Permission to coach you, hard

I met a tremendous Coach in Omaha named Mark McKelvy. Mark is committed to bringing peer-to-peer mentoring into his team as he understands the bigger picture of using his team as a platform for teaching character, being a great husband and father. Coach McKelvy now has a “platform” or “congregation” of over 40 kids and their families. All coaches do. Here is what begins to separate Coach McKelvy from his peers. He now implements specific mentoring “Every Day Drills” (EDD’s) into his program. Those drills include the following:

  • Making “pay-it-forward” mentoring a high value in developing his program
  • Developing relationships with chosen leaders with “off the field” relationship teachings
  • Inserting LOVE into his program at a higher level
  • He is coaching hard on mentoring at a high and accountable level

I am so energized to work alongside Coach McKelvy as we travel down this road together. He understands that statistically speaking, our African American boys today have a 50% chance of graduating high school (less than that in the inner city and areas where we coach). Together, that will NOT happen on our watch. I hope you will follow along, comment, or join us in this tremendous adventure. Coaches can change the trajectory of our fatherless society where 2 out of 5 kids in our country are living in a home without their biological father.

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at www.ThePlaymakers.org. To contact Coach Roz at Playmakers, e-mail coachroz@theplaymakers.org

There Is Hope ~ Do You Care?

Character: Doing the right thing when no one is looking
Although this post was written in 2011, we thought it worth re-posting.

Having just finished watching countless bowl games and beginning to process the 2011 football season, I feel as frustrated as ever as I look at the character breakdowns in our student athletes across the country. Just Google “college football arrests” and get ready to stick your finger down your throat. Not to single out one institution, but one young man, when stopped by law enforcement, commented, “I don’t give a *#%#*, I play for (school)…and I’ll get out of it anyway.” Who is mentoring this kid who has accepted a full scholarship and represents that institution? I can just imagine what his GPA is.

I coach in Sacramento where one of our high school coaches was just arrested for his alleged relationship with a minor girl from his campus. Pile on top of all that, my gut tells me we are just on the tip of the iceberg in lies and cover-ups re: the Penn State fiasco.

Huskers, you did not go the season without character breakdowns either. The young men we watch and who paint their faces red or some other color owe us more. The coaches who coach them owe us a product we can be proud of. So you think I am being too judgmental? Don’t let yourselves off the hook. We play, coach, and watch the greatest game that God put on the face of the earth. The Super Bowl is nothing short of Christmas. The National Championship Game is now prime time. So I’d like to offer some light, some positives, in what we have become numb to.

The University of Hawaii’s quarterback is David Graves. Now I will admit that I know this young man and his family personally, but I will write about any kid who has the character that this kid demonstrates. I saw David last week at church with his family, as he was home on a short break. I happened to have a 7-year-old with me who we brought along that day. David Graves made this kid feel special just by talking to him and being interested in him. David asked the “What position do you play” questions and more importantly, he created “a moment” for this little guy.

This kid didn’t stand in line at the mall to meet Graves. He didn’t have to pay to go to his camp. He met Graves in church where Graves is very much at home. David will now ask me how the little guy is doing, and he’ll look for him this summer. My guess is the little dude will be wearing a Rainbow Warrior Football tee shirt as soon as I get Graves the kid’s size. David has created a memory, and he will be remembered by the experience that Graves took the time to make.

My guess is, David understands why he can’t get behind the wheel if he shouldn’t. He knows how to make the right decisions. I want to be around guys like David Graves. They bring me great pride, and I am a fan who has watched him growing into the man God intended. He may or may not be in the NFL (I wouldn’t bet against him), but who cares? David will be a success because he has character formed by a Mom and Dad who coached him well.

Here is even more to look forward to: David’s younger brother, Dano, just finished his freshman season as the quarterback at the Air Force Academy. That’s right, two brothers playing college football, both quarterbacks giving to others.

My hope is that you will not become numb to what we cheer for. We can demand more and set the bar higher. You can be a fan who comes and goes with little significance, or you can stand up, be heard and demand character from your chair. Do it by writing. Become a voice and make a difference. Maybe you will meet some student/athletes you can be proud of. Maybe you will meet David and Dano Graves. Refuse to cheer guys who tell law enforcement officers, “I am going to get out of it anyway.”

…Coach Roz


Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at ThePlaymakers.org.

 

Published on 01-22-2012

There Is An Oak In Palo Alto

Spring ball 2012 is beginning or has begun around the country. It is a time of the year when most college football players make the team and depth charts are set. Spring ball is the time where kids rise to the next level or fall off and head home.

They head home for a variety of reasons: grades, competition, homesickness, or character breakdowns that embarrass themselves, their families or the institution that is paying for their schooling. Junior colleges will fill their rosters with some head cases that just didn’t understand the opportunity they had in front of them.

Let me put a kid on your radar screen who will not be coming home, except to say, “Hello.” He is beginning Spring ball in his sophomore season at Stanford and his name is Jordan Richards. I get excited just writing about Jordan. He is one of the most humble kids I have ever met and plays the game with his hair on fire. Richards is the real deal in every sense of the term. He is a student/athlete who understands that academics comes first. He played as a true freshman at safety and will hit you hard enough to give the ball carrier snot bubbles. If I had to bet, Jordan will play on Sundays after he graduates from one of the nation’s top institutions.

Each Friday I text a handful of kids who play college football around the country, wishing them luck and to stay healthy. I am so proud that whatever road trip they are on, I will get a text back from each of them that says, “Thanks, Coach.” Jordan’s text is usually a little longer as he asks how “the boys” (that I am coaching) are doing. He really wants to know how they are. He has the heart of a Warrior-Poet. He is a man who has a heart for others. He was built for others. Jordan Richards will make a difference on the field, at home and in the community, and Jordan will make others around him better men. He is the product of two parents who instilled values that Jordan learned and follows. Pretty simple formula really – establish values, and build character traits around those values.

Jordan is a leader in every sense of the word. I have watched him speak to our Playmakers in many different settings with a humble confidence that makes me proud. He talks of sacrifice, about putting team above self, and his faith. His priorities are in order and the future is very bright for this young man. He has already played on the biggest college stage and never flinched as a freshman, covering some of the best in the country. Richards is even a better man than he is a football player. He was recruited by Jim Harbaugh, and when Harbaugh left for the 49ers, Jordan never wavered because he made a commiment to something bigger than an individual.

Jordan Richards will play on Sundays if he wants to and if it is in God’s plan. You see, Jordan will follow God’s plan for him. When he is playing on Sundays, he will still answer my texts, show up when you ask him to, I won’t have to go through his agent to reach him, and I won’t have to pay him a speaker’s fee. He just knows that he is blessed, he has a responsibility to pay-it-forward, and will give all that he has.

In a day where we need heroes who can be counted on, this is a guy that is worth watching. Keep your eye on Jordan Richards on the field and off. He is an uncommon man who I am proud to say, “I know him.”

…Coach Roz

Coach Roz Is the Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation, which is based in Sacramento. To contact Coach Roz, you can email him here.

This article was first published on 02-28-2012.