of a Mature Man By Michael Sliney, LC 1. His top priorities are first God, then his wife,... Read more
The below article is another extreme wake-up call that our society urgently needs VIRTUE to help transform it. We need to examine our school - our team and see if it has a culture of misery or a culture of virtue. Our commitment card is all about this: Charity - I will only think and say positive... Read more
Two of the speakers at our Coaches Clinic this past weekend were Ron Adams and Bill Sweet from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School in Michigan. Upon arrival he gave me a copy of their football yearbook (beautifully put together by Ashely Abaloz). The first thing that caught my attention were all the... Read more
This past weekend we celebrated the virtue of three athletes and a coach - people who have made a tremendous difference in the lives of others. Over 200 people came to honor them and it was a tribute to the power of influence. Congratulations to Joseph Fisher, Lauren Hall, Nicholas Holden and Coach... Read more
Join us THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains Please RSVP! FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains ($20 donation appreciated but not required, checks made out to... Read more
Join us next week Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains Please RSVP! Below is a wonderful testimony from a coach in our association who feels that his life and his family have been changed for the better through virtue and growing closer to... Read more
Join us next week Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains Please RSVP! Below are a series of emails that I wanted to share that I believe sums up very well what SportsLeader is all about ... The emotion, the passion, the struggles, the hopes... Read more
One of the more rewarding aspects of SportsLeader has been the relationships I've been able to develop with coaches all over the world. Coach Yeager is from Alabama. We've never met but you can readily see that we are on "the same team." Below is a link of an abbreviated video... Read more
It is always exciting to see young people receiving awards for being virtuous. Here is yet another example. LIKE SportsLeader on Facebook at By Dan Duddy I have a football player who has just been informed that he is receiving the Virtues... Read more
Technology can be a great tool and we took advantage of it yesterday when I was able to Video-Chat through Skype with a High School basketball team from Rice Lake Wisconsin. Head Basketball Coach Kevin Orr found our web site over the summer, he reached out and ever since we have developed a great... Read more
I was blessed and honored to be a part of a truly special evening last night. The Cincinnati St Xavier High School wrestling team hosted their first ever Father-Son Singlet night. About 60 Fathers and their sons participated and I believe they will remember it for the rest of their lives. If you... Read more
SAVE THE DATE! Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains One of the athletes we are honoring this year at our SportsLeader Awards Night on Feb 24th is Joseph Fisher. Joseph is a remarkable young man who is truly an example of initiative - coming... Read more
Tom Ryan, head wrestling coach at Ohio State, recently shared these lessons with his team and I thought it looked really interesting. I've seen this play out time and time again as we've tried to introduce virtue into schools ... many times there might be ONE person ... and getting that... Read more
Nicholas Holden is one of the athletes we will be honoring at this year's Awards Ceremony on Friday February 24th at Cincinnati Moeller High School. One of his coaches took the time to write this inspiring note about him. As a society we need to make more of an effort to recognize the strength... Read more
Over the weekend, two SportsLeader wrestling teams had some amazing success on and off the mat. The last time the Ohio State wrestling team beat Iowa in 1966, Woody Hayes was still the Buckeyes' head football coach. Archie Griffin had yet to play a down for OSU, let alone win two Heisman... Read more
We hope you can join us. Earle Bruce When an injury ended Earle Bruce's playing career at Ohio State, coach Woody Hayes urged Bruce to become a coach. Starting in the high school ranks, Bruce was an assistant before becoming a head coach, posting an 82-12-3 record in ten seasons and earning... Read more
SAVE THE DATE! Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains Catholic Quarterback Philip Rivers Passes On the Faith San Diego Chargers' star talks faith, family and football: 'Once I've received the Eucharist, then I'm prepared to go... Read more
SAVE THE DATE! Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains I had the pleasure of speaking with Michigan State defensive end Marcus Rush yesterday. Marcus has been named Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America. Rush is... Read more
The mission statement of SportsLeader is very simple: Transform the culture of sports. Why does it need transforming? Here is a very relevant example: This past weekend a New York businessman and avid Packers fan decided to drop $240,000 on a road trip to the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the... Read more
A tremendous example of virtue! Imagine if every athletic team in the country had 1 athlete like this ... our world would be a very different place. I Believe in Tim Tebow By Rick Reilly I've come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still... Read more
SAVE THE DATE! Feb 24-25, 2012 FREE Character Building Clinic hosted by SportsLeader for Coaches and Captains One of the reasons I am so passionate about virtue and athletics is that virtue leads to happiness. And athletics is the premier location of youth-oriented ministry. The more we can teach... Read more
SAVE THE DATE! Feb 24-25, 2012 SportsLeader will be hosting its 6th Annual Character Building Clinic. More information to come soon. Please spread the word. This year we will have 2 tracks: 1 for High School and 1 for Grade School. Any questions: Please contact Lou Judd at [email protected] or... Read more
One of the most rewarding aspects of my time with SportsLeader has been the relationships I've been able to build with so many amazing coaches. Steve Bennett is an amazing example of this. A few years back, when Steve was stepping away from coaches, I felt a loss. Well I'm thrilled to share... Read more
One of the coaches in our Association, Ron Adams of Wyandotte Michigan Roosevelt High School, shared some pretty inspiring new with me. It is an awesome example of a coach-teacher bringing VIRTUE everywhere they go and impacting hundreds of people along the way. A simple class assignment, the... Read more
Brad Sonntag is not exactly a daily household name. If you've never heard of him you are probably not alone. He is a 5 ft 8 and 176 pound fifth year year senior for the Michigan State Spartans football team. This was his first season as the holder for the kicker. Yes, an article about the... Read more
A tradition that we encourage coaches to do at the end of the season is to consider writing a letter to each of the players you mentored. The Cincinnati St Gertrude Bandit football coaches did just that, plus a little extra. They wrote a general letter to every player from all coaches and a... Read more
Hunter Matt, a Senior Captain of the 2011 Wyandotte Bears football team, shares which virtue theme helped him the most this year in this short video clip. As a side note, Hunter's older brother Andrew Matt a defensive end for the Wayne State (Michigan) Warriors, will be playing for the Division... Read more
I stumbled upon this a few days ago and I found it to be very inspiring - an excellent perspective on gratitude and life. I AM THANKFUL FOR... The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends... The taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed... The clothes... Read more
Many of you are familiar with one of the coaches in our association named Trent Todd. He has been a part of SportsLeader for over 5 years now and simply put is one of the most inspiring men I have ever met. That is an understatement. The video above is a quick recap in Trent's words. Trent has... Read more
At Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ they make an effort to promote virtue school-wide on a weekly basis. Each coach submits their nominees from their team as Virtue Athlete of the week according to the virtue-theme. During Committed week, Dan Duddy- the director of the SportsLeader... Read more
Here is a note and some parental feedback from one of the Coaches in our Association, Tommy Hagey, from Nashville TN. Tommy will be one of our speakers at our Character Builds Coaches and Captains Clinic February 24-25 in Cincinnati. Also included is a related article about Tim Tebow that two... Read more
Here below are numerous comments from parents associated with the Cincinnati St Gertrude football program. Their boys were on four different teams ranging in age from 5-13. The season goes by so fast. We'll never regret giving kids "too much" virtue. ... I wanted to share comments... Read more
On behalf of the SportsLeader family I'd like to congratulate Coach Bob Buckel and the Flint Michigan Powers Catholic football team for their State Championship win over the weekend. Powers Catholic completed one of the greatest comebacks in Michigan football history when it defeated top-ranked... Read more
Happy Thanksgiving! I am personally very thankful for each and every one of you and grateful for all you do to help young people grow in virtue. As parents we all want our children to SHH. Not necessarily be quiet all the time (smile) but yes to to be: Safe Healthy Happy Now there is even a... Read more
Coach Dan Duddy of Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River, NJ recently had his Letter to Mom Ceremony and it was a memorable evening. His words speak to the heart and by the comments of the Moms below ... it worked. ... We need to desperately speak to the hearts of the mothers of our athletes... Read more
I was honored to be a part of two more virtue camps this past weekend with Lloyd Memorial HS basketball and Winton Woods HS wrestling. Similar themes came up in both but primarily the urgent need to address "Fatherhood Wound Issues". Of the 44 young men between the two teams about two... Read more
Here is a video link that I received yesterday from Coach Mary Dickert from Cincinnati St Gertrude. It is very inspiring and it reminded me personally why I do what I do. Click on the link to watch. It is a short story about an elementary school... Read more
A few days ago we had our first Virtue Camp with Cincinnati St Xavier HS wrestling. The event kicked off with the first practice of the season, followed by a night of team building and virtue exercises. The Heyob family – including freshman Ben and sophomore Joe – donated a crucifix... Read more
Taking a moment to reflect back on the season can bring a lot of joy as you realize all of the many positive and amazing things that happened. The lives changed, the experiences which are now life-long memories, the bonds of friendship. Here below, Coach Dave Quinn the Girls Cross Country Coach at... Read more
Learning from one another is a key element of the virtue of humility. I'm blessed to have so many coaches sharing ideas with me and I hope you feel the same way. Here is a great idea from Todd Naumann to try and implement with your families as we get closer to Thanksgiving. ... In Ecclesiastes... Read more
Tyler Dunn, a Senior Captain of his football team at Wyandotte High School in Michigan, shares why Father-Son Jersey Night was so important to him this year in the video link. Click on the link to visit Tyler helped his... Read more
As the fall sports seasons are coming to an end ... hopefully a distant end with the teams still in the championship hunt (smile) ... Remember to do something special at your awards banquet and to get some feedback from your players and parents ... maybe the Season-Ending Essay. 1. Hand out the... Read more
Being a part of something bigger than ourselves is a great lesson that coaches can instill in the hearts of their players. Memories and experiences like the ones here shape who we are! Congrats to Coach Stephanie Barrows and her team. In addition to these amazing achievements, they also had a lot... Read more
I am blessed to be in communication with many different coaches. At times I am a sounding board, an unbiased third party, a venting stand-in ... As many of you can attest - you have been that for me as well. That is the beauty of SportsLeader and friendship. One of the coaches in our association,... Read more
Of course this is a comic movie ... fantasy ... there are still things we can glean from it. In the movie Captain America, Steve Rogers, is a short, small, weak human being. There is a scientist who has created a serum that gives strength, speed, height, power ... enhances the physical qualities to... Read more
This weekend I was honored to be a part of a father-son cookout to kickoff the St Gertrude boys basketball season. It was an opportunity for Dads to meet the coaches, reminisce about the football season and just have some fun. Cornhole, basketball, burgers, smores, hot chocolate and a fire made up... Read more
Here is a note from a good friend of mine, Gary Stegman. We are both volunteers with a boys club called Conquest which focuses on building boys into men through virtue - much like SportsLeader. I am honored to know his son personally. It is so awesome to see young boys embracing virtue with such... Read more
I received this note from a parent/booster member of the Eastern High School football team in Louisville, KY - Matthew Smith. As coaches, we don't always hear about the good things about our players and our programs from "outsiders" ... many times just the complaints. The more you teach virtue, the... Read more
In the past few weeks I have come into contact with a number of coaches who have lost pretty much all perspective on what youth sports are about. They have forgotten that kids want to PLAY sports, that kids develop little by little, that they build confidence through little gains on the PLAYing... Read more
Another team made the effort to see Courageous over the weekend - Wyandotte HS FB in Michigan. Thus far they have the "winning" photo. They had a great discussion afterwards. Here below is a note from one of the Dads from a school near Chicago. If you can, I encourage you to make the effort to... Read more
Two teams had their Father-Daughter jersey nights recently and both were awesome events: Flint Powers Catholic HS cross country and Cincinnati St Bernard 7th... Read more
A few weeks ago Coach Dan Duddy had a special experience at the end of one of his games. Read on. ... When the final whistle was blown we had won 35-28 in a nerve-wracking shootout against a very talented football team. If the game had been 4 minutes shorter we might have lost, and if it had been... Read more
A number of years ago when I was studying in Rome Italy, I had a pretty amazing experience that I think speaks volumes of the power of personal sacrifice ... especially the testimony and/or witness of it by others. I was accompanying a youth group visiting the city of Rome for a week - part tour... Read more
Tom Ryan, Head Wrestling Coach at Ohio State, is integrating virtue into his program and doing a great job. Below is a portion of his newsletter. We need more college coaches to step up and lead in the same way. The need is urgent. ... Coach Ryan’s Corner Pre-Season Is Underway! We are now two... Read more
Here are a few great stories from Nazareth Academy near Chicago IL. Consistent mentoring over a three year period is definitely making a difference. If you'd like to watch a short video testimony from a former Nazareth player, Mike Williams, click on the link Read more
I was able to attend a football game with a SportsLeader team this past Friday in Wyandotte Michigan. They were playing for the league championship and it was a really awesome experience. There are so many positive things I could say but what probably stood out the most is that the whole coaching... Read more
I received this email from a friend of mine and I thought it had a lot of insightful points. You may want to consider forwarding this to your players, the parents of your players and having a talk with your team or in your mentor groups about these points. ... With the hope of offering some helpful... Read more
This story came out a few weeks back. Very inspiring. It has charity, humility and courage written all over it. Please share this with your athletes. ... Runner carries injured foe half mile to help in middle of race Read more
Here is some very encouraging feedback from Mrs. JoAnn D'Anton, the media arts and MDTV director at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ. ... Lou, I needed to inform you about the happening around Monsignor Donovan High School this weekend. Well let me begin with we won our game........... Read more
Remember that challenge to go and see the movie Courageous with your players and their Dads? Some teams have stepped up to the challenge, namely Providence Catholic near Chicago, Cincinnati St Gertrude and Eminence in Kentucky. Providence is in the lead at the moment having brought 100 players and... Read more
Yesterday I had the honor of witnessing the Cincinnati St Gertrude Bandit Football Team Letter to Mom Ceremony. The Bandits are boys in grades K-2. They have 18 little guys on the team and their coaching staff is one that simply put, you would want your boy on that team. Everyone gathered at Coach... Read more
Helping kids know, value, live and transmit virtue using the platform of sports. This is is what SportsLeader is all about. Thank you, Coach Mike Bickerman, for sharing. ... Stoney Haines Rushville-Industry High School, IL October 6, 2011 In our football season this year we have been participating... Read more
Something that you might find helpful is asking the parents of your players to send an email with the changes they have observed in their son or daughter since the beginning of the season. Coach Paul Passafiume, Co-Founder of SportsLeader, of Louisville St Agnes did this yesterday and he got some... Read more
I got some interesting surprises on my trip to Canada last week. 1. All of my flights, 2 there and 2 back, arrived early. I'm wondering if I should report this as a miracle or something (smile) 2. On one flight, the lady sitting next to me asked me if I was a student. I thanked her for the... Read more
I had another first this past weekend - the first opportunity to bring SportsLeader to Canada. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Regina, Saskatchewan Friday-Sunday. Regina is a few hours north of where the Montana-North Dakota border is. Every year for the past 8 years I believe, some... Read more
I had a great experience the past two days. I was able to speak at a National Catholic Educational Association regional meeting for high schools. Region 9 is comprised of Catholic High Schools from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It was hosted at Dowling Catholic High School. Now SportsLeader... Read more
A tradition that we encourage SportsLeader teams to put into place is called "Letter to Mom" It is a very powerful event that has changed many lives. The basic gist is that you have all your players write a letter to their Moms. Maybe you do this before or after a practice. Then you invite all the... Read more
Paul Barna, an assistant football coach at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ, had a blow up with a player during a game. His head coach, Dan Duddy, asked him to apologize ... which he did with a lot of humility and then also asked him he would mind writing about the experience in the... Read more
A part of the SportsLeader methodology is the Circle of Virtue. Know - Know the virtue personally Value - Make it yours, internalize it Live - Live it because YOU want to, not because Coach makes you Transmit - Share it with others A beautiful example of this is Maria Frohlich. She is a 17 year old... Read more
This comes from a Coach with 28 years experience. ... Many times in life we don't experience the "big, earth shattering" events. It is just the ordinary, the routine, the nothing spectacular. In the midst of my ordinary routine I received some great news a few days ago. Great news that I would say... Read more
At times the competition of sports can bring out the worst in us: jealousy, revenge, hatred, arrogance, fear. At times these weaknesses of ours then rub off on our players. But sports can also bring out the best in us: heroic willpower, generosity, humility, perseverance ... at its core, this is... Read more
As most of you know, SportsLeader is about a lot more than the scoreboard. Striving to win is very important, achieving excellence is always the goal and objective but at the same time we want our coaches, athletes, parents and family members to WIN in life. This is not always easy and the path to... Read more
Aaron Segedi, a SportsLeader coach from Trenton High School in Michigan, has started a tradition that I think every school should emulate. Hosting a day for special needs children to come together and play football or cheer surrounded by family and friends. But he went a step further and invited 3... Read more
I don't mean to pick on Coach Brian Kelly. I'm sure he is working on this challenge just like many of us have to. The challenge: Controlling ourselves in the face of adversity. If you saw any of the Notre Dame-South Florida game a few weeks ago, you may have been just as frustrated. The photo comes... Read more
Mentoring is a huge part of our virtues program. It takes some getting used to in order to blend it into your practice schedule but once you do the fruits are pretty powerful. Here is an example of exactly that. ... I wanted to tell you about a conversation I had with my starting quarterback during... Read more
Schools across the country are beginning to see the need to dedicate a full time person to Virtue and Athletics. Coach Dan Duddy of Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ shares his personal journey and the exciting steps underway in his new position. ... I have recently been hired by our... Read more
Here is another testimony about the power of Father-Son jersey night. Please encourage the other head coaches of different sports in your school to begin this tradition. Remember to L.E.A.D L ove Others E ncourage Others A ctively Resolve D eny Yourself ... Lou, Held the first Xenia Jersey night... Read more
One of the coaches new to our SportsLeader association is Coach Jon Clark. This is his first year as the head football coach of Madison Southern High School in Berea, KY. He has done a pretty amazing job rolling out all of the different elements of the virtue program and the fruits speak for... Read more
A number of people have really opposed SportsLeader coming into their school as of late. A number of leaders have refused to take the charge for fear of what the boosters might say. A number of coaches have said no because they're afraid the kids will think it's stupid. Here below is a series of... Read more
The Flint (Michigan) Powers Catholic girls cross country team is one of the first cross country teams to embrace SportsLeader and they have done an amazing job. Some people have had the impression that SportsLeader is only for boys. Not so. Here are some comments about father-daughter jersey night... Read more
Yesterday was an anniversary that was both painful and powerful. I'm sure many of you saw the tributes on TV offered by the NFL, all very well done. One SportsLeader team, Cincinnati St Gertrude, had one as well. The below was read before their game. Yet another way to relate virtue with everything... Read more
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I've been blessed to receive a number of emails and calls over the past few weeks about SportsLeader teams and their father-son jersey nights. I'm going to share some of them over the next few days. This is a taste of the power of sports done right ... ... Lou, I hope things are going well and I... Read more
Way back at the beginning of summer (Memorial Day, wow!) eleven Winton Woods wrestlers participated at Jeff Jordan's State Champ Camp in Urbana, Ohio. This was the second year in a row we attended(thanks to your donations!!) and Coach Jordan and his staff are GREAT! They get to know each wrestler,... Read more
Steve Frommeyer Eminence High School I was one of those coaches who was very hesitant about doing the jersey night program. We had so many players without dads or without strong male role-models in their lives, that I wondered if it wouldn’t do more harm than good. With Lou Judd’s constant... Read more
We had our our father-son jersey night a few days ago. We had 17 seniors and each one was represented by either their father or important male. This is truly why I got into coaching. It was so moving. One of our seniors is a third generation Flyer and to see the pride on his face giving that jersey... Read more
By Sal Fucito Cincinnati St Gertrude Head Football Coach 7th-8th Grade This weekend our football program at St. Gertrude had their first ever Father Son Campout as part of our SportsLeader Virtues Program. This was absolutely a God ordained moving experience for me and I'd like to share with... Read more
This year I have been blessed to get to know a coach who does an amazing job of planning and blending in virtues and coaching - Dave Quinn, Girls Cross Country at Powers Catholic High School in Flint, Michigan. Here below was his plan for their recent pre-season camp. They have so many girls coming... Read more
It is not every day that you get to see a SportsLeader player on Monday night football on TV ... much less blocking a punt. Congrats to Greg Jones - one of our very first SportsLeader alumni to make it to the NFL.Read more
I was blessed to be a part of a Father-Son Campout this past weekend with 70 Dads and their boys from the St Gertrude football program. Dads and their Boys in grades K-8 made the 90 minute trek to Camp River Ridge for some fun, food, football, faith, fishing ... and other things that begin with F (... Read more
At the age of nine, Austin Gutwein was moved when he learned about something. Austin then USED HIS WILL TO DO something about it. Many times I think our expectations on our young people are way too low ... "they are only 18, they are just kids" ... we accept and in a way endorse immature behavior... Read more