Although football season is over, the relationships and character of the team continues to build at Siegel High School, thanks in part to FCA Character Coach Nick Mobley, who currently also serves as youth pastor at Northside Baptist Church. Nick is assisting Coach Copley in taking a new approach with the team -- a weekly off-season character development training plan they call -- Core 4. It's more than just a 10-minute game day message.
Core 4 Overview: Awaken & Strengthen the Inner Man
Goal -- To educate and equip young men with the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen each area of their lives.
"Because participation is mandatory, this limits my ability to share Scripture openly or pray during our meeting," Nick says. "However, this off-season has given me greater access to the players/coaches, allowing me the chance to strengthen these relationships."
Approach -- Since there are 5 points to a star, we have concentrated on development of 5 areas in the life of every man: physical, relational, mental, intellectual, and spiritual.
"Each month we invite trained leaders and experts from each area to share with the team. This has led to honest and uplifting conversations among the team," Nick says.
Results -- Coaches have stronger connections with players. Players have increased compassion for one another. It has strengthened team unity – players have realized how much they share in common, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, and skills. It has increased a willingness to be honest with yourself and your teammate. "This has been amazing to witness," adds Nick.
Some of the trained leaders who have spoken with the team include Susan Louthan from Portico (formerly known as the Crisis Pregnancy Center) who spoke about how to maintain healthy relationships. Some key takeaways for the team:
"BE the type of person you hope to meet and marry one day. You cannot pursue someone who possesses qualities you do not expect from yourself. The key to any healthy relationship is selflessness. Each day you can choose to be that type of person to whom others are drawn. What type of friend/teammate/relationship do you want?"
Another speaker was Dr. Corey M. Teague, Doctor of Psychology at MTSU, who shared about developing habits that lead to healthy relationships. Teague also challenged the team by saying, "Start honoring your wife of the future by the decisions you make today, and by the way you treat others."
Dusty Hutchins, a Siegel High School football alumni who currently serves as assistant football coach at Blackman High School, shared his story and told the team that, “People won’t remember your stat line. But they will remember your heart. Your identity is not rooted in numbers, but in how you impact others.”
“False masculinity is defined by your prowess on the ball field, in the bedroom, and with your billfold,” he added, quoting Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman for the Baltimore Colts who later was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978 before playing for the Detroit Lions. "True manhood is achieved through authenticity & community."
Hutchins also added that an average of 3,014 high school students attempt suicide every day. EACH of us is chasing belonging and relevance. HOW we attempt to fill those needs determines everything.
"Be real and pursue genuine relationships, he told the team. "This is key to maintaining mental and emotional health."
Nick says starting the Core 4 off-season character development training plan has been really different, but has been a "cool experience" so far for the team. He adds. "The game is more fun when you truly know the guys who stand next to you. As one player said: 'I love my friends more than I love this game. They’re why I play.'"
"Never underestimate the power of real friendship," he told the team. "We grew closer today because we cared enough to hear each other’s story. Knowing = growing, both personally and collectively. Take time out for someone who needs to be heard this week!"
Special thanks to Nick for your influence with the Siegel High School football team.