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 - ljudd@sportsleader.org

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Unforgettable Memory


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 with the dads where we encourage them to say three things to their sons:

1. "Son, I love you."
2. "Son, I'm proud of you because of X,Y and Z"
3. "Son, you're great at X, Y and Z"

It never ceases to amaze me how powerful a simple event like this can be.

Last night was especially poignant because one of the wrestlers had lost his Dad just a few weeks ago. I cannot adequately describe what this was like, you just simply had to be there. But the coaches and a particular Math teacher at Moeller did an AMAZING job speaking encouragement into the heart and soul of this admirable young man. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Each Dad was so different, each father-son relationship was so unique and yet all of them so edifying, inspiring and similar at the same time. 

Coach Jeff Gaier does something extremely special (not every coach does this) ... he gets a new, personalized wrestling singlet for each of these young men. So after the Dad is done speaking he hands his son this brand new uniform that is his to keep forever and they share a hug. 

I would bet that some of those hugs were the best, most meaningful and powerful of their lives.

Some men feel very uncomfortable when they first hear of a tradition like this, that it is too "mushy" or too awkward but once you experience it personally, you wish you would have done it sooner. 

One assistant coach was very kind last night. He approached me as he was leaving and he said, "That was the most powerful thing he had ever been a part of in sports."

As I was driving home last night, I thanked God for this grace and asked Him to help me spread this to every team possible. I pray He hears that prayer.

If you would like more information or encouragement to do this with your team, please let me know.

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