SPL PROGRAM

WHAT IS IT?
Sports Leader is a Catholic virtue-based formation program for coaches of all ages.
 
WHY DO IT?
Our new mission we have agreed to for Catholic Youth Athletics is “furthers the mission of the church, firmly rooted in faith tradition, based on the goals of youth ministry and aligned with the evangelizing mission of the Catholic Church.”  The people who spoke at this seminar  said there teams are more successful, no parent complaints, no phone calls about playing time issues or unfair treatment etc., better team evaluations, kids and parents and coaches love the program.
 
HOW TO DO IT?
You can do as little as get an email of the virtue each week or month or purchase the guides for coaches or they will come and train everyone. It depends on how much you want to add and implement.  Some start with the whole program, some start with one piece and add a little more each year.
 
WHAT ARE THE PARTS?
There are four parts. You can do one two or all four.

Part 1: Virtue
The virtues listed below are all the ones we can use.  They suggest three to start with.  We can do 1, 2, 3,  or more.  Minimum is one either for the entire sport season, one every month, or one for each sport. Each coach will get a email that has a colored picture of the virtue, a video, descriptions , examples, you tube clips discussion question from Terri Kerley our Parish Laision. 

Here are the virtues to be used: Accountable, Accuracy, Adaptable, Adventure, Appreciation, Assertive, Assiduous, Authentic, Aware, Bold, Brave, Camaraderie, Caring, Charity, Class, Committed, Communication, Compassion, Composure, Confident, Considerate, Consistent, Conviction, Cooperation, Courage, Courtesy, Creative, Decisive, Dedication, Dependable, Determination, Dignity, Discipline, Effort, Empathy, Encouragement, Endurance, Enthusiastic, Excellence, Faithful, Flexibility, Focused, Forgiving, Fortitude, Generous, Genuine, Grateful, Hardworking, Heroic, Honest, Honor, Hope, Humility, Integrity, Iron-Willed, Justice, Leadership, Legacy, Love, Loyalty, Magnanimous, Maturity, Moderation, Motivation, Noble, Obedience, Other-Centered, Passion, Patience, Perseverance, Persistence, Personable, Perspective, Prudent, Punctuality, Purpose, Reflection, Relentless, Reliable, Resilient, Resolve, Resourceful, Respect, Responsibility, Sacrifice, Self-control, Self-less, Service, Significance, Simplicity, Sportsmanship, Stamina, Teamwork, Temperance, Tenacity, Tough, Tradition, Trust, Understanding, Unity, Valor, Vision, Wisdom, Zeal

Part 2: Mentoring
As a parish, this one may pose some difficulty.  In High schools, the coaches divide up the players and check in with them each week for 5-10 minutes. Ask about what is going on, how are their grades, what’s happening etc.  Not that we couldn’t do it, but our coaches don’t work in the school where they can connect during lunch or in the hall or before or after practice while they are hanging out. It does help grow a great relationship between student and coach and one where they get to know each other on a whole new level.  There are mentoring questions included with the virtue of the week.  
 
Part 3: Ceremony
They have a couple of ceremonies they suggest:

  1. Commitment ceremony. The coach gives each player something-a t-shirt or a lanyard with the virtue on it. They promise to be a good teammate and play hard etc.
  2. Jersey ceremony.  The dad gives their son or daughter their jersey after saying a few nice words about them about what a great kid they are and how proud they are of them etc. in front of their team and then he hands his child their jersey.  You can do it with just their team or grade level or whole program.  Our whole program could be quite large unlike a high school that had freshman, JV and Varsity. And the third ceremony is a mother-player letters.  The players write letters of thanks to their moms which they read out loud to their team and give their mom a flower or something. 
Part 4: Catholic Identity
  • Go to church as a team before a big game, and wear your jersey.
  • Pray before each game or practice. 
  • Pray in front of the Mary Statue. 
  • Have a rosary rally in the fall.  They have all their teams wear their uniforms and gather on the football field and say the rosary.  
  • Another popular thing they do is the stations of cross workout.