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Our Purpose

The purpose of SportsLeader is to assist sports programs in development of the entire person of the participants, particularly in teaching values that have universal benefit to the players on the field, off the field, and throughout their life and to teach them tools to transform those values into virtues. Recognizing the unique role and influence coaches have with participants, SportsLeader provides a systematic method to assist coaches in developing their teams into the best possible individual persons and players they can be.

In Practice

SportsLeader, in practice, is best summed up by a letter written by one of our football coaches wrote to his players' parents:

Other than “for the love of the game,” why is it that you want your children to play sports? What is that you hope or want your children to learn?

  • Do you want your children to play sports in the hope that they learn how to be a part of something larger than themselves?
  • Do you want your children to play sports in the hope that they learn how to listen to others more experienced/talented—or to help others less experienced/talented?
  • Do you want your children to play sports in the hope that they realize when they are “knocked down” in a game—or more importantly in life; they can get right back up and succeed?

Each of the above can be achieved through not only coaching sports; but also can be reinforced through the teaching of virtues—Charity, Humility and Courage, to be exact.  All St. Gertrude Parish Athletic Boosters sponsored sports teams participate in a sports virtue program (www.SportsLeader.org).  If you have not already, please look over the website, and/or talk to coaches and/or parents from last season for information on the program, what it teaches, and how it accomplishes the goal of making each of our children a more complete Catholic through the teaching of virtues that will last a lifetime. 

What is a virtue?  Simply put, a virtue is a value that has turned into a habit.

Our daily commitment for charity: "I will think and say positive things about others, especially teammates, coaches and my family"

Our daily commitment for humility: "I will gladly accept all feedback, correction, and guidance from my coaches, teachers, and parents."

Our daily commitment for courage:" I will use my will to always give 100% effort in every circumstance, especially when I don't feel like it.”

At any given moment, one of our many parish athletes will do something outstanding.  Go ahead.  Close your eyes.  Picture your child excelling at his or her sport.  What an exhilarating feeling!  This moment that brings you such joy is the result of a tremendous amount of effort by the athlete, his/her team, and his/her coaches.

Instilling virtues is a lot like good coaching:

  • Every good coach gets to know all of the players on his/her team.  At which skills (values) are the players good, and what needs work?
    • SL program elements:
      • Pre-Season Personal Questionnaire
      • Pre-Season Fun Activity
      • Every good coach has a plan to build and/or strengthen fundamental skills (virtues)
        • SL program itself
        • Every good coach follows a set practice routine to teach and reinforce the fundamentals of sport (Charity, Humility, and Courage)
          • SL program element:
            • Virtue Talk At Each Practice 
  • Every good coach takes time to put the basics together into a game setting (modeling virtuous behavior)
    •  SL program elements:
      • Father/Son Jersey Night Ceremony
      • Letter To Mom Ceremony
      • Every good coach takes time for individual instruction(mentoring) with each player to help him/her reach his/her athletic (virtuous) potential
        •  SL program elements:
          • Mentoring At Each Practice & Game
          • Every good coach delivers instruction, corrections, and encouragement constantly and in a positive way

Legendary Green Bay Packers Head Coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  As we coach (They call it coaching but it is teaching.  You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons -Vince Lombardi) your children at practice and in games, we must practice Charity, Courage, and Humility if WE want to see THEM live virtuous lives.  As we continuously practice using OUR will to make the right decisions at home, at work, and while coaching, THEY will start to make the right decisions at home, at school, and while on the court/field or track—and TOGETHER, we will make a habit out of it