The SportsLeader Blog

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
SportsLeader teams up with Sports Faith International in search for outstanding Athletes, Coaches and Teams … Do you know an outstanding High School Athlete, Coach or Team who is an exemplary role model both on and off the field? Nominate them for the 2011 All Star Catholic High School Sports... Read more
Please remember in your prayers a high school football player who was paralyzed from the shoulders down last June. I would also like to ask a favor - Would you please consider writing an email to Brian to encourage him and to let him know that he is not alone or forgotten? You can send the email to... Read more
Part 2 in a series of multiple video messages: A coach and a great friend of mine, Trent Todd, has been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In short, Trent needs a miracle and/or a double lung transplant ... ... From: Steve Frommeyer – Eminence High School Football Coach and principal... Read more
I was reading an article last night about the virtue of empathy and college students. You can read the article below. The dictionary defines empathy as: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. One of the ways SportsLeader tries to encourage the living of the virtues is to have... Read more
A great way for young people to grow in the understanding that virtue is important for life is by service and speaking opportunities. When you're getting ready to get up in front of a group of people it helps you wake up to the idea that "You Can't Give What You Don't Have." A few weeks ago, I was... Read more
Ron Allen, a retired Fireman and Assistant Football Coach at Louisville Manual High School, shares a fascinating story of how he helped rescue a girl from a train-car wreck years ago. He comments on the virtue of perseverance and the need to build a relationship with the person you are trying to... Read more
There has been some toxic rhetoric going back and forth this week in the NFL amongst "professional" football players. Maybe you are a fan of one of these teams. I am not knocking any of the teams but I do want to address some of the verbiage. Players and some coaches from the Jets, Patriots, Ravens... Read more
A coach and a great friend of mine, Trent Todd, has been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In short, Trent needs a miracle and/or a double lung transplant. His doctors gave him five years to live. That was a few years ago. At first, things did not seem so "bad". I confess I didn't even... Read more
*-After you press play expect a 10 second delay before it starts. A friend of mine from Florida, Susan Kelly, sent me a great link yesterday. Thanks, Susan. Michael Zelenka gave this presentation last year on "The Spirituality of Sports". I learned a lot from it. Toward the end he presented a new... Read more
Steve Frommeyer has the unique position of being a High School Principal and the Head Football Coach. This is a great reminder! ... To: Sportsleader Family From: Steve Frommeyer, Eminence High School The off-season – The 2011 High School Football Season seems a long time off, especially for young... Read more
SportsLeader has an off-season tradition called the Coaches Marriage Renewal evening ... the basic gist of it is: 1. Gather coaches and their spouses either at a restaurant or a private home 2. Dinner or coffee 3. Each coach gets up in front of the small group, grabs a rose and publicly brags on... Read more
This is a memory that will never be forgotten. A life changing experience. ... By Randy Traeger Things were going real well for the Kennedy Trojan football team in 2010, right up until our State Championship semi-final game against Gold Beach. Gold Beach did a great job of defending us, they were... Read more
Happy New Year! Last week I saw a high school basketball game which I learned a lot from. I have heard from many different coaches that "the team is a reflection of the coach." This game was definitive proof. I wasn't really rooting for either team ... the game was well officiated and it was very... Read more
It is great to see SportsLeader coaches and their teams get such good press. Chris and his team have shoveled over 100 driveways so far this winter plus helped a driver out of a ditch? How many have you shoveled with your team? The gauntlet has been laid down! ... Getting Up Off The Mat BY SCOTT... Read more
Embracing service! Rudy Favard, 17, cradled Sammy Parker, 8, as he carried him upstairs. (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff) By Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist On Tuesday night, Patty and Rick Parker were in their cramped kitchen with their 8-year-old son Ben. Dinner was over. Bedtime was near. Ben’s... Read more
One of the most rewarding experiences of SportsLeader is watching your assistant coaches "get it". That's when things really start to get fun. Having a staff moving full speed ahead is a powerful witness for your players. Your actions as a group speak much louder than your words ... ... By Dan... Read more
So much truth here below. I unfortunately witnessed some lack of gratitude these past few days and it was pretty painful. We must be good examples. I pray that you are at peace with Christ this beautiful season. ... By Randy Traeger Head Football Coach Mt Angel Oregon Kennedy HS Speaker at 2010 and... Read more
Merry CHRISTmas! May Baby Jesus bless you and fill your hearts with love, humility, peace and strength. Be assured of our prayers. Your friend, Lou On this night, this holy night, Christ freely chose to join our plight. His Sacred Heart was burning bright, Love drove him down from heaven’s... Read more
Have a Blessed CHRISTmas. Be assured of our prayers, Lou Owl football players adopt family for Christmas BY TONY MEALE • TMEALE@COMMUNITYPRESS.COM • DECEMBER 18, 2010 Thanks to three Mount Healthy High School football players, three children will have a Christmas that's a little merrier... Read more
Below is simply put one of the most humble emails I've ever received from a coach. I asked Mark if I could share this ... Inspiring way to look at life. God is in control. Let's trust Him more this Christmas. ... Lou, I officially got the axe at our board meeting Monday night. A newspaper article... Read more
In many High School sports programs the Freshmen don't get quite as much attention as the Varsity players do when it comes to mentoring and virtue. But at Providence Catholic near Chicago, IL this is not the case. They have an outstanding coach, who is also a great friend of mine, who goes out of... Read more
It's special when you can "catch" a moment like this - virtue in action. Your players ARE listening and watching. Keep it up coaches, we need you! God bless, Lou February 5, 2011 - Character Building Clinic 5th and 6th Grade Sport of Happiness By Brett Richard Executive Director Cypress Heights... Read more
SportsLeader will have our 5th annual Character Building Clinic on Saturday February 5, 2011. We are still finalizing a few details but I wanted to get the date out. It will be a one day event in the Cincinnati area. Speakers: Dean Hood Richmond, KY Eastern Kentucky University Paul Passafiume... Read more
"Certainly the basic frame is about minimizing selfishness, minimizing grandiosity, giving to others, accepting character flaws, and apologizing when you’re wrong" ... Sounds like a good recipe for anyone including your team ... ... Post by: Elizabeth Landau - CNN.com Health Writer/Producer... Read more
A great note from Coach Dan Duddy. We need more coaches putting their thoughts and experiences on paper. Give it some thought. ... I was blessed to attend my 13th (out of the last 14 years) Army-Navy game on Saturday 12/11 with my five sons. It was a fruitful day when it comes to the realities of... Read more
A note from a friend of mine and a real life example video ... Several years ago, a Princeton Lacrosse player from the DC area told me, “Fr. Michael, you need to tell all of your High School jocks to get rid of their attitude. They want to come across as being tough macho men, and some of them... Read more
"Every life has a story if we only bother to read it" A video Chick-Fil-A created to remind us that everyone we interact with is a chance to create a remarkable experience. Coaches - as you watch just imagine this is your locker room ...Read more
I was talking with Coach Randy Traeger yesterday and he had a great idea. "I could ask the English teachers to have the boys write the essay for English class ... they write about their season ... and they get graded on it ..." Maybe this is something you can do as well. Or if you aren't the head... Read more
We need to help our athletes slow down for a bit and reflect on the season that has just passed. What did I learn? How am I better person? What goals did I accomplish? ... Here are a few excerpts from football players from Monsignor Donovan HS in Toms River, NJ. Coach Dan Duddy has his guys write... Read more
Coach Willertz is a great example of a man who selflessly gives to the young men of his team. Many of them have never wrestled before ... have no idea what the sport even entails ... and he uses it to build them into great men. Congrats Coach! We need you. PS - If you would like to help support... Read more
I had the pleasure of having lunch with Kim, Mr and Mrs Traeger earlier this year. I'm sure you have all had similar experiences where you leave a visit feeling like your life was just en-riched by the people you were with. May we strive to be and do this for others with our lives. By Randy Traeger... Read more
This speaks so much to the love athletes have in their hearts for GOOD coaches - coaches who are demanding yet positive at the same time. ... Injured High School Track Star Crawls to Finish Line for Team, Coach Holland Reynolds, 16, Melted Hearts By Finishing Race on Hands and Knees By DAVID WRIGHT... Read more
Prayers are answered. I spoke with Tom yesterday afternoon and he said that he made the call to cancel the divorce. He then sent some flowers to his wife with a note, "I made the call. I want to fight for you." He did not know how she would react ... but then when he got home he finds out the below... Read more
There is a coach who is in urgent need of prayers TODAY. At 2 PM if his wife does not make a phone call their divorce will be finalized. Please offer up a prayer and/or sacrifice for Coach Tom and his wife today. I believe in miracles. God bless, Lou I continue to pray asking for God's intervention... Read more
Sports Illustrated named Drew Brees Sportsman of the Year. It is encouraging to see Pro athletes like Drew using the platform God gave them to help others. God bless, Lou By Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated For not only leading the New Orleans Saints to the first Super Bowl title in the franchise's... Read more
Below is the point of view from the team trainer on a difficult yet also inspiring night - the State Championship Semi-Final for Mt Angel Oregon Kennedy HS. A Life-Changing VICTORY in the midst of a "loss". This is the True Glory of sports. ... With our virtue being thankfulness last week, I wanted... Read more
I was blessed to witness an extraordinary event last night. The Lloyd Memorial Basketball team father/son jersey night. I have been to numerous events like this but each one is unique. Last night I was able to watch a father tell his son that he loved him for the very first time. It was moving. The... Read more
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I had another powerful learning experience this week. It was another wake up call that I - we have so much to be thankful for. At times we do not even realize just how much we have to be thankful for. At a virtue camp with a high school basketball team ... we had a discussion... Read more
If you would like some feedback questions to ask your players just let me know. Thanks Doc for tallying all of this . Here is a video of a former Chicago Nazareth football player http://www.sportsleader.org/sites/default/files/blogger_importer/02/hs-football-player-testimony-at-chicago.html Player... Read more
I was privileged to be a part of another life-changing event over the weekend: A virtue camp with the Cincinnati Winton Woods High School wrestling team. 14 young men and 3 coaches. Most of them had never been camping before, never had a smore, never been fishing ... They had been a part of a... Read more
A wonderful testimony of charity, generosity ... Virtue = Strength. In-Kyung Kim wins LPGA event, donates entire winnings to charity By Shane Bacon You know how people complain that there is never any good news anymore? Well, I'm going to let you take a break from that, and it's all because of a 22... Read more
When was the last time you told your wife, daughter, girlfriend ... she was beautiful? Here is a song that I personally found very moving and served as a reminder that I need to do this more often. Consider emailing this link to her, buying the song ... whatever you need to do ... Telling her is... Read more
I was inspired to read the comments on CNN's news page ... So many mention the virtues of Charity, Humility, Courage, Sacrifice ... Indeed Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is a virtuous hero we should all be proud of - especially our brothers in the great state of Iowa. Washington (CNN) -- A 25-year-old... Read more
The Pope knows the importance of sports and the value of your testimony as coaches ... SPORT A SCHOOL OF VALUES, SAYS PONTIFF Receives Delegation of Ski Instructors VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2010 ( Zenit.org ).- Sport can become a school of "human and Christian values," Benedict XVI said today upon... Read more
Doing a team service project is an integral part of SportsLeader. Here is an awesome example of what can be done on a day off from school during the season. Putting the virtue of the week into action. Thank you Coach Randy Traeger and the Mt Angel Oregon Kennedy High School Trojans. Friends, I... Read more
I had a great experience this past weekend with the Cincinnati Moeller High School wrestling team at Virtue Camp. 50 young men, Freshmen-Seniors ... some with 13 years under their belts -some with 1 practice (the day before) ... plus 7 coaches and 4 Dads. Things started off a little rocky as the... Read more
I had a great conversation with a coach this morning. This past Sunday he was at the 9:30 AM Mass with his family and in walk 8 of his HS football players in shirt and tie together and sit down right next to him. He knew nothing about this. One of his players organized it. He did the inviting, the... Read more
Coaches, Getting our young men to write down their thoughts is a tough task ... but it brings a lot of fruits. Consider encouraging your players to write blogs to encourage others to practice the virtues you are talking about as a team. It might change their life. "It is in giving that we receive... Read more
Part of the mission of SportsLeader is to transform the culture of sports. Here is an event that has little to do with athletics but is an awesome example of thinking outside the box to serve others ... Imagine being in Macy's shopping for a shirt when all of a sudden the guy standing next to you... Read more
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Fights involving parents and coaches in youth sports seem like they are happening more often. For that reason, Ron Jennings started the Lakota Youth Football League in West Chester. The league is based on four key principles: Faith, family, school, and then football - in... Read more
Coaches, Please consider giving virtue award(s) at the end of your season. It shows all your parents and players that you truly value the intangibles of character and not just the on-field prowess ... Note the comments below from the parents. Cincinnati Sycamore 7th grade football coach Jim DeJoy... Read more
Great example by Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants. Have you ever visited or called a player/family from the opposing team after a serious injury? Or a player in your area who you hear about? Something to consider. BY TARA SULLIVAN THE RECORD STAFF WRITER Giants coach Tom Coughlin is busy... Read more
This week I have personally come to realize just how important virtue is to our society. We need virtuous men and women in every walk of life, whether it be sports, medicine, law, education ... construction. We needed some work done outside ... We hired someone recommended to us ... Long story... Read more
Lakota Stallions Coach Testimony Lakota Stallions Parent Testimony ... Here is a great example of "someone is always watching." The classy and virtuous behavior of a coach inspired a man to write this note to a youth football organization president ... I thought I'd take a second and let you know... Read more
2 great examples of high school aged young men gettin' it done virtue-wise off the field. From NJ at Monsignor Donovan High School - thanks Coach Duddy for inspiring these guys! ... Angelo, a Senior team captain, "quarterback sack artist" and a great wrestler We had football practice today and when... Read more
Recently I had a new experience. I went to a high school football game to cheer on a SportsLeader team and I realized that I personally knew one of the officials - the head ref for the game. This had never happened to me before. Never before did I go to a game and actually have prior personal... Read more
Did you ever receive a letter from one of your coaches? I never did but I would have loved it, and definitely would have kept it. Coach Todd Naumann, defensive coordinator for Covington Catholic high school football, has an awesome tradition where he writes a letter to all of his "defense players"... Read more
The Lakota Stallions are an organization that SportsLeader is truly proud of. They put virtue and sportsmanship first and they transform the families that are associated with them. 5 years ago they fielded 6 teams at 6 different age levels with 70 families and may have won 5 games total - combined... Read more
Coach Paul Passafiume shared this with me. An outstanding article that truly deserves your time and reflection. Reverend Charles Chaput is the Archbishop of Denver. ... Thoughts on a New Knighthood Archbishop Chaput delivered the following remarks to Catholic cadets at the United States Air Force... Read more
The virtue of Charity - Love - is the most important virtue. It is the greatest strength a human being can have. It is often overlooked in sports. Lexington Head Basketball Coach Greg Williams gives an outstanding perspective here below. 1 Corinthians 13 for Coaches and Spouses 1 If I could... Read more
Prayer and humor are two great ways to lift up those around you. From: Steve Frommeyer, Eminence High School principal and Head Football Coach The Jabez Prayer: “Oh, that you would bless me, indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me and that you would keep me from evil... Read more
2 great examples - a player and a coach living virtue and helping others. Please share this with all of your players, coaches, parents and staff. For more great videos from Philip Rivers and Jason Evert click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixzYGGU5AoY ... University of Pittsburg head... Read more
Here are two pieces I found to be helpfully related. Sometimes having a different perspective on things can change your life. By Randy Traeger Coaches, So you have a bad practice and you walk away thinking that your team is not prepared, you could lose on friday night,and you have failed as a coach... Read more
Domestic violence - when we hear those words it sounds like a problem way, way out of our hands. A simple thing you can do as a coach or a staff to help this issue is to have your wife and children visit you at practices and games - even if it is only for one minute. You go over and give them a hug... Read more
I've had the honor of meeting and talking with many extraordinary people over the past few years. People who are giving their lives to serve and help others. Dr Tom Neal is one of those people. His piece here below is well worth your time and reflection - thanks Tom! I have been thinking about the... Read more
Some people still have the impression that SportsLeader is just for boys. Not so. We have a program for girls as well. I had the honor of attending a beautiful event last week - a father daughter jersey night at Louisville Holy Angels. The dads came after practice and presented their daughters with... Read more
Your example matters! You influence others. Period. Coaches all over the country have forgotten that running the score up is poor sportsmanship, that beating a team by 50 or more is not "their problem" etc. Careful here - I'm not saying you should lose or roll over and play dead or anything like... Read more
2 pieces today. Keep Striving! In an email from Ohio State Head Football Coach to Joe Lukens: We are evolving a little more to supplementing our Winners Manual work with texts + e-mails …..it is the way they read and communicate for sure ….Go Bucks !! jt .... A week before our last game I had... Read more
Here is a testimony from Coach Henry Hunt of Louisville St Agnes. He has been coaching for many years and has a ton of experience. If you'd like to check out his web site visit http://coachhunt.com/coachhunt/Strong_in_Virtue.html Thank you Coach Hunt! ... For me, SportsLeader has been more about... Read more
I heard of a great example recently from a coach. At one point in a game he blew up at the refs for what was "an obvious no call on a late hit". He went ballistic and almost got himself thrown out of the game. As the next play began, he realized what an awful example he just set for his whole team... Read more
There was an article published today about bullying and teen suicides. There is a link with athletics which is being unfortunately ignored. "It was the fourth time in little more than two years that a bullied high school student in this small Cleveland suburb on Lake Erie died at his or her own... Read more
Ed Kuhn, Head football coach at Parkway High School, had all of his coaches share stories about how they became men throughout their lives. They all shared a lot of very personal experiences. Later that evening they had their commitment ceremony. Coach was concerned about a number of players,... Read more
I had an awesome visit to Nashville, TN Monday-Tuesday for a SportsLeader seminar at St Henry's. I was so impressed with their school, church, faculty, coaches ... everyone. Talk about a school that is full steam ahead to building up young men and women of virtue - inspiring. They promoted the... Read more
I had an opportunity to travel to Nashville, TN yesterday. More on that tomorrow. Here is something a coach from Nashville recently went through ... Here is an e-mail that I sent to my parents two weeks ago after a tough loss . It was a humbling experience that showed me my own weakness and that... Read more
Coaches sharing great ideas of what is working with their teams is one of the best things about SportsLeader. Here is another way to integrate accountability into your team. ... I have added a new component to our “Virtue program”, a simple but powerfully integrated “man builder” that... Read more
A pre-game email from Coach Randy Traeger to all coaches at all levels in his program, all high school teachers and administrators, all coaches that we are working with directly at other schools, school administrators, and several business leaders. I have not heard from him yet but at least the... Read more
Here is an amazing "behind the scenes" look at how a SportsLeader coach is transforming the life of an entire family through mentoring ... Be warned - not for the faint of heart. God bless, Lou I had a mother of a senior football player approach me the other day and tell me how proud she was of her... Read more
... I had a great conversation with a coach I had not spoken with in months yesterday. He told me about a Running Back - Kick/Punt Returner on his team who is one of the best athletes in the state of KY. The young man's nickname is "Flea" - not too big but hard to see and hard to catch ... They... Read more
Helping your players stay focused throughout the week can be challenging. One tradition that is working and bringing a lot of results is the idea of texting or emailing quotes to your players that center around the virtue theme of the week. For example, let's say you are focusing on on being "Self-... Read more
What a 18 hour span! We left for East Lansing at 1:00 PM on Saturday afternoon from Cincinnati. Myself, Bob Crable and two great guys from Winton Woods H.S., Donnie Gillespie and Adam Gergen (both BB coaches). The Spartans were playing Notre Dame at 8:00PM and we had to move to get to East Lansing... Read more
A tale of two football games I attended. I had a sideline pass for both games. Coaches, I encourage you all, if you don't already, to follow the example of Game 1 . We need overt examples to help bring back some of these noble traditions of class and sportsmanship. If you coach another sport -... Read more
This is a story from a few years ago but it continues to be one of my greatest "SportsLeader" memories. I remembered it having lunch with a coach-friend of mine yesterday, thanks Jim! I was at a game with the Indianapolis Roncalli High School football team. They had lost their starting running back... Read more
Since music is such an important part of the lives of our young people it is good to offer them songs that help them think. Here is a good example: My Own Little World - Lyrics By Matthew West In my own little world it hardly ever rains I've never gone hungry, always felt safe I got some money in... Read more
Oftentimes the word Love is frowned upon in sports as being "wimpy or not applicable". Check out what the Pope was telling the thousands of youth gathered in London: "I ask each of you, first and foremost, to look into your own heart. Think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and... Read more
I'll give you some bullet points that really emphasize the need for mentoring. 1. Player 1 under performing on field...old school way = bench him, mentor = find out his mom had a nervous breakdown and is no longer living with him. Once he shares that with coach and lets it out, he comes out of that... Read more
God gave me some great opportunities to witness his purposes in action while I was on vacation. It was inspiring to see so many Dads playing with their kids ... I was swimming in the pool one day with my wife and kids. Right by the pool was a ping-pong table with a father and son playing ... The... Read more
This is why I love SportsLeader. A must read. Lou, a new senior football player who I have been coaxing into coming out for football for a couple of years has come out for the first time this year. He is impressed with what we do. He calls me at night with spiritual questions often. He is a very... Read more
The need for SportsLeader is urgent. Please consider encouraging a fellow coach to get more involved. ESPN College football headlines for September 15, 2010 7 of the 10 are about a lack of character - a lack of virtue • Heisman Trust: 2005 award will remain vacated • Ingram to return for No. 1... Read more
I had a great conversation with Coach Mike Stine of Naperville Central High School near Chicago, IL. He told me about some traditions they have in place at their program - one being Mom's week. The Sunday before the first game of the season the players don coat and tie and bring their Moms to a... Read more
An important facet of the SportsLeader program is the virtue talk Paul Passafiume, head football coach at Louisville St Agnes, does these extraordinarily well. He is what I call "positively aggressive". I really recommend you watch this video of him giving a talk on the virtue of sacrifice - the... Read more
While my family and I were on vacation in South Carolina, I was put in my place pretty good by a wonderfully genuine and authentic woman at the cash register at Wal-Mart. We were buying a bunch of food and stuff ... She asks me how I was with a very warm smile on her face (I don't remember what I... Read more
I visited with the Lakota Stallions recently. Awesome sight seeing 443 kids playing football all at the same time, same enormous field, all doing mentoring at the same time, virtue talks ... My friend Carl Brown and I visited with a number of parents and coaches getting testimonials and feedback. I... Read more
As the season gets more and more serious it is easy to forget about mentoring because we are "too busy." Here is a reminder ... I coach football at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River NJ. I have been Head Coach there for five years as this season gets underway. We have just finished our... Read more
Joe Lukens, co-founder of SportsLeader, and his wife Kim are celebrating 25 years of marriage this week. If you have a moment, maybe you could offer up some prayers and write a note about how SportsLeader has helped you as a person, parent, coach ... maybe even if it has helped your marriage. I'm... Read more
In the past few weeks I’ve learned through family and friends that several married couples have decided to split up and divorce. The news of divorce has become so common in our culture that most times I don’t even pause. However, when you personally know the people involved in a divorce, the... Read more
Trust: “To trust is like having a firm anchor in a stormy sea.” Trust has several definitions, but the one that fits into this chapter is that of believing that others, friends, colleagues, advisors, are in your camp. The opposite of trust, or distrust, usually leads to loneliness, which is a... Read more
How do we show great love for our players? One important way is how we greet our players when they come to practice, a meeting, a weight lifting session, etc. How did you greet your players the last time you met with them? Did you greet them all warmly, or just a select few? We need to do a better... Read more

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