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 -

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tim Tebow: Making a Wish Come True

Adam Hubbs' wish was to spend a day with Broncos QB Tim Tebow.

"When Adam played sports, he was a very hard worker and always played hard," said Peggy Hubbs, Adam's mother. "But there was never any celebration or what he thought was showboating. He just tried to win. And I think what he really liked about Tim was that he approached it the same way."

When Adam needed a bone marrow transplant in 2010, no living donors were found to be a perfect match. He had to wait for blood from an umbilical cord to be shipped in, and the delay was substantial. He had to wear a mask everywhere to avoid potentially deadly germs. Then came the chemotherapy.

Adam missed his friends and his pet corgi, Dash. And he missed playing sports. And that wasn't even the worst of it.

This January, Adam suffered a stroke, which completely paralyzed the left side of his body.

"The stroke was devastating," Peggy said. "With everything else, we knew he could work through it. We knew he would get back to his old self, and we would get the old Adam back. But with this ..."

With time and hard work, Adam has begun to recover some of the usage he lost from his stroke. Doctors believe he'll get most of it back. But for the time being, and maybe forever, Adam's involvement in football has been relegated to watching Tebow.

Eventually, the paths of these two athletes would intersect, as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and ESPN's My Wish series. An ESPN camera crew, disguised to Adam as a group filming a documentary for the hospital, watched as Tebow called and invited Adam to spend a day with him in Florida.

"I didn't really believe it was him," Adam said. "He said, 'This is Tim Tebow,' and I said, 'Are you sure?'"

The Hubbs family arrived in mid-June to the boardwalk at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex, and Tebow rode up on a surrey bike to take Adam for a ride. They talked about football, and Adam poked fun at the quarterback for crying on national television after losing in the championship game.

They played video games, and things even got a little competitive. "Tim wanted to win, Adam wanted to win and they both played hard," Peggy said. "There was none of this 'letting you win' stuff. And I think that's what Adam wanted."

Adam and Tebow spent the day together, comparing cellphone pictures of their dogs and playing catch. Adam threw the ball with his right hand to Tebow, who handed it back.

"It was amazing because it was just like two guys just hanging out for the day, and that's exactly what Adam wanted," Peggy said. "He didn't want tickets to a Broncos game or to go in the locker room or whatever. He just wanted to hang out and spend some time with Tim and talk to him just as a football player. And that's exactly what he got. It was perfect."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nnamdi Asomugha - Awesome On and Off the Field

Here is an NFL player who is a great example on and off the field. Share this with your players.


Nnamdi Asomugha (pronounced ˈnɑmdi ˈɑsəmwɑ) is a cornerback who currently plays for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders - That may change today since he is one of the most sought after free agents in football.

He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft (31st overall) by the Raiders and played college football for the Golden Bears at the University of California, Berkeley. 

He is considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

Over the past 4 years in the NFL he has started and played in 60 games for the Oakland Raiders - usually covering the opposing team's best receiver every single week

During that time:

- Thrown at 112 times

- Allowed 41 receptions (in 60 games ...)

- 26 passes defensed

- 3 Interceptions

- Caused QBs to over or under throw 42 times 

Charity and Community Service

Off the field, education and community service are his mainstays. Asomugha serves as Chairman for the Asomugha Foundation. The Asomugha Foundation operates two primary programs: Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) and Asomugha College Tour for Scholars (ACTS).

Through OWIN, Asomugha and his family provide food, shelter, medicine, vocational training, literacy efforts, and scholarships to widows and orphans victimized by poverty or abuse in Nigeria. Currently, OWIN has two centers inNigeria and plans to expand to other countries in Africa.

Additionally, Asomugha distributes backpacks to the incoming freshmen each year at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles. He also outfits the football and basketball team with shoes, a mandate he wrote into an endorsement contract he signed with Nike.

In 2008, Asomugha was presented with The President's Volunteer Service Award. An award that was established to recognize the important contributions Americans of all ages are making within their communities through service and civic engagement.

Asomugha has been recognized by fellow members of the NFL Players Association who nominated him in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for the Byron "Whizzer" White Award for Outstanding Community Service.

In 2009, Asomugha was named to the “Dream Team for Public Service” by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

In 2010, Asomugha was presented with the 44th annual Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year, the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) highest honor.

In 2010, Asomugha became the ambassador for United Way of the Bay Area UWBA, dedicated to creating long-lasting change and ensuring all Bay Area residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health.

In 2011, Asomugha was named one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Virtue = Strength

Jim Lasky, a youth lacrosse coach from the north suburbs of Chicago shares a testimony about his team and their strength. Jim does an awesome job of playing all of his players, demanding excellence, serving off the field and striving to win ... all at the same time. It can be done.

Some coaches think that "success" comes from only playing their select studs while a group of kids never sees the field. It does not have to be that way.

How will your team serve your community this year? 

Thanks, Jim

My U11 Stallions Lacrosse Team was in the Warrior Pipe City Midwest Regional.  

Our players decided to donate their old equipment to the "Owls Lacrosse Program."  They are a group of children from the city who don't have the resources we have. 

Olympic Gold medal winner Eric Genova ( who is now a great friend of mine ) started the donation program. He preached to my Stallions how hard it is growing up without the things we take for granted. Along this learning process our kids started taking care of their equipment better, being nicer to one another, and most of all better sportsmen. These are the three things that happened:

1) They cleaned and donated equipment to the Owls Program
2) A team we played second on Saturday ran out of water. My Stallions during the game walked to the other team and shared water bottles.
3) Then down 7-3 in the semi final game vs. Team Michigan. Our boys saw them chest bumping and talking about their next game. Nine minutes left on the clock. Our Captains and I called a time out. We talked about sportsmanship and how we got here. Then a kid said "Coach, let's say a prayer just to play our best. " We scored the next seven goals and won.

Our kids never looked back. We won the championship game 7-2. Our kids want to donate their championship shirts to the "Owls "
We are going to Tampa, Fl to represent the Midwest at the Nationals. Wins can't measure how proud I am of our Stallions attitudes and character.
My boys are becoming men!

Your pal, Jim

Play like a champion, God Bless! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stepping Up

I'd like to share a response I received from a coach about the last email we sent out about speaking well of others. Coach Henry Hunt is a 5th-6th grade football coach from Lousiville, KY. I've had the honor of knowing Coach Hunt for 7 years now.

This sums up SportsLeader so well - coaches striving to grow themselves in virtue so they can help their players even more.

Thank you, Coach Hunt.

Virtue = Strength, Lou



This is my personal goal as a person and coach for the 2011 season.  I have a natural tendency toward being critical.  As a perfectionist, I am always trying to make things better.  Continually improving what needs to be corrected.

The challenge is that it comes across negative many times.  I get so focused on "correcting" the bad, I miss "reinforcing" the good.  I take the good for granted.  I find that living on the "negative" side many times makes you more likely to be perceived as the negative guy; or to use more negative words; or even get more negative thoughts.  Subtle, but true.

I have done a decent job over the last year, eliminating many negative comments.  In business, I have dumped many emails that were just plain negative.  In coaching, I have tried to take negative out of my explanations, evaluations and interactions.  I have done the same with my family.  But getting the negative out is only part of the battle.

I used to hate people like Mary Rogers.  Those type people give out complements for any and everything.  To me it didn't seem to mean anything.  Now those people are my heros.  It is not good enough to refrain from saying something bad.  We need to say something good.  Get focused on the good.  Even smile more and bigger.  It is a whole different language that sets a whole different level of potential.

Fixing mistakes can make you better, but encouraging better can make you great.

I want to be like Mary.


PS  Football starts today.  That is fantastic.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Art of Speaking Well of Others

While we were traveling to visit family in New Jersey a few weeks ago we received a visit from a friend named Mary Rogers.

Mary is basically the personification of "Speaking Well of Others."

She constantly is praising you, noticing your talents, thanking you for who you are, telling you how much you are needed ...

We had a house-ful of people and she did this for each and every person there. Everyone was drawn to her and you didn't want her to leave.

I was quite simply in awe of her ability to lift everyone up, regardless of age, whether she's known you for five decades or five minutes.


If we as coaches were more "like Mary Rogers" in this aspect ... our players would be more receptive of our teaching, they would play harder for us, they would ENJOY being around us more ...

And on top of all this - we could be examples of how to live a life of charity.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tyler Hamilton - Inspiration

Tyler Hamilton from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School in Michigan shares a testimony about some experiences that he and his teammates have had recently helping to serve a former player and their equipment manager.

Tyler is an amazing young man - a great example of charity, humility and courage.

Girls Volleyball Virtue Camp

We had our first ever Virtue Camp for Girls at Camp River Ridge this week. The Lloyd Memorial High School Girls Volleyball team from Erlanger, KY came and had an awesome experience.

The "roughing it" was a bit challenging but the experience ultimately brought them closer and helped them to appreciate all of the amenities of life that we often take for granted.

We focused on our 3 core virtues of Charity, Humility and Courage and the discussions that we had were quite simply some of the best, most honest and open I've ever heard. I was so impressed.

They wanted the "same experience as the boys" so we built the bonfire, watched the movie clips, played dodgeball and tug-of war, swimming ...

Tuesday night we were treated to something I had personally never seen before either - a Heat Lightning show that was absolutely breathtaking.

Heat lightning is a misnomer for the faint flashes of lightning on the horizon or other clouds from distant thunderstorms that do not have accompanying sounds of thunder. This occurs because the lightning occurs very far away and the sound waves dissipate before they reach the observer. Heat lightning was named because it often occurs on hot summer nights and to distinguish it from lightning accompanied by audible thunder and cooling rainfall at the point of observation.

So off in the distance we have this amazing lightning display in the clouds while directly overhead we had a sky-full of stars ... it was just beautiful.

I think the girls felt much more like a family after the camp and not just a "team".

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Something I would like to have coaches do more of is share some info on the books they are reading with maybe a quick summary. We urgently need to help and encourage one another.

Well allow me to offer up a first suggestion.

A book a number of people recommended to me but I never got around to acting on it was

"Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters - 10 Secrets Every Father hould Know" by Meg Meeker

Here are the titles of the 10 chapters.

1: You are the most important man in her life
2: She needs a hero
3: You are her first love
4: Teach her humility
5: Protect her, defend her (and use a shotgun if necessary)
6: Pragmatism and grit: Two of your greatest qualities
7: Be the man you want her to marry
8: Teach her who God is
9: Teach her to fight
10: Keep her connected

I recommend this book for any Dad. If you are the coach of a girls team, I think you should forward this on to all of your players' Dads.

One part that I thought tied in very well with SportsLeader was pages 81-83 ... "Humility Strengthens Her Relationships"

"Girls who have the gift of humility are better placed to have deeper, longer-lasting relationships ... Humility is the foundation of all healthy relationships ... If your daughter lives with humility, she will discover who she is and what significance her life holds ..."

What book are you reading?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Historic Display of Virtue in Sports - US Women's Soccer

If you missed the USA Women's World Cup Soccer Game against Brazil yesterday you will want to watch the 4 minute video link below.

What a display of virtue.

Debatable red card call, very debatable re-take of a penalty kick, playing with only 10 for huge portion of the game ... scoring in the last minute of the game.

Steely resolve, willpower, perseverance, focus, belief, mental toughness .... there are so many virtues that come to mind.

Regardless how they do in the semi-final match on Wednesday - that game was an historic display of virtue in sports we should all be proud of, emulate and learn from.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Filling the Gap

Here is another great message from Coach Chris Willertz. We are blessed to have Chris on our team here at SportsLeader. He is just like the rest of us: busy being a husband, father, teacher, coach, volunteer, "taxi driver", etc and yet he takes time to always write something or call a coach to encourage them to keep going in this great mission of building men and women of virtue to make our world better. He could say I'm too busy ... but he doesn't. Thanks, Chris.
Virtue=Strength, Lou

Take the time to think about your Father. What did he look like? Big... hairy.... loud.....quiet, not around much, around TOO much..... ?

Irregardless if you had/have a good relationship with your father or a bad one. Irregardless if your father was a good one or a bad one...

We always seek some measure of affirmation from him. We want him to notice us. It doesn't matter if he has ignored us our whole lives....we will sell the farm to get that nod of approval. And if he has devoted time and love and attention to us our whole lives....we will still sell the farm to get ANOTHER nod of approval. It's like magic, it's just how it matter how hard we can try to fight it, we want our dad to say, "That's my boy/girl!"

Currently, I'm reading "Poverty: Opposing Viewpoints". It contains a series of articles discussing poverty, offering opposing viewpoints, such as: "Is poverty getting better or is it getting worse in America?"

There are several very interesting pieces of info. One that intrigued me was children in poverty. Experts agree that there are a few common denominators among poor children.

First: is their parents don't work much, whether by choice or situation.
Next: most do NOT have a dad at home, over two-thirds in fact. And the problem is not getting any better, with over 1.5 million children born to single moms every year.

Obviously, not having a dad around hurts the money earning capability of the family. But the spiritual poverty is far greater in my opinion. These kids don't have a dad to try to impress, a dad to teach, a dad to lead and mentor. They are poor in so many more ways than not having enough money.

We are trying to do something about this epidemic not only among the poor but for all social classes. Dads living their own lives and ignoring their spouses and children is becoming the norm, rich or poor. Whether we like it or not, coaches, mentors, teachers HAVE to step in and help. 

We are trying to do our part at Winton Woods through the wrestling program. We hope and pray our boys will learn from all of us, the responsibilities and privledges of adult manhood. Join in and help!

You do have something to offer, every day. Helping out once or twice is not enough. Daily prayers, daily offerings, daily sacrifices is what is needed. And if you don't think you have anything to offer, if you are unsure of yourself, "What can I do, heck my father never affirmed me!", go to the ultimate father, God our Father, Creator of the Universe and Mankind. He wants to say, That's my boy/girl! And He never gets tired of bragging about you, that's my boy/girl, over and over and over again. Start today! 

Have a great day and a better week "filling the gap"!
Coach Willertz
Winton Woods Wrestling.Faith..Focus and Fight!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How NOT to Propose - The Roy Williams Story

Not to pick on a particular player - but this could be a "teaching moment for us coaches".
Use this as an example of what NOT to do and then speak about how you proposed to your wife and share your testimony with your players.

This might seem "outlandish" but with our young people enveloped in texting, Facebook and the virtual life - this sort of thing might become more commonplace because we are becoming less and less PERSONAL. We are less and less comfortable with face-to-face communication.

Dallas Cowboys WR Roy Williams recently filed a lawsuit seeking the return of a $76,000 engagement ring he MAILED with a marriage proposal to a former Miss Texas USA, Brooke Daniels.

The lawsuit was filed June 30 -- on Daniels' 25th birthday. Roy is 29 with 8 years of NFL experience under his belt (5 with the Lions and 3 with the Cowboys).

Williams claims in a signed affidavit that just before Valentine's Day he mailed $5,000 for school and dental bills, a baseball for Daniels' brother and a surprise, recorded marriage proposal with the ring to Daniels. She declined but didn't return the ring.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Leading With Our Words

We had our first virtue camp in the state of Michigan last week at Wyandotte High School near Detroit with the Varsity football team. We had around 40 guys and most of the coaching staff.

It was a fabulous experience and it was right there at the high school. They are blessed with outstanding facilities.

The 4 virtues the coaches wanted to focus on were Brave, Consistent, Tough and Other-Centered.

There were a number of different speakers including two who gave testimonies about the consequences of drinking and driving.

One coach, Aaron Segedi, from a nearby school which is a competitor of Wyandotte - in their own conference, Trenton High School, spoke about his experience with cancer, getting 70% of his sister's liver, fighting for his life motivated by his little daughter ... how one of her "drawings for Daddy" pushed him beyond anything he could have done "all by himself."

I was so impressed. At one point Coach Segedi stated, "I'm so past the Trenton-Wyandotte thing, Trenton-Allen Park thing. Life is too short to worry about these petty things. Sure we compete on the field but after that life is so much bigger, so much more important, so much more urgent than some football game - a game. If I can help you become men, I don't care if you're on "my team" or not. I love you guys and I want the best for you."

How refreshing! I know numerous coaches who will not even talk with a local competitor.

As men and women leading our youth WE ARE THE ONES WHO NEED TO GROW UP.

Throughout the day we strived to help these young men LEAD WITH THEIR WORDS.

Most boys and men "prefer" to lead by example because deep down we are afraid. I asked the team straight up:

"If you were at a party and after a while the alcohol and drugs came out - who among you would be willing to say something to your teammates and leave?"

They were very honest. I think maybe 1 raised his hand - sheepishly at that. I called them on it. "Why? Why are none of you Seniors willing to lead?"

Again the honesty. A young man said, "I'm afraid no one would listen to me, that no one would follow me and leave the party."

Over the course of the camp, we divided the guys into small groups to get them talking about these issues. I listened in to most of the groups and at first the coaches leading the groups were doing most of the talking. During the last session I was asked to step in for an assistant coach who had to leave - well in that group I could happily hardly get a word in. I loved it.

They were listening. They were responding. They want to be challenged.

More to come!