I had a pretty tough phone conversation with an athlete who I got to know rather well during this past year.
I got to know him well during a fall sport. His coaches did an amazing job mentoring and installing the virtue program and it was both fun and inspiring watching them grow and excel throughout the year.
This young man is an excellent student and also a Spring sport athlete.
His team made it to the State Championships in this spring sport and the night before the event the team wound up being disqualified because of four teammates who decided to smoke something illegal.
To say he was crushed is an understatement. He broke personal records, team records and also helped his team win many games including their conference championship.
Why? Why would these teammates do this? Why so close to what they had worked so hard for - for 4 years?
These young men were Seniors.
One is the presumed Valedictorian ... Valedictorian, College scholarship, State Championship game ... possibly all down the tubes for a quick smoke ...
All four kids one could easily qualify as "not needing mentoring" because they are good students, dedicated and driven, from good families ...
What came to mind is that there are so many coaches who will not buy into a virtue and mentoring program ... "We do that already."
But what can categorically be stated is that whether or not you do it, our young people need 100 times more of it.
Lets encourage one another on our staffs that we really NEED to give more to our young people. Let's make the sacrifice.