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 -

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reflecting on Your Season

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 essays. Give it a try.


“To lead, provide, and protect.” That is the quote I first heard before my sophomore year and it has always remained in the back on my mind. It stated that the three responsibilities to a true man are to lead, provide, and protect. It was not until the season started and first being introduced to the Virtue Program that I saw having a devoted and strong faith was necessary to being a real man in today’s society, and once a strong faith was established a man could then lead, provide, and protect with a passion.

Each year I can feel myself grow as a person, and the reason I grow as a person is because I grow in my faith and reliance of God in my life, and the reason I grow in my faith, I believe, is solely from football and the Virtue Program. The Virtue Program gave me the understanding that everyone needs God in there life because they always need that assurance that someone is always there. Just as Mon Don Football and the Braveheart will always be my campfire for me to always go back to, God is the original campfire for all mankind. He will always be there.

Nothing helped build my inner strength more than Virtue Camp. The mix of football, virtue, and the wild each year has built my character as a person. The physical demand it put on my body is like no other. Then waking up early or going later that day to virtue sessions, it helps me understand that I can always be tougher and demand more from my body.



So, I, the incoming junior who had played only four varsity games as a sophomore, thought I was in good standing with where I was in life, and on the game field. This soon changed when it felt as though I was slipping towards the back of the pack, or just taking a back row seat and watching the other MEN around me doing work, like a boy would. Speech after speech I thought I knew what Coach Duddy was talking about, but I finally had realized that I was not understanding the message. The epiphany that was about to come to me in the middle of August at virtue camp was one I could not dream of beforehand. Selected into a cabin with three other players, we grew as men and as athletes in the course of about four days. Through double sessions and virtue talks by our mentors and other coaches, we learned a lot about ourselves and who was really inside us.



I learned this year that football is a lot more than just a game. Playing football requires this desire and work ethic that anyone who doesn’t play wouldn’t understand. It’s like Coach Duddy always tells us, “No one understands what goes on inside these four walls”. I liked having Coach Ford as my mentor, because usually when we do faith it’s either Coach Sig Sr. or Coach Duddy talking to us. So it’s good to hear how someone who isn’t far removed from his high school football career feels about everything. So it’s like hearing from three different generations.  Playing football has changed me, it has made physically and spiritually stronger.



The things I like about virtue camp is we don’t need to worried about cell phones, electricity and the outside world, until we get back at school. When we go, the camp reminds me of the television show Man vs. Wild. It has made me tougher thru out the years here at mondon high school.  When we where in the woods we wrote letters to our mothers which was hard for me cause we didn’t have a good relationship with each other. The relationship with my parents was really only with my father, but now with my mom it is becoming a lot better.

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