Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

Hope of Hernandez

July 2nd, 2013 | Comments Off on Hope of Hernandez

Fatherlessness in America claims a new victim. Sadly, Aaron Hernandez’s tragic story is not unique or even unexpected. Where did it all go wrong?

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Fatherlessness is responsible for…

63% of youth suicides (5 times the average)
71% of high school dropouts (9 times the average)
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (10 times the average)
80%
of rapists with anger problems (14 times the average)
85%
of youths in prison (20 times the average)

(courtesy of Sabrina and TheFatherlessGeneration.com)

Unlike the statistics listed above, Aaron Hernandez grew up in a home with both of his parents, Dennis and Terri Hernandez. In high school, Aaron displayed his immense talents garnering national attention as a top tight end prospect.

And as late as 2006, he was still planning to attend the University of Connecticut, following in the footsteps of his father. Then, everything changed.

During a hernia operation, Dennis Hernandez suddenly and unexpectedly died as a result of complications from the surgery. Aaron was just 16. Terri Hernandez said,

“He would rebel. It was very, very hard, and he was very, very angry. He wasn’t the same kid, the way he spoke to me. The shock of losing his dad, there was so much anger.” (courtesy of USA Today Sports 2009)

:: It is important to note at this point, that I personally believe Aaron Hernandez deserves his day in court, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and that if he is found responsible for murder, that he should be held accountable. ::

Fatherlessness can alter the destiny of a child.

Aaron enrolled in the University of Florida in 2007, fleeing Connecticut and his troubles in hopes of finding himself or perhaps a fresh start. Instead, he found more trouble, including a juvenile arrest and several failed drug tests.

In 2009, then Florida coach Urban Meyer seemed to affect change in Aaron’s life. Meyer’s limited mentoring uncovered a clear understanding of the fundamental absence from the talented tight ends’ life.

“When your guy, your idol, your soul is taken from you, how do you deal with that? I just think there’s a part of his life that was not there. He needed discipline; he needed someone to talk to.” (courtesy of USA Today Sports 2009)

Unfortunately, mentoring is something that most coaches are not equipped to handle, nor are they hired or expected to maintain after players graduate.

Now 5 years removed from his time with Meyer, the 23 year old Hernandez is quickly sinking to the unreachable and murky depths of the fatherlessness life.

Becoming just another father that will not be around to watch over and protect his 7 month old daughter.

Fatherlessness does have one weakness.

Other adults showing up, offering the disciplines of life and someone who will listen.

Be a part of preventing fatherlessness.

Mentor a young man or woman today. They can be a neighbor, a teammate or classmate of one of your children, a child of a single-parent coworker, or any number of children that are a part of organizations like Boys & Girls Club of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or the Mentoring Project.

The Lead Block has been showing up for players and coaches since 2011. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.

 

 

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Sex, Lies, and Coaching

January 3rd, 2012 | Comments Off on Sex, Lies, and Coaching

Like it not, coaches cannot prepare young players for life after the game is over.

A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “X’s and O’s” as compared to time spent learning about people.” -Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

This is not an indictment of the noble profession of coaching or an article meant to belittle the sacrifice of those that devote their lives to guiding young athletes.

Because I do believe the influence of good coaches frequently extends beyond the arena of sports and leaving lasting impressions on players entrusted to their care.

But at the end of the day, too few coaches are impacting too few players.

The scarcity of impacted players is further complicated by the crushing demands athletic programs and fan bases place on coaches. Lying, cheating, stealing, and predatory behavior are only symptoms of this ugly and insidious force at work.

Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” – John Wooden

Even the great Coach Wooden acknowledged that time on the court does little to prepare players for life off the court. Sadly, preparing a winning game plan and executing it on the court determines the legacy of a coach. Not moments like this

Coaches that do not win, will not be coaches for long. Little else matters.

Again, this is not an indictment of the marvel that is competitive sports. However, there is a serious problem if young players and experienced coaches alike are continuously victimized by this system without any hope of guidance or support.

This is for whom The Lead Block was founded.

Too many, for too long have profited from the exploitation of young players.

And innocent others have suffered in silence, while fearful coaches did nothing.

This is why The Lead Block exists.

Imagine a movement that paves the way for young players to score their destiny, through mentoring, secondary-education preparation, and career discovery to develop a plan that equips and empowers each player to succeed, on or off the field.

This is what The Lead Block can do this year.

Imagine an entire generation of young players equipped to become influential forces for good in their homes, their schools, and in their communities. Imagine a culture amongst coaches empowered to impact the character of their players.

You can be a part of The Lead Block. And HERE is how…

 

Happy New Year and see you on the field!
dreWells

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