How Sports Can Transform Lives
Publication Date: August 2, 2011
Joe Ehrmann, the coach profiled in the national bestseller Season of Life, explains how coaches at every level, from Little League to high school to NCAA Division I and even the professional leagues, can use sports to transform lives.
Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a former Syracuse University All-American and NFL star. Perhaps second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can. But most coaches fail to do the teaching, mentoring, even life-saving intervention that their platform provides. Too many are transactional coaches; they focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. They see sports as a simple exchange: the athlete performs to a coach’s demands and in return gets something, usually praise or a position in the starting lineup. Some coaches, however, use their platform. They teach the Xs and Os, but also teach the Ys of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults; they leave a lasting legacy. These are the transformational coaches. These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women.
Sports have become a secular religion, according to Ehrmann. Tens of millions of children play sports, and millions of coaches have the potential to influence the lives of these children—and through them to touch their parents’ lives as well. Children can be diminished and discouraged by their sports experiences, or they can be strengthened, uplifted, even in some cases redeemed. Sports can be a life-changing experience if coaches understand why they are coaching and redefine their measurement of success.
InSideOut Coaching explains how to become a trans-formational coach. Coaches first have to “go inside” and articulate their reasons for coaching. Only those who have taken the InSideOut journey can become transformational. Joe Ehrmann provides examples of coaches in his life who took this journey and taught him how to find something bigger than himself in sports.He describes his own InSideOut experience, starting with the death of his beloved brother, which helped him understand how sports could transcend the play-ing field. He gives coaches the information and the tools they need to become transformational.
Joe Ehrmann has taken his message about the extraordinary power of sports all over the country. It has been warmly endorsed by NFL head coaches, athletic directors at major universities, high school head coaches, even business groups and community organizations. Now any parent-coach or school or community coach can read Ehrmann’s message and learn how to make sports a life-changing experience.
Joe Ehrmann is a former NFL player, named to the All-Century and All-American football teams at Syracuse University (where he also lettered in lacrosse), former Baltimore Colts "Man of the Year" award winner, also named "Man of the Year" by the Frederick Douglass Society and the National Fatherhood Initiative, and co-founder (with his wife, Paula) of Building Men and Women for Others, Inc and Coach for America. He lives in Baltimore, MD.
“Joe Ehrmann has a great message that coaches and young people really need to hear. . . . He has had a tremendous impact on our team, helping us to develop championship men on and off the field.”
—Tony Dungy, author of Quiet Strength
“Joe is a special person who has dedicated his life to helping young people. His message is powerful and makes a true impact. It is a message that we can all learn from.”
—Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
“Joe Ehrmann’s message is inspiring, educational and eye-opening. He is an inspiration to me!”
—Jay Wright, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Villanova University
“I highly encourage you to seize the opportunity to listen to these important values and concepts, which need to be applied to our society’s most important resource—our youth.”
—Joseph Castiglione, Director of Athletics, University of Oklahoma
“This is a must read for all coaches, athletic directors, and parents.”
—Dr. Jeanette Boxill, Ph. D., Director, Parr Center for Ethics, University of North Carolina