SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thanks Elmo

I had a very interesting experience the other day. I had to return some rented movies back to Blockbuster. I always check the cases twice to make sure the DVDs are inside. This time I didn't. Well I get home and find "Elmo Visits the Doctor" as I'm cleaning up. Back to Blockbuster I go.

I arrive and there are a bunch of football players in the parking lot. They had attended a camp last year and we all connected pretty quickly. Some already graduated, some are still playing, one was kicked off the team ...

To my surprise they wanted to talk ... a lot ... even though I was sporting an Elmo DVD. They immediately opened up about a ton of things ... I must have been there for at least an hour.

Some interesting things I learned from things they said:

"It's a shame there are basically 2 people: Coach X and Mr X. Out of season Mr X is a totally different person. He listens, takes interest, is relaxed. During season Coach X ahh not so much ... But Mr X we all love hanging out with him."

"We talk about camp all the time. It was one of the best parts of the season. We even did that team party stuff we talked about. And that one party idea we got in trouble for ... we didn't do it ... whether we learned something I'm not sure but ..."

"I miss football already. I just graduated and I can't play in college due to injuries."

"Guys who think that team bonding is just sitting around don't get it. Team bonding is suffering through something really hard TOGETHER. That is what you talk about and remember. Like the Hill for example. We hated that but we loved it at the same time. A few times when we were losing last year, or a guy had to come off cause he got hurt ... in the huddle we remembered the Hill."

"Practice is really hard and really monotonous. It's the same all the time. At camp we got to do stuff that was hard but it was different from practice so that helped us do the hard stuff when we got back to practice or we would joke with each other ... at least we don't have to run that hill today."

"This year's team is talented but they don't seem as committed to each other. They need something."

Food for thought.


  1. great story. I can picture you in the parking lot with the Elmo DVD!

  2. Right on Lou. You are making a difference! Tom


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