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Bryce R. Danley
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Remember Why you Play - David Thomas 2010
In writing this unique book, author David Thomas spends more than a full football season following the high school team at Faith Christian, a smaller private Christian school in Grapevine, Texas.
On the one-hand - the tale is enjoyable and strong yet familiar - a leaderful coach, a smaller school, a goal to win the state championship - setbacks, victories, sacrifice - good strong sports story stuff.
Other parts of this book are not standard fare at all = and these aspects make Remember Why You Play a special book.
The story begins after the loss at the State semifinals at the end of the 2006 season.
Though he might disagree and point to his players, this is really a story about Hogan - his vision, passion, and things he intentionally imparts to his players over time. Here are a few things about Hogan I noted throughout the book:
1. Football remained secondary to a greater purpose - developing teenagers into men of high character.
2. Football is not just to help your own team and players - it can also be a platform for reaching out to and helping others
3. Believes in year round conditioning and weight lifting for athletes.
4. Commands respect and approachable and fun as well.
5. Walking out the principals of scripture more important than winning
6. Coaching about Xs and Os - but more so about communicating at a deep level to get a real commitment to a worthwhile cause.
7. "If you want to be something special, you've got to pay the price."
8. To senior leader, Anderson - after pulling him from a game for going off on an opposing player, "You represent first and play football second."
9. "We will not humiliate an opponent. That player's mother may be in the stands and we are not going to mock him in front of her."
10. Winning is a by-product - first-things-first is effort with what you've been given."
11. "No great person has ever been with the crowd...A crowd is where a coward goes to hide, because he can't stand up."
12. When you are spiritually more mature: "I value what God thinks about something more than your opinion of it."
13. Hogan cancels practice the week of playoffs since 10 players were either failing a class or close to it..."sometimes people get their priorities out of whack."
14. Don't waste one single day God has given you. Trade it for something meaningful."
15. Have a planned response - if this happens, I'll do that. Be prepared for a bad call, a dirty play, some trash talk - also for game situations - if the other team gets up quick or falls behind and then begins to come back -what will we do? Plan it out now.
16. A wasted workout is cheating - yourself and your teammates. -just showing up is not enough - you've got to give a lot to something if you want it to become anything worthwhile.
17. Winning is important...it creates opportunities...to minister as well. "when you are winning people listen more."
18. Never let the other side see you tired.
Hogan uses team traditions as teaching tools - discipline in small things - I noted a number of them detailed in the book:
* Take a knee when coach is talking.
* Helmets on throughout practice
* Eyes on coach when he's talking
* Answer coach in unison - "yes, sir"
* Don't walk on the field - run.
* Clap in unison between each stretch
* Each practice concluded with prayer by a player - players hands on players shoulders
* Everyone runs for team infractions.
* Conditioning at the end of practice
* Coach dresses up for games
* Dads form a tunnel for the players before they hit the field - the "last people they see"
* Being a senior has perks
* Notable sportsmanship - helping opponents up after each play - handing the ball to officials -
* Workouts have timed rotations for their 360s - on max time for skill players, one for larger, heavier players. If they don't make it, everyone runs again.
* Commitment night - at the end of camp - Jrs and Seniors read aloud their commitments for the season.
* 5 day retreat - 3 a day practices, conditioning, chapel Bible study and prayer time,
Theme for the season - "Sold out" - 4 rules:
1. Love your teammates - it is a choice - helps you leave a legacy
2. Choose a great attitude
3. Play at your highest tempo
4. Take care of your responsibility
Two Mohammed Ali quotes
- "don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." And
- "The fight is won or lost way from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, out there on the road (running) long before I dance under those lights."
Team acts out their priorities -
1. Praying with another team's players while one of theirs is taken to the hospital. Attending the funeral of an opposing team's players.
2. And the book's climax - so interesting it isn't the State Championship game - but their game with Gainesville State - a boys correctional facility/school. When Faith's fans and cheerleaders divide up to cheer on the other team's players - complete with spirit line, programs, cheers, etc. This part of the story is incredible picture of caring for others, showing Christlike attitudes. No wonder it got national attention and brought Hogan the platform that he's not yet gotten through winning a state championship. The game, the cheering, the idea that others actually cared about them helped transform many of the troubled youths and the State school as well. "I never knew there were so many people in the world who cared about us."
This story really helped me see the value of a committed, talented Christlike person like Kris Hogan can use sports teams to teach valuable life lessons to young people. But this teaching takes intentionality. Hogan has put thought and energy into creating not only a vision for what values he wants his football program to impart to his boys, but also the steps, traditions, and structure that will help in that effort. It just so happens that building young men with character through football also tends to lead to pretty good football teams as well.
Such a refreshing change from what our society tends to put on a pedestal today in sports - if you win, you must be a good coach - regardless of the effect on your players or whether you recruited them legally or not, or whether they turn into good citizens, husbands/wives, dads/moms , or anything.
An impressive and inspiring book - I'm so glad I read it!