Derby Academy welcomed Joe Ehrmann, author and co-founder of the NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative, an organization aimed at implementing education-based athletics that are co-curricular, character-based, and led by transformational coaching, to Larson Hall as the next guest in the School’s Speaker Series on October 18.
His presentation, "InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives," shared his personal history and explained why and how he developed his coaching philosophy, and what other coaches and leaders can do to incorporate it into their program.
Ehrmann stressed the need to reexamine the purpose and value our society places in youth and professional sports. Fighting against the age of entitlement, the purpose of sports is to connect children to caring, mentoring adults who facilitate a transformative experience and positive human growth development. While sports can increase GPA, and build resiliency to drugs and alcohol, we need to redefine the purpose and expectations of sports and young athletes, and dissociate winning as the purpose, Ehrmann stressed.
Coaches must redefine the mission and value of athletics, keeping in mind the important differences between purpose and goals. A purpose is the lasting driving factor that one is accountable for, while positive experiences need to supersede performance goals.
Parent coaches must also be mindful of transactional versus transformational coaching and their roles as monitors and mentors. “The most competitive sport is parenting,” Ehrmann said. “Moral character always trumps performance … as parents that’s the highest priority.”
Ehrmann then focused on the mixed messaging of masculinity within sports, and how athletics can help break the cycle of false narratives of what it means to be a man or woman.
“We need to figure out how, as families, as parents, we will nurture the masculine and feminine souls of our sons and daughters in a culture that’s given them all kinds of misinformation. Then in their sports career, through their participation, they are getting some healthy concept of who and what they are.”
Empathy is critical for transformation. Ehrmann stressed the need for a culture shift that allows for accountability. “Moral character can’t be taught if it’s not modeled. You can’t teach empathy if you’re not empathetic. That’s why you need to transform the whole system.”
Joe Ehrmann Bio:
Joe Ehrmann, an All-American football player, was named to Syracuse University’s All-Century Team, lettered in lacrosse and received the Arents Award, SU’s Most Distinguished Alumni honor for his contributions to society. Joe played professional football for 13 years and was named Baltimore Colt’s Man of the Year. He was the NFL’s first Ed Block Courage Award Recipient, and named “The Most Important Coach in America” by Parade Magazine. The Institute for International Sport named him one of The 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America, and his revolutionary concepts of transformational coaching are the subject of his book, “InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives.” Joe is also the subject of New York Times Best-Seller, “Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, A Journey to Manhood.” Among many other awards, the Baltimore Business Journal selected him as the Renaissance Person of the Decade for his dedication and commitment to Baltimore City’s betterment. He was the National Fatherhood Initiative’s Man of the Year and the Frederick Douglas National Man of the Year award recipient for empowering youth to prevent rape and other forms of male violence.