The SportsLeader Blog

This is a good story-image about virtue and vice. Consider sharing it with your team. Click HERE for information about our upcoming leadership seminars. Next one is April 5th. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd Saving Lives Through SportsRead more
Kids need mentoring, virtue, ceremony … purpose and hope in their lives. The epidemic of loneliness and depression is growing. May our eyes, ears and most importantly our hearts be open to noticing our kids, helping them communicate and creating an atmosphere of true family on our teams... Read more
Here are the testimonials from coaches who attended one of our leadership seminars. The Sportsleader event our team leaders attended this past Saturday was a remarkable experience! If you are new to Sportsleader or have been involved for awhile, the experience of bringing your leaders together at... Read more
The article on Coach K is included in its entirety at the bottom. Here are some of my favorite parts. Coach K’s “ah-ha” moment, his epiphany about the importance of connection and relationships , transformed his coaching style. If you study Coach K’s approach, you’ll... Read more
Teacher #1: "We have a teacher inservice today, after school." Teacher #2: "DANG! O well, at least I have some papers that need grading." Teacher #1: "Shame on you! I'm sure we'll be doing something good, something that we can use in our classrooms." Teacher #2... Read more
Follow us on Twitter @sportsleaderusa We are very proud of one of our SportsLeader athletes Michael Kolzow for his tremendous and immediate display of virtue. Congratulations as well to his head coach Mike Stine and coach Marc Anderson who have instilled such excellent strength in their young men... Read more
Here are two stories that are tremendous examples of class from the world of High School sports. In particular, wrestling and hockey. They speak for themselves. This is what it means to be virtuous … one an example of virtue in defeat and one an example in victory. Both are needed. Both are... Read more
This video will inspire you. Sometimes all you need is a big brother to look out for you. That's certainly the case for Lindsay Cochran, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), according to the YouTube video above. She's been in a wheelchair since she was 2 years old, but her older... Read more
Firefighters have many, many virtues. In speaking with a number of my friends who are firefighters I was inspired by one simple fact. When they are on the job and it is announced that there is a child to save - nothing else matters. The child must be saved. On the drive to the fire, there might be... Read more
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. Maybe you can text a tip per day for the next 10 days. Tips for Teenage Boys on Respecting Girls (The forgotten art of chivalry): 1... Read more
Follow us on Twitter at SportsLeader will be offering 5 Leadership Seminars thus far this Spring & Summer. A number of other schools have contacted us asking if we would come to their State or their school ... if you are interested please call Lou Judd at 859... Read more
“Food” for thought if you will. Take an apple and cut it in half. We can count the number of seeds in one apple. L to R - Sam Becker and Coach Paul Romolo of Cincinnati McNicholas High School. But we cannot count the number of apples in one seed. One tiny seed can grow into a mature... Read more
Last week, I wrote about one of my favorite "character" coaches, Buck Nystrom. ** Thank you to all of you that sent Mark Ewald ( [email protected] ) from the University of Dayton your favorite sport or coach stories! And if you haven't sent Mark anything, you still have a few weeks... Read more
This is by no means a complete list but definitely a great place to start. If you have a few that have helped you, please respond to this email and tell us about them and we can share that compilation in the future. If you'd like to listen to a radio interview with an in depth explanation of... Read more
We never know when our time will come. Life is short. Coach Dan Duddy and his family are in great need of prayer right now. Dan Duddy, head football coach and pastoral minister of athletics at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River, NJ, lost his 19 year old son Francis about a week ago. It was... Read more
The 2013-2014 winter sports season is drawing to a close for most youth sports and high school sports teams. Our culture will celebrate this season's champions, you can count on it, those champions will be crowned. And how about all those other numerous "almost" champions, that didn... Read more
"To be engaged" ; how can one phrase create such strong emotions? Whether "engaged" is used in the context as being committed to an operation, betrothed in marriage, involved in conflict or being put in gear, being engaged IS indeed, a powerful term. In fact, I pray, DAILY, for... Read more
You can purchase the print manual by clicking on the following link You can purchase the digital manual by clicking on this below link If you would like more information about the... Read more
So many grown-ups think they have it ALL figured out! I know I'm one of those grown-ups, guilty as charged! For, as a grown-up, 46 years young, I think I know what's best for me most of the time. Thankfully, God enters into my life, FREQUENTLY to remind me that I don't have all the... Read more
Coaching is an awesome calling, a rewarding vocation, a passion, a love. It can also be stressful, time-consuming, heartbreaking, and challenging ... possibly more for our spouse than for ourselves. The thought that, "He (she) is choosing that sport over me" can creep in very easily. What... Read more
Anxiously awaiting his son/daughter to get into the car after practice, the dad asks: "So how did practice go? Did you make any plays? What did the coach say? Are you starting this week? How do you think you will do? How's the team coming together? How are you feeling? Any aches or pains?... Read more
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." ~Abraham Lincoln We, at SportsLeader, have celebrated several "Letter's to Mom" ceremonies in the past few weeks. Thinking, yet another great opportunity to thank our... Read more
I have played for many coaches in my playing career. Some were really good, some were not-so-good. Some were masters of technique, some never even played the game. Some were yellers (screamers, I should say), while others never raised their voice. Ultimately, some were forgettable, while others... Read more
The 2013 season was an amazing one for the Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s soccer team. They were 4-11-3 in 2012 and they finished 12-8 in 2013. 2013 season was their first season with SportsLeader. Listen to Coach McBane explain why she loves coaching at FUS Virtue = Strength,... Read more
I met my wife Krista, back on Halloween, 1991(scary, isn't it?) in Saugatuck, MIchigan. I was a coach, coaching freshmen football, running the weight room in the winter for the varsity football team, and coaching throwers on the track team in the spring at Hamilton Jr./Sr. High School, in... Read more
We, at SportsLeader, urge ALL OF US to embrace the RELATIONSHIPS we are vested in. The fact is, we CAN ALL DO A BETTER JOB of making those relationships better. It doesn't matter if it's the Father-Daughter/Son relationship, the Mother-Daughter/Son relationship, the Coach-Player... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 We adults can learn a lot from kids sometimes … especially about virtue. This is what it means to be a Leader. This is what it means to LEAD L- ove others E-ncourage others A-ctively resolve D-eny yourself Conner Long at 9 years of age knows how to LEAD. Please show this to... Read more
Ever wonder what it would be like to work at a fast food restaurant? Ever want your child or one of your players to get a job? I recently had a very interesting conversation with the son of a very good friend of mine. His son is 17 and he works at a major fast food franchise. This is his first... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 The training of the will to do good is more important than the training of the mind to know. Both are necessary of course ... But it is useless for the mind to know, if the will is going to choose to act wrong or not have the practice of acting right. Take the swimmer in the above... Read more
Joe and Ben Heyob of Cincinnati St Xavier High School are excellent examples of how they bring virtue into their sport of wrestling. L to R: Ben Heyob, Dakota Stephens and Joe Heyob hosted a wrestling clinic for little kids. They are both very accomplished wrestlers but first and foremost they are... Read more
Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI has integrated the SportsLeader Virtue Program into their PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) system. What is School-Wide PBIS? It is a decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-... Read more
** If you missed the interview with Trent Beattie click HERE This is the follow-up email to the one sent a few days back - Dealing with Difficult Parents … The response was abundant and very informative. Coaches at every level responded: Youth, Middle School, Junior High, High School and... Read more
A belated Happy New Year to everyone! I was blessed to be interviewed by Trent Beattie of the National Catholic Register recently. Here is the link BUILDING STRENGTH THROUGH VIRTUE Here is a tiny snippet: Judd has seen positive results from SportsLeader, both on the field and off the field. Among... Read more
I’ve recently had a number of phone calls with coaches who are truly exasperated with parents. I know these coaches personally. They are tremendous human beings. I would want my own children coached by them. I can’t say it any clearer than that. These coaches have years of experience... Read more
We, at SportsLeader, urge ALL OF US to embrace the RELATIONSHIPS we are vested in. The fact is, we CAN ALL DO A BETTER JOB of making those relationships better. It doesn't matter if it's the Father-Daughter/Son relationship, the Mother-Daughter/Son relationship, the Coach-Player... Read more
Several SportsLeader coaches have taken the initiative to do more than just work with their specific teams that they coach. Without a doubt, they are consistently striving to do more for their own players, but they also realize that the more coaches they can support to do character, leadership, 1... Read more
Basketball Season is upon us!! I found this article from a website called Breakthrough Basketball and thought it was really interesting. So often we are in such a hurry for our young people to become proficient players; masters of shooting, experts in dribbling, knowledgeable in all aspects of the... Read more
For so many of us, playing sports is……. WELL,…... playing sports. The thrill of playing the game: carrying the football, shooting the basketball, trying to stop break-aways, swinging at the baseball, etc., etc., etc. are what keeps us up night after night. Who can sleep!? When... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 In May of 2011, I was introduced to the coaching staff at Michigan State. This past week I was blessed to have a great conversation with the Spartans' Strength Coach Ken Mannie. Ken has been coaching for about 40 years: 10 in HS, 30 in College and 19 of those at MSU. The main... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 Time. It is something quite often we want more of .. there are not enough hours in the day to get done everything we would like. Death. Now that is the topic we do NOT want to think about. It is too painful, possibly too far off … But when you lose a loved one, time and... Read more
We all want to make a difference. But Are we willing to be different? Are we willing to go against the very strong tide of “fitting in”, “being cool”, “not rocking the boat”? If we want to make lasting change in the lives of others, we have to be the change that... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 Here is a personal follow-up referencing THIS EMAIL that went out recently. Thanks, Mike, have having the courage and humility to share this with us. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd Mike Netzel Lou, I must admit, I didn't have this story of Bill Snyder's... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington KY recently embraced SportsLeader for all of the Catholic parishes and schools in his diocese. L to R: Paul Passafiume, Bishop Ronald Gainer, Lou Judd One of our founders, Paul Passafiume, and I were able to spend an evening with Bishop Gainer as... Read more
"You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good." Jerry West Great players, great coaches, great parents…. GREAT PEOPLE realize that LIFE is, indeed, a STRUGGLE. There is pain and discomfort every day; whether it's the pain of perfecting a... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 While it is true that many coaches and athletes are struggling with doing the right thing on and off the field of play( * Check out the latest on Mike Tomlin from last week's game vs. the Ravens), Steelers Mike Tomlin fined for sideline interference in Thanksgiving Day game... Read more
Parent #1: "I wish my college kid had an adult at school that could help her out, more!" Parent #2: "Yeah, college is so crazy! I worry, daily, about the choices my daughter is making. She plays sports, it would sure be nice if her coach was able to help her as a young lady as much... Read more
Like Tweet Pin +1 Follow SportsLeader on Twitter Franciscan University of Steubenville head basketball coach John Lamanna is focusing on 4 main virtues this year. They are called the Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Wisdom. The team focuses on a virtue for the week and at each... Read more
What does 5 pounds of fat look like? What does 5 pounds of muscle look like? Well, there you go at the right. I’m thinking we are all choosing the muscle over the fat. Muscle sounds better and definitely looks better. I think all of us want, would like, would choose more muscle and less fat... Read more
This happened a number of weeks ago but just in case you did not hear … Graham Watson reported ... Kansas State University head football coach Bill Snyder sent the North Dakota State QB Brock Jensen a congratulatory note after their game. The game Kansas State lost. Most coaches would be... Read more
Wisdom from Coach John Wooden: “A coach is someone who can give correction without creating resentment.” Questions to ask ourselves: When I correct a mistake in a player do I concentrate on the mistake or the skill I am trying to teach or am I more about "getting after the player?... Read more
"Lord, I could really use some HELP." Have you ever heard yourself utter this prayer? I think I say this prayer, DAILY! In fact, I KNOW I say this prayer, DAILY. Help me be a better father. Help me be a better husband. Help me be a better coach. Help me say the right thing. Help me pay my... Read more
Coach #1: "These kids, these days! How can I be expected to get them to learn anything? How can I get them to win? They are so soft, hard work is definitely not in their vocabulary! And they never LISTEN! It seems every time I try to coach them up- 1 on 1- nothing improves. Why should I even... Read more
Pope Francis took the time recently to do one simple thing that has now captivated the globe: He embraced and prayed with a man covered in tumors in St. Peter’s Square. The encounter between the pontiff and the unnamed individual took place after Francis addressed his general audience, when... Read more
No, I do not have actual stats on this. Only God knows how many times each virtue has been asked for in prayer. But my guess is Patience. I’m currently reading a book titled “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews. There was a paragraph that really grabbed me. “Despite the ebb... Read more
Love is the most powerful and the most important virtue of all. It is also the topic or theme most talked about, sung about, "storied" about, "movied" about … At our most intimate and vulnerable core, Love is what moves us. Love is often spoken about in the team... Read more
My family and I welcomed a new member this week, our sixth child and fourth son: Maximilian Xavier Judd. Baby Max and Mom are doing very well and we thank everyone for their prayers. We experienced a bit of a miracle during this pregnancy so we think God must have big things in store for this... Read more
Coach (to wife via text): “They are trying to find someone to take this kid in.” Pause for a few minutes. Coaches wife (to husband via text): "Why don't we do it?" Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans * who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000... Read more
More and more leaders are realizing the power of character formation, mentoring and leadership training with their athletes: school administrators, athletic directors, coaches and even former college/professional athletes. Probably the biggest realization of these leaders is that what we HAVE BEEN... Read more
Without a doubt, the biggest fans occupying the bleachers for athletic contests across the United States are moms. Moms, adorned with buttons of smiling uniformed sons and daughters, moms screaming encouragement to those very sons and daughters, moms anxiously hoping their babies don't get hurt... Read more
Some SportsLeader coaches, athletes and parents at Pinecrest Academy near Atlanta, GA put virtue in action this past week by making a music video. Click here for music video Pinecrest has laid down the gauntlet. Think you can do better? Let's go. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd SportsLeader... Read more
I am always inspired by the testimonies of coaches who are giving their lives for the good of young people. Coach Todd Naumann is one such coach. May his words challenge you to dig deeper and coach from your heart. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 72 Virtues to Help You Coach Virtue Coach Todd Naumann... Read more
One of the current plagues of our society is bullying. Many schools have brought in excellent people to address the issue. Have you thought about how intentionally making VIRTUE a part of your school system would make a lasting impact? You can't simply say, "Don't Bully." You have... Read more
Coaches come in many different shapes and sizes. There are the easy-going ones, whose attitudes are so carefree you wonder if wins or losses actually COUNT. (Coach Gordy Taylor-my 8th grade basketball coach was one of those!) Then there are the intense ones, the drill-sergeants, who nobody even... Read more
I recently had a conversation with a SportsLeader parish coordinator who very candidly and humbly shared some difficulties she was having with one of her own sons. The son in question was going through a spat where he had a very bad attitude and was just plain disrespectful to his mother. Sound... Read more
SportsLeader would like to welcome a new member to its Board: Mark Chipman. Mark is the principal owner, chairman and governor of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets. He is also one of the directors of the Hockey Canada Foundation. We are blessed to have him on our team. Virtue =... Read more
As we all know, coaches work HARD! Of those many things coaches do hard, one is putting in a tremendous amount of time preparing for each next opponent. Film of the previous game is viewed, where what players did well is watched and noted. Specific offensive and defensive plays and packages are... Read more
I was blessed to have a very inspiring conversation with Ryan Wikel, Head Football Coach of St Mary's Central Catholic in Sandusky OH. I hope his words encourage you. Our Strength for Life Manual is now available in eBook format and is ready to download. It is textbook size for only $20. Click... Read more
Mentoring is one of the three pillars of SportsLeader. Our young men and women of today need one on one attention that encourages them to make resolutions … take positive steps forward in their life … to do something. It is also a great way to grow as a coach. Coach Chris Tracy with... Read more
A great reminder for us as to WHY we should coach. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd SportsLeader Web Site LETTER FROM URBAN MEYER Dear Coach, The challenges that all of us face in living today are daunting and energy draining. To many young people just making every day decisions are mind blowing and... Read more
Father-Son and Father-Daughter Jersey Ceremonies are some of the more powerful events many parents and coaches have ever been a part of. The basic gist of the event is to provide a platform for the Dads and male role models of our athletes the opportunity to affirm their kids in public within the... Read more
I recently had a great conversation with Jake Kolbe, Senior QB, of the Naperville Central (IL) Redhawks. He is a tremendous leader and I think his words show how much impact virtue, mentoring and ceremony are having on him and his teammates. This is COMMITMENT week and EDUCATION APPRECIATION week... Read more
I recently was able to see the title of this email in person. A player who is not very talented in his sport made a tiny bit of improvement during a game. His coach noticed it and walked up to the player at halftime and really poured on the encouragement, describing in great detail everything the... Read more
A few months ago I was able to sit down and visit with Coach Eric Sutulovich of the Atlanta Falcons. I got to meet his family as well. An extraordinary man who has his priorities really straight. He has endorsed SportsLeader wholeheartedly and wants to help others do the same. Here is a video... Read more
Quitters NEVER win.....and Winners NEVER quit! If this is the case, and I've been told this over and over again...why are so many of our youth quitting sports in record numbers? Children quitting organized sports occurs more often than one might think. Research has shown that approximately 70-... Read more
Naperville Central (Naperville, IL) High School Head Football Coach Mike Stine has been in our SportsLeader Coaches Association for many years. Coach Mike Stine in center with his Mom and Dad. He has told me a number of times that, "Life is about Relationships and I try my best to create... Read more
I recently traveled to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for a seminar with Athol Murray College of Notre Dame They are the first high school in Canada to embrace SportsLeader throughout all their sports. They have also taken it a few steps further: The classroom and their households. Notre Dame is a... Read more
This week the USA has seen two events that have shocked many people to their core: Three teenage boys in Oklahoma shoot and kill a college student because they were bored. An elementary school bookkeeper saves the lives of hundreds with her virtue. What I found personally inspiring about Antoinette... Read more
We frequently receive very inspiring responses to our emails. Here below is a recent example from Vince Oliver, head track coach at Franciscan University of Steubneville. Please consider inviting your friends, family members and team members to sign up for the newsletter Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd... Read more
The Fall sports season has started! What a great time of year! Coaches, athletes, parents, and all fans enjoying the great fall season of sport! Good Luck to all involved, ESPECIALLY the PARENTS! It is so normal to want your child to succeed on the playing field, but be careful, your zeal unchecked... Read more
SportsLeader has a ceremony called Father-Daughter jersey night that many of you will be having here shortly to kick off your season. The objective is to have the Dads affirm their daughters in public. We encourage the Dads to say 4 things: I love you I'm proud of you because of x,y,z You'... Read more
Telling stories is a great way to teach virtue. This one can be applied to so many: Charity, Generosity, Kindness, Compassion, Self-Less, Other-Centered, Hope … Imagine if you had a "Mrs Killings" on your team or coaching staff. What a difference! Let's ask ourselves: Am I a... Read more
The story, 'Carry On': Why I stayed, is one of the more important stories ESPN has ever done in my opinion. It shows how sports can become a life-changing event in so many different and unexpected ways for all those involved, even producers. In many ways, coaches all over the country, play... Read more
SportsLeader has been honored and excited to work with Franciscan University of Steubenville this past year. They have embraced our virtue program in all sports. One of the things that I have found personally inspiring interacting with all of the FUS coaches is that they have a definitive vision... Read more
The fall sports season is upon us! Soccer balls are being kicked, volleyballs are being set and spiked, footballs are being carried and dropped(not too many, we hope!), and cross country runners are, what else,..........running and running and running! With so much practicing going on, there doesn... Read more
What type of teachers were your favorite teachers? Were they funny? Did they make your subject fun? Were they experts in their subject? Maybe, they took a personal interest in you. Maybe, they were just really good at explaining things, so you could understand. Whatever the case, great TEACHERS,... Read more
Here is a testimonial from a coach who is a great friend and a member of the SportsLeader coaches association for many years. He poignantly describes the urgent need our young people have of mentoring. As you prepare for your upcoming seasons, please make an intentional effort to schedule and... Read more
A great event to have with your graduating Seniors is what we call Senior Sendoff. It is one last opportunity to solidify your relationship with them, exchange contact information and show them that you care about them. One SportsLeader team that does an amazing job of this is the Sandusky Ohio St... Read more
Sports can help us deal with the most adverse situations we face in life. The virtues learned through sports such as courage, determination, perseverance, toughness, resiliency … are coming into play especially in the life of a special young lady who happens to be a member of my parish here... Read more
We are blessed to have men and women who support SportsLeader from all over the USA and Canada. Each person and their family have a passion for sports, virtue and the transformation of society. In this collection we have Buckeyes, Cardinals, Spartans … we welcome all. We'd like to share... Read more
Wyandotte Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, Michigan has created a Virtue Committee comprised of forty students, ten from each class Freshman-Senior. Each month this committee chooses one of the virtues from the SportsLeader Manual Strength for Life and develops a lesson that is shown to all 1,... Read more
Initiative - The strength to act or take charge before others do. In other words: Propose, get things done, take some leadership, doing without having to be asked … L to R: Ben Heyob, Dakota Stephens and Joe Heyob Ben Heyob, his older brother Joe and teammate Dakota Stephens led a wrestling... Read more
This story pretty much speaks for itself. Coach Chris Ice has been a member of the SportsLeader Coaches Association for many years. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd SportsLeader Strength for Life Manual Hi Lou, Recently, my 9-10 year old PONY Mustang League baseball team, the Wintersville, OH Red Sox,... Read more
Head Coach: "Don't forget assistant coaches, you have to sign up for CPR and First Aid before the season or you can't coach this year." Assistant Coaches : "Oww Man! We have to do that again?! I've done CPR training, I don't know how many times!" Head Coach :... Read more
How are you strong? Can you bench press 405 lbs.? Can you dunk? Can you throw a 90 mph fastball? How are you strong? Did you get a 30+ on your ACT? Were you Academic All-American? 4.0 GPA? How are you strong? Do you stay "alive" when you don't get the scholarship? When you're... Read more
I recently was at Church and was inspired by a young man who was an altar server. His name is Josh and he is 15 years old. He lives in the Walton-Verona KY area and was serving Mass at the Basilica in Covington, KY, which is 20 miles from his home. Josh has quite a few physical limitations. He... Read more
A friend of mine sent me an email about this recently and I thought it was worth sharing. It speaks to so many virtues such as commitment, toughness, courage, dedication … I believe this is worth sharing with our athletes because it is a very powerful image on so many different levels: The... Read more
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. It is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the... Read more
I was blessed to be in attendance for this game, this experience Sam so eloquently and passionately describes here. I sat in the stands with the football coaches, who I can honestly state are my good friends … They installed SportsLeader this past season and did an amazing job. They are... Read more
I was blessed to be able to travel to Louisiana recently. During that visit I spent some time with Coach Joe Lombardi of the New Orleans Saints and his beautiful family. We are honored to have Coach Lombardi's endorsement. Please take a moment to read his note below. Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd... Read more
We define Toughness in our coaches manual as, "The strength to work hard and to work smart always motivated by a cause." I had an inspiring conversation with a friend recently while playing darts in his garage (if you must know he won - smile). He has a 16 year old son who just "went... Read more