SportsLeader was blessed to be a part of a very special first annual camp and coaches clinic with Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach at Ohio State, and Dean Hood, Head Football Coach at Eastern Kentucky, on July 5th.
Urban and Dean grew up together in Northeastern Ohio and they wanted to give back to their community.
It was hosted by the Spire Institute. An amazingly impressive 750,000 square foot facility complete with indoor facilities for football, basketball, swimming, volleyball ... and pretty much every other sport imaginable.
19 area football coaches generously volunteered their time to teach the close to 225 1st-8th graders that signed up filling the allotted amount for this first year in 16 hours.
But this was different from your ordinary football camp. It was very intentional and very obvious that it WAS ABOUT Virtue.
There were two Virtue Talks about Self-Control and Charity. After each skill, the coaches would break the huddle with the kids shouting "Self-Control" or "Charity". Chris Willertz spoke to the 6-8th graders while I took the 1st-5th graders and then we switched for the next talk.
You could tell the kids wanted more than just football.
While I was on the lunch line one of the coaches asked me where I was from, what we did, etc. At one point he asks, "Do you really think it was worth it to drive over 5 hours just to talk to some kids about virtue?" Whatever I said doesn't really match up with the below ...
“I learned charity, to give your life to other people,” 9-year-old Simon Taraska said.
Imagine if 225 young men really took that one lesson to heart. That would forever change the entire state of Ohio. So yes, it was more than worth it.
After the camp, Urban Meyer, Dean Hood and SportsLeader Founder Paul Passafiume spoke to the coaches. Paul's message of unleashing the power of manhood, training the will like a muscle and the need to help young people move from self-absorption to self-mastery really resonated with them.
There was a press conference during the camp and Coach Meyer said something that seemed to really catch everyone's attention:
"Talent will get you seven or eight wins," Meyer said. "Discipline will get you eight or nine. Then if you get leadership, that's when magic starts happening and rings get put on fingers. Really cool things happen."
What are we doing to intentionally, specifically, daily teach leadership to our young people?
Chances are that if you are not mentoring one-on-one - then you probably aren't getting it done.