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, February 15, 2012

Learning from Bamboo

One of the more rewarding aspects of SportsLeader has been the relationships I've been able to develop with coaches all over the world. Coach Yeager is from Alabama. We've never met but you can readily see that we are on "the same team."
Below is a link of an abbreviated video presentation of Coach Yeager's first lesson to his team:
This is another great aspect ... sharing everything that you do that works to build up our young people.

Six years ago our staff evaluated the training of our players. We identified nine categories that we felt our players were receiving superior training: speed, strength, power, flexibility, agility, nutrition, cardio endurance, muscle endurance and position skills. We realized we were not investing in the most important issues of the game - the intangibles (issues of the heart and mind). These areas are important for many reasons:

1. We can gain an edge in our performance by being trained in the intangibles
2. When the nine physical traits fade with age the things we emphasize in Character Education are the things that will stay with our players for the rest of their lives.
3. Training of the character completes the education process - with character education you are receiving and education superior to your contemporaries.
Our Character Education begins with identifying the purpose of our football program. Our purpose is not to win games. Winning games is a weekly goal. The purpose of our program is to develop men of significance. If you are successful your influence dies with you. If you are significant your influence remains long after your football career, occupational career and life are over. Significance ensures you will live a life of purpose. Significance transcends time and space. As long as there are those that bear the stamp of your influence your life continues.

Last year our Character Ed study used the story of the battle of Marathon and the building of Temple of Nike Athena to teach the Four Pillars of Significance: Character, Vision, Discipline and Leadership.

Our mascot is the Spartan so we have adopted as our creed, "The strength of the Spartan is the warrior at his side." I am responsible to develop myself to my maximum potential because there is someone at my side trusting in me. I am motivated because I know he is developing himself to his maximum potential for my benefit.

This year I read Greg Bell's book "Water Your Bamboo". We took it a step further and formulated a Character Ed study that coincides with our four pillars of significance:

Cultivate your Bamboo
• Prepare the Soil - Develop and Protect Your Character
• Select and Plant the Seed - Discovering the Vision for Your Life
• Watering, Weeding and Waiting - Discipline: Making Daily Decisions that Reward
• Harvesting and Manufacturing Your Bamboo - Leadership

Bamboo (your team) in the hands of the right person has endless potential
Again I have enjoyed your work and have drawn from it and shared it with my players on numerous occasions. I tell everyone your website is a great resource. Thanks again for all you do.

Chris Yeager
Head Football Coach
Mountain Brook High School

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