The SportsLeader Blog

I was honored to be a part of Cincinnati St Gertrude football this past Saturday. It is a parish/school with about 90 families in their football program. I took some photos and some video of all the teams as they took another step in the SportsLeader program. It was "Commitment Day". As a... Read more
The Wyandotte Roosevelt High School football team in Michigan has a tradition of painting a wall before the start of the season. On the night of their virtue camp, the Seniors decided to go for it. They were going to spend the night sleeping on the field and they wanted to surprise their teammates... Read more
Here is a great article written by Paul Najjar of Catholic Sports Journal. He interviewed one of the Coaches in our SportsLeader association, Chris Willertz. ... Willertz Developing Young Men at WWHS August 4, 2011 By Paul Najjar, CSJ writer http://www.catholicsportsjournal.com/ With some sports... Read more
Below is a note I recently received from a football and wrestling coach, Nick Corey. Yet another example of how "sports" can be so much more than "just a game" at times. ... Lou, This was from the mother of Tony Merk, a six year old who died of cancer 4 wks ago. I've witnessed a lot of cool things... Read more
Kirk Cousins, QB at Michigan State, represents the players at the Big 10 Kickoff Luncheon with a speech that is an amazing example of charity, humility and courage. He speaks well of his competitors, showers praise and respect on the coaches and expresses so eloquently the privilege it is to be a... Read more
Yesterday I had an impacting experience. It was my daughter Zoe's 3rd birthday. I try to go to Mass with my kids on their birthday. So off we went yesterday Zoe sporting her pink overalls and pigtails. We arrive to Mass and come to find out that it is a funeral Mass. During the homily we learned... Read more
Adam Hubbs' wish was to spend a day with Broncos QB Tim Tebow. "When Adam played sports, he was a very hard worker and always played hard," said Peggy Hubbs, Adam's mother. "But there was never any celebration or what he thought was showboating. He just tried to win. And I think what he really... Read more
Here is an NFL player who is a great example on and off the field. Share this with your players. ... Nnamdi Asomugha (pronounced ˈnɑmdi ˈɑsəmwɑ) is a cornerback who currently plays for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders - That may change today since he is one of the most sought... Read more
Jim Lasky, a youth lacrosse coach from the north suburbs of Chicago shares a testimony about his team and their strength. Jim does an awesome job of playing all of his players, demanding excellence, serving off the field and striving to win ... all at the same time. It can be done. Some coaches... Read more
I'd like to share a response I received from a coach about the last email we sent out about speaking well of others. Coach Henry Hunt is a 5th-6th grade football coach from Lousiville, KY. I've had the honor of knowing Coach Hunt for 7 years now. This sums up SportsLeader so well - coaches striving... Read more
While we were traveling to visit family in New Jersey a few weeks ago we received a visit from a friend named Mary Rogers. Mary is basically the personification of "Speaking Well of Others." She constantly is praising you, noticing your talents, thanking you for who you are, telling you how much... Read more
Tyler Hamilton from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School in Michigan shares a testimony about some experiences that he and his teammates have had recently helping to serve a former player and their equipment manager. Tyler is an amazing young man - a great example of charity, humility and courage.Read more
We had our first ever Virtue Camp for Girls at Camp River Ridge this week. The Lloyd Memorial High School Girls Volleyball team from Erlanger, KY came and had an awesome experience. The "roughing it" was a bit challenging but the experience ultimately brought them closer and helped them to... Read more
Something I would like to have coaches do more of is share some info on the books they are reading with maybe a quick summary. We urgently need to help and encourage one another. Well allow me to offer up a first suggestion. A book a number of people recommended to me but I never got around to... Read more
If you missed the USA Women's World Cup Soccer Game against Brazil yesterday you will want to watch the 4 minute video link below. http://youtu.be/eUIEh-Dp3XY What a display of virtue. Debatable red card call, very debatable re-take of a penalty kick, playing with only 10 for huge portion of the... Read more
Here is another great message from Coach Chris Willertz. We are blessed to have Chris on our team here at SportsLeader. He is just like the rest of us: busy being a husband, father, teacher, coach, volunteer, "taxi driver", etc and yet he takes time to always write something or call a coach to... Read more
Not to pick on a particular player - but this could be a "teaching moment for us coaches". Use this as an example of what NOT to do and then speak about how you proposed to your wife and share your testimony with your players. This might seem "outlandish" but with our young people enveloped in... Read more
We had our first virtue camp in the state of Michigan last week at Wyandotte High School near Detroit with the Varsity football team. We had around 40 guys and most of the coaching staff. It was a fabulous experience and it was right there at the high school. They are blessed with outstanding... Read more
The University of South Carolina won its 2nd National Championship in baseball ... the below comments speak volumes about the need for the virtue of CHARITY on your team. Some think virtue is for those who don't know how to win - tell that to this team. South Carolina (55-14) became the first team... Read more
On my way to a training with the Lebanon, IN HS football team I heard the above song that I found inspiring: The Breath You Take by George Strait. I would like to encourage you to share what you are doing with your players this summer. Coach Chris Willertz gives us an example here below. ... I... Read more
We have a new Facebook page. Please "Like" us and forward this to your coaches, parents, athletes and friends. http://www.facebook.com/pages/SportsLeader/223927884292066 We have a YouTube channel where we have 77 videos posted ... Testimonies, short talks and some other fun things http://www... Read more
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Thank you to all of you who are faithful, loving, dedicated men who sacrifice in so many different ways for your children. Here is a video about a Dad who does something special and heroic for his son. It is the story of Dick and Rick Hoyt. I encourage you to share this with... Read more
Coach Todd is progressing slowly but surely. He was able to sit up in a chair for 3 hours over the weekend. The goal for this week is to get Trent out of the ICU and back to the 8th floor of the Cleveland Clinic (Transplant Unit) by this weekend, when Sophia and Bryce, his children, will finally... Read more
Some great news. Coach Trent Todd received a pair of lungs last week and thus far his body is accepting them pretty well. This is extremely encouraging because Trent's health was going downhill pretty fast. You can follow his progress at the blog they set up for him at http://www.sportsleader.org/... Read more
The relationship between players and parents can be a major issue at times for coaches. Coach Mike Bickerman of Rushville Industry High School in Illinois handed out a surgery for his players to answer. "I had a meeting to finalize summer stuff with the kids. I gave them an informal survey which... Read more
While we were in Michigan we had the opportunity to visit Michigan State University and get the "grand tour" along with talking with head coach Mark Dantonio about SportsLeader Mike Pruchnicki, athletic director and assistant football coach at Flint Powers Catholic high school, played and coached... Read more
I had a pretty amazing trip to Michigan this past weekend. I believe we met more than 70 coaches from 10 different high schools and 3 different middle schools. More on that over the next few days. One of the coaches who organized a training was Ron Adams from Wyandotte Roosevelt high school which... Read more
Somebody you know is really working hard to improve. It's a struggle and they are struggling but they are getting some things figured out. They want us to notice, they desperately want us to notice. But we are so stressed trying to get it done that we aren't noticing. Let's notice today and... Read more
This past weekend I was blessed to be a part of another virtue camp. It was with the Xenia (Ohio) HS football seniors. What was unique about this particular camp was that one of the players is about to become a father. At every camp we tell the boys that what we are going to talk about is a lot... Read more
I had a very interesting experience yesterday. I was invited to Lloyd Memorial High School by one of the coaches in our SportsLeader Association to be a part of their first ever Leadership Day. They invited 10 speakers: One for opening assembly, one for closing assembly and 8 others who would have... Read more
I was visiting with one of the coaches in our Association, Bruce Scifres of Indianapolis Roncalli High School once. He has coached 6 State Championship teams in 1993, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004. We were in his office talking when a group of players gathered at the door. "Coach, out of the 6... Read more
Last night we had 2 special events in Lexington: A meet and greet for coaches and a benefit dinner. What was the most amazing part of it was that the main impetus for both events came from Dean Hood, the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky University. As you can imagine, a Division 1 FB coach... Read more
Our society is becoming more and more materialistic ... more and more about having instead of about BEING. Here is a neat really short story that I thought would be good to share with your players. Chinese Legend A group of elderly, cultured gentlemen met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea... Read more
Coach Paul Passafiume, the founding Coach of SportsLeader, told me a story about one of the players on his football team a number of years ago and I just remembered it again this morning. He coaches the St Agnes Saints in Louisville, KY. There are many coaches out there who think that it is "either... Read more
Coach Trent Todd is one of the finest men in our SportsLeader Coaches Association. He was kind enough to film 12 videos about his experience mentoring and coaching. He shares a personal experience here below as well as a great message to coaches everywhere. The two are very related: Because Trent... Read more
We've all heard the phrase before ... "The Elephant in the Room" ... That awkward subject that everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about ... At virtue camp we at SportsLeader make it a point to publicly address all the Elephants - give them their due. This past weekend was no exception... Read more
What does it mean to lead? During our virtue camps this spring and summer we have been trying to help our coaches and players really understand that. We are playing off the acronym LEAD: Love Others Encourage Others Actively Resolve Deny Yourself Drew Brees is a perfect example of all 4 ... Thanks... Read more
Over the weekend at one of the coaches clinics, a coach asked a really good question: How do you mentor a young man? I mean I want to be his coach, not his friend ... The short answer - Both AND ... But I wanted to hear what you all thought about it as well. Here is what Coach Willertz wrote. ..... Read more
I was able to witness this one as well - well witness it happening on NFL Network that is. I have been blessed to get to know both coach Frommeyer and Ed quite well. It's the little things ... ... To: Sportsleader From: Steve Frommeyer, principal... Read more
3 great pieces of news to share today. 1. Coach Trent Todd has been officially placed on the lung transplant list. This is a huge step. Coach Trent needs a double lung transplant and has been going through a battery of tests for months ... 2. SportsLeader had its very first "graduate" get drafted... Read more
Dean Hood, Head Football Coach at Eastern Kentucky University, told me a story once that really struck me ... a story that I think every coach and every parent should share with their kids ... better than share ... physically demonstrate with this simple experiment that creates a pretty instant... Read more
Character plays such a huge role in the draft because we have young 20 year olds coming into 3 windfalls all at the same time: 1. Instant large sum of money 2. Instant and constant fame 3. Considerable amount of free time Unless you have developed the personal conviction to stay true to your... Read more
Lots of wise advice here. I put some of my favorites in red. Feel free to reply with any other coaching errors you have "learned from". Let's help one another improve. That is the beauty of the SportsLeader Character Coaches Association. Virtue = Strength, Lou Upcoming Clinics: April 30: Terre... Read more
Here's an example of of an athlete putting virtue into action. I'm sure the people he helped will never be the same. Let's form more young men like this so our country will be a better place. Virtue = Strength, Lou Do you have a virtue program in place? By: Eric Adelson ThePostGame.com Faced with... Read more
A great Good Friday message. Take it to heart! ... It is obvious we have to teach our young men (and young women!) virtue. Character, doing right, virtue, Godliness, whatever you want to call it, it still boils down to trying to get young people to discover what really is important, what life... Read more
This is a great little piece worth committing to memory. Have a competition amongst all your players and coaches to see who can memorize it first. ... "Sport, properly directed, develops character makes a man courageous, a generous loser, and a gracious victor; it refines the senses, gives... Read more
I had lunch with a successful college football coach this week. He had a lot of insight into the lives of young men both the pros and the cons. One of the cons that really struck me was this. "Lou, I have 110 kids in my football program. They come from 100 different high schools. Out of all those... Read more
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America -- one out of three -- live in biological father-absent homes. That number is hard to fathom. Consider it from this light. There are 2,083 major stadiums and indoor arenas (football, baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey) in the USA... Read more
Last week the world's oldest man, Walter Breunig, died at 114 years of age in Great Falls, Montana. The world's oldest person is Besse Copper of Monroe, GA. She was born 26 days before Walter. A lot of wisdom in here ... Amazing - he was 76 - already a pretty long life - when I was born. His secret... Read more
I was looking back at some of the emails I had received from coaches over the past 7 years working with SportsLeader and I came across one that I'm not sure if I ever shared before. It is a clear testament to the amazing impact of mentoring - how it changes lives most importantly but also - THAT IT... Read more
Getting teenagers to read is not for the faint of heart. But the below study might provide some added motivation. Solutions? Coach Dean Hood has chosen a book every year for his coaches and players to read. Basically the idea is to read a chapter a week and he asks his players to text him once they... Read more
I had dinner with Coach Mark Reddy last night. I learned so much from him just listening to his perspective on life, adversity, coaching ... At one point in the conversation he began to talk about his awards banquet. There is a particular tradition in SportsLeader that unfortunately many coaches... Read more
I have always been inspired when I see young people going out of their way to be polite and helpful. Unfortunately, finding chivalry in today's young men is at times a daunting search. Andrew Luck to our rescue. In case you've never heard of him, Andrew is the QB at Stanford University. He was the... Read more
Even watching sports on TV can be an occasion to learn and grow in virtue. Frank brings up so many interesting conversation points, lessons ... A powerful connection between virtue, golf and The Masters Tournament is the person of Bobby Jones (1902-1971).After retiring from competitive golf in 1930... Read more
Last weekend the three senior wrestlers went on their senior trip to Beaver Creek in the Daniel Boone National Forest, outside of Somerset, Kentucky. I've attached pictures of the weekend, thanks primarilly to Jim Bissel our guide and camera guy. The purpose of the senior trip is one last... Read more
What makes the below testimony even more amazing for me personally is the fact that this team did not have much athletic talent over the past 4 seasons ... they did not win too many games. And yet, their retention rate was nearly 100% over the 4 years ... Why keep coming back to a team with little... Read more
Finding what is important in the midst of bitter disappointment is a rare jewel. They did not have too many video cuts to the coach during the game but when they did, Coach Stevens was always composed and focused ... in the midst of the severe shooting drought he wasn't ranting and cussing ... he... Read more
Another great testimony of a boy becoming a man ... even though he is still a young fella. Your players listen to you coaches - sometimes more than we think. ... Hey Lou, I just wanted to forward you some pictures of a boy on my basketball team that made a cake for a neighbor of his that has breast... Read more
We'd love to host you, your staff and players as well. Contact us for more information ... EKU Football Virtue Camp Experience By Dean Hood, Head Football Coach We went on our first SportsLeader Virtue Camp this past weekend. I brought my 15 Seniors to be along with my 2 Coordinators Mike... Read more
A friendly note from my brother. He has some good nuggets of wisdom and motivation here that I know can and should pay attention to. Thanks-Buck! ... Hey Lou! I'm always impressed with your Sports Leader emails. The stories are great, and it's amazing to hear about coaches and players internalizing... Read more
Two simple and practical ways to do something to help this situation is the following: 1. Purposefully invite your wife and daughters to your practices or weight lifting sessions. When they arrive, go over and give them a hug, smile and treat them with respect. You are giving an example to the... Read more
This may sting a little bit but I believe there is a ton of truth here. Every single one of us, myself included, needs to battle the parasite of passivity ... the slow weakening into becoming a "spectator" in life. Please take this as an encouragement ... a challenge to step up just a bit more and... Read more
What if our players treated us like we treat them? Here is a 30 second video that is pretty funny and packs a powerful lesson. SportsLeader Character Building Clinic Date: April 30, 2011 Time: 1:00-5:00 pm Dinner/Refreshments will be provided Location: TBD Terre Haute, Indiana Cost will be broken... Read more
I can assure you that my ESPN Final Four bracket is no threat to you. My current rank is 1,397,692. I have no teams left. Apparently I am not alone. Thanks to a Final Four with no No. 1 or 2 seeds, plus an 8-seed in Butler and an 11-seed in VCU, just two out of 5.9 million-plus brackets in... Read more
I had 2 interesting experiences this week. 1. I was at Wal-Mart doing some late night food shopping earlier in the week and there were very few lanes open to check out. I was "blessed" to be behind 2 men ... They had filled up 3 shopping carts worth of food, mostly Coke actually ... Their bill came... Read more
I know many people have a love-hate relationship with Duke basketball. Please put that aside for a second (smile - if you can) Working with SportsLeader for the past 7 years one of the most common things I hear from coaches when I am trying to maybe suggest an idea to help them with their character... Read more
I had a great conversation with Coach Frank DiCocco a few days ago. He is an assistant coach at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He told me about some traditions they have in their program. Please write down 1 or 2 traditions that you have in your program with a brief explanation... Read more
This past Friday evening a few teams came together in Chicago to discuss how SportsLeader has made an impact within their programs. Nazareth Academy hosted Naperville Central, Providence Catholic, Aurora Central Catholic, Montini Catholic and some youth coaches as well. Naperville Central Head... Read more
... And now he wants to be a motivational speaker. We need more young men like Anthony in our world. By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY Arizona State's Anthony Robles hopped off the mat at the NCAA wrestling tournament after a perfect season. Born with one leg, Robles took the 125-pound title Saturday... Read more
I had the chance to sit down with Jeff Gaier, Head Wrestling Coach at Cincinnati Moeller High School - and good friend of mine, to talk about wrestling and SportsLeader. He has been coaching for 29 years having the opportunity to impact thousands of kids, parents, families. He shares his... Read more
April 8-9, 2011 Coach Chris Willertz is doing his annual Senior Send-Off. It is a special trip with all of his graduating Seniors to the Smoky Mountains in TN. They will drive from Cincinnati, OH to TN (about 4-5 hours) on Friday April 8th and spend the night. Saturday April 9th they will hike all... Read more
National Sportsmanship Day is March 1, 2011. For the past two decades, USA TODAY and the Institute for International Sport have co-sponsored an annual essay contest in support of this sportsmanship initiative. Students from elementary school to college were invited to write essays of 500 words or... Read more
Tony Dungy hits it pretty dead on here. What we can do to help is mentoring. If every head and assistant coach takes mentoring seriously on their teams, we can make a huge difference. We can teach all these young men that being a faithful husband and father is the happiest and most fulfilling way... Read more
Accountability has been a theme all over the sports news landscape as of late. Here is a refreshing case of personal accountability on the part of a coach who owned up to his actions ... Coach Trent Todd. Trent's first day of the pre-transplant evaluation went well. He passed the test that he... Read more
Joey Ward of Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller High School won the 2011 125 pound Ohio Division 1 State Championship March 5th. He faced a very talented wrestler who had beaten him 3 times earlier in the season. The match went into Triple OT ... Joey and all of his teammates came on a Team Virtue Camp... Read more
I was inspired by this example of virtuous service and leadership. In our new Strength for Life Manual we have a daily resolution suggestion to help our young people do what this inspiring young lady is doing. Imagine if you had ten young people like this on your team ... in your class ... in your... Read more
Patrick McCaskey, co-owner of the NFL Chicago Bears, and Sports Faith International presented the Coach of the Year - Virtues of St Paul Award to Coach Dan Duddy on February 27, 2011. Dan is the head football coach at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ and a member of the SportsLeader... Read more
This story is an amazingly sad contrast to yesterdays. The below numbers do not include players that were dismissed from the team the previous season or even minor charges. The 7% is serious crime, many of it violent. The root of the problem - No Dads or lack of a real relationship with a Dad or... Read more
Whether you agree with the BYU dismissal of Brandon Davies or not ... it is at least amazingly refreshing to see an institution who takes its honor code seriously. Does your team have an honor code? ... Brandon Davies was dismissed from BYU's basketball team after he admitted to having sexual... Read more
I had an interesting conversation with a coach yesterday where he told me about a day where one of his players lifted him up. One-on-One mentoring is an essential piece of coaching in SportsLeader. This particular coach had done an amazing job of dividing up his team amongst all his assistant... Read more
An excellent piece by Rick Reilly of ESPN ... We need more NFL players to step up like this to help save our youth. Do your athletes help get rid of bullying at your school? Maybe your athletes could go to a school and give a jersey to a bullied boy ... Let's be part of the solution. SportsLeader... Read more
Thank you so much for all of your congratulations and prayers with regard to our son's birth. This is one of the most inspiring aspects of the SportsLeader family - how we all care for each other so much. Coach Trent Todd has been a huge part of my life personally and that of SportsLeader. March... Read more
A great team tradition we learned from the movie Forever Strong was "Bring 'Em Back". A former player writes a letter to a current player playing his same position. Coach Chris Willertz had a ceremony where this was a part of it. The video is his intro talk. Below is a sample letter one of their... Read more
There is a lot of truth in Dan's message below. It is men like him that make SportsLeader special. ... By Dan Duddy Head Football Coach Monsignor Donovan HS The average guy will live til he’s maybe 85 years old right? My head football coach took over a losing football program last year at 84, so... Read more
As you make your plans for this summer I would like to encourage you to consider doing a virtue camp with your team or maybe at least with your leaders/captains. A virtue camp is some time totally set aside to growing in virtue and leadership, giving your team an experience, a memory they could... Read more
Spring Break is coming up soon. The mere sound of the words is pretty pleasant and inviting, as it should be. I was encouraged by the below story and I thought it would be a great example, some food for thought for you and your programs. One of the most effective ways to teach leadership and virtue... Read more
Over the years I have had the opportunity to accompany quite a few different teams on game day. I've noticed a few similarities in most programs especially when it comes to the post game portion of the day ... After a win, most teams are pretty similar: happiness, lots of love going around, guys... Read more
As coaches we have the unique opportunity to be able to mentor young people who CHOOSE to come be with us, who CHOOSE to want to learn from us. What can we do to mentor these young lives even better?Read more
Kevin Caffrey is a graduate of Monsignor Donovan High School. There he was able to experience the SportsLeader Virtue Program thanks to his head coach Dan Duddy. He shares what he learned and how he wants to impact other young men with his life.Read more
I had an inspiring conversation with Winton Woods Head Wrestling Coach Chris Willertz a few days ago. Chris does an awesome job of really going out of his way to mentor his players, to help them through their everyday struggles. He has a wrestler on his team that has been steadily improving on the... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of an amazing Character Building Clinic this past weekend with coaches from all over the country. They were passionate about changing lives, they shared how their purpose in coaching is to help boys become men. There was a buzz in the room that was truly contagious ..... Read more
The SportsLeader Character Coaches Association would like to congratulate Coach Kent Wright of Lebanon Indiana High School for this year's Coach of Uncommon Strength Award. Here below is a letter from the Principal of Lebanon High School Kevin O'Rourke. ... On behalf of the students, staff, parents... Read more
Coach Jim Stofko of St Thomas More College was kind enough to share this letter with me. It is from one of his players this past season. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt earlier this year. What a tremendous young man. He spoke to our Conquest group with a few of his teammates. To watch the video... Read more
Recently I had a conversation with a parent of an 8 year old boy who played youth football for the first time. His team practiced 4 days a week and played games on Saturday. He was at every single practice and every single game. He tried his best. During the last game of the season, late in the 4th... Read more
As Coach Trent Todd says in this short video, "Someone is always listening." 2 coaches from Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy were very kind and shared some info with me that I found very encouraging. I'm hoping it encourages you as well. Part of the SportsLeader program is to give your older... Read more
The Northern KY Conquest Family Hockey Night 2011 was a lot of fun. Our Cincinnati Cyclones beat the South Carolina Stingrays 4-1. We had excellent seats: center left rows 4-7. We were able to go down as a group to the Zamboni tunnel and watch as the Cyclones warmed up shooting goals. Quite a few... Read more
I was blessed to be a part of another Father-Son Wrestling Singlet night at Moeller High School last night. Very similar to our Father-Son Jersey night, the idea is to invite the dads of your players to a special evening where they can publicly affirm and praise their sons. We have a little talk... Read more
This should sting a little ... Let's be part of the solution not part of the problem. By Randy Traeger Head Football Coach Mt Angel Oregon Kennedy High School If you are a coach this might make you uncomfortable. I do not apologize for that discomfort. So I am looking over the "Schedule of Speakers... Read more

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