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, May 11, 2011

Both And

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 - or". Either you are old-school and care for nothing else but winning whether you "crush" your kids or not ... or you are a fluffy cupcake that talks about character and never wins a game.

This is just a weak cop-out and we have plenty of examples of coaches in our association - Coach Passafiume being one of them - that prove this false, for example:

There was a young man named Justin. He was somewhat interested in football but the other boys in his class who were on the football team were not the most charitable bunch at the beginning of the season. Justin soon became a target for getting picked on and bullied. But then the change came. 

Coach began working with the bullying football players in question. As our SportsLeader's first tee shirt reads "Virtue = Strength", he challenged them to be charitable and respectful of others - in other words to be a strong man instead of a weak boy who just follows his feelings. The boys soon took it to heart as well as to Justin. Instead of picking on him, they began befriending and defending him. It was a complete 180.

During the off season, Paul leads virtue and weight lifting sessions on Saturday mornings at the local community center. Justin showed up one morning asking permission to be a part of the team. He then shared his whole experience with Coach, letting him know that he wanted to play football so he could learn how to become a man who used his will to serve others. Excelling at football would be icing on the cake.

Fast forward a few months later to the next football season. This time Justin was a member of the team and not just a member - a really good player.

As it turns out the team makes it to the Championship playing the team they had lost to 0-22 earlier in the season. No one gave them a chance to win this game.

Well - they did win 19-14.

And who made a huge play late in the game to seal the victory? Justin.

So the young man who wasn't coming out for the team due to a lack of charity ... once his classmates learned about what it means to be a true man ... becomes a stand-out player and helps win a championship.

At the awards banquet, I hear kid after kid going up to coach, "Coach, thanks for teaching us what it means to be a man."

So, coaches leave the "Either-Or Dark Side" and come over to the LIGHT.

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