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)
of rapists with anger problems (14 times the average)
of youths in prison (20 times the average)

(courtesy of Sabrina and

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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Field of Play

July 18th, 2011 | 1 comment

Sports and life have always had an indelible connection.  Here are just a few life lessons I learned in the field of play.

1. Life is not always fair.

Whether playing a superior opponent, getting an unlucky bounce, or being on the wrong end of a bad call, the odds will sometimes not be in your favor.  Play anyway.

2. Authority is absolute.

The ratio of coaches and players successfully changing the mind of a game official, to their getting ejected from the competition, is very lopsided.  Respect authority.

3. Winning is hard.

Winning creates an overwhelming temptation to gloat, coast, or appraise your talent beyond its true value.  Handling victory is the key to maintaining success.

4. Losing is harder.

Losing creates an overwhelming temptation to complain, become lazy, or pass the blame anywhere possible.  Handling defeat is the key to improving your tomorrow.

5. Never give up.

Buffalo Bills vs Houston Oilers Boston Red Sox vs New York YankeesDallas Mavericks vs Miami HeatJapan vs USA Hope creates new opportunities.


Cliches and trite sports observations aside, The Lead Block’s purpose is to leverage experiences from the playing field to prepare student athletes for life off-the-field and after high school.

Check out how you can become a part of a mentoring movement that will shape communities around the country for years to come.



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Join The Lead Block Community

July 11th, 2011 | 4 comments

The Lead Block consists of a community of businesses, entrepreneurs, coaches, educators, professional athletes and parents strategically aligned to pave the way for student athletes to score their destiny on and off the field.

As a non-profit organization, we could not exist without these committed partners.  The Lead Block community are the primary supporters and play a critical role in mentoring dozens of players from local high schools and universities.

If you are reading this blog, thanks! Thanks for your support through readership.

Here are a few other ways you can make a difference…


:: Sponsor Mentors ::

       TLB Fan – $25 / per month OR $1-$599 donation

       TLB Rookie – $50 / per month OR $600-$1199 donation

       TLB Teammate – $100 / per month OR $1200-$2999 donation

       TLB Coach – $250 / per month OR $3000-$5999 donation

       TLB Legend – $1000 / per month OR $6000 and beyond donation

:: Services ::

       Tutoring If you are an educator or have experience tutoring, you can educate.

       Career If you are passionate about your current profession, you can inspire.

       Secondary-Education If you work for a college or university, you can inform.

:: Resources ::

       Books If you can share books (non-fiction, biographies), you can enlighten.

       Office If you can provide essentials for the office, you can equip mentors.      

       Food If you can offer discounts, you can assist mentoring appointments.


You can make a difference through mentoring!

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Lead Blocking

July 4th, 2011 | 2 comments

What is Lead Blocking exactly?

The Lead Block exists to pave the way for players to score their destiny, through consistent and parallel development of character, integrity, and academia in a personal mentoring relationship.

A mission that promises each player preparation for life on and off the field, individualized planning for secondary-education, and discovery of a desired career.


Life Preparation
Weekly mentoring appointments throughout the program
Individualized Development Plan (Personal Playbook)
Values Identification and Character Development

Secondary-education Planning
Aptitude/Achievement Testing and SAT/ACT Prepwork
Prospective Campus Visits and Q&A with Current Students
College Application, Scholarship Identification, and Reference Letters

Career Discovery
Prospective Career Visits and Q&A with Current Professionals
Internship Identification and Placement
Resume and Job Interview Preparation


The Lead Block also offers player character evaluations and rehabilitation, character key-note presentations, and interactive team experiences.

To get paired with a Lead Blocker or for more info, CONTACT us.
To sponsor a mentor or become a partner with The Lead Block, click HERE.

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