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Issue 431 - "Championship Mentoring" (Suzanne Yoculan Part Seven)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 431
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Legendary Georgia Women's Gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan led her teams The Georgia Gym Dogs to ten National Championships. Coach Yoculan did everything in her program at a championship level, including mentoring.
In her book, Perfect 10 with Bill Donaldson, Coach Yoculan wrote about her: "Fifteen Points of Pride for a Winning Program". Coach Yoculan described Points of Pride for mentoring and being a role model as follows:
"Community: Contributing more than a fair share to the communities of UGA, Athens, and Georgia is essential to be a Georgia Gym Dog. Participating in car washes to raise money, assisting Habitat for Humanity and similar activities are contributions to the community and we do them, but these are things any student can do.
Finding an activity that takes advantage of unique characteristics of athletes can be more meaningful. Young girls consider college gymnasts celebrities. Interaction between gymnasts and young girls, especially troubled or underprivileged young girls, can have a profound positive influence on the youngsters.
The Gym Dogs participate in the Athens-Clarke County Mentoring program, in which they are paired with young girls who need help in developing self-esteem or who need to know that someone who is highly regarded takes a special interest in them. The program is rewarding to both parties in the pair, providing opportunities to interact with young girls in a manner not normally available to gymnasts who have been so busy training prior to college.
Image: Coaches and gymnasts are role models for thousands of youngsters. Always keep this responsibility in mind and live up to it. Being a positive role model is essential in the mentoring program, and because of their popularity, college gymnasts are almost constantly under the microscope of public scrutiny. Accepting the responsibility for setting proper examples is a maturing experience."
In addition to both having won 10 National Championships, Coach Wooden, like Coach Yoculan made clear in his annual letter to the team what he expected out of them as role models:
"Remember that you represent others who are responsible for you as well as yourself and your personal appearance and conduct should not reflect discredit in any way upon yourself or upon those whom you represent. Cleanliness, neatness of appearance, and good manners are qualities that should be characteristic of those who are of great influence on young people and you certainly qualify for that category. Be a good example."
We all in some way can provide a good model to our youth each day.
Who will you influence today? How?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



A Vow

I might not ever scale the mountain heights
Where all the great men stand in glory now;
I may not ever gain the world's delights
Or win a wreath of laurel for my brow;
I may not gain the victories that men
Are fighting for, nor do a thing to boast of;
I may not get a fortune here, but then,
The little that I have I'll make the most of.

I'll make my little home a palace fine,
My little patch of green a garden fair,
And I shall know each humble plant and vine
As rich men know their orchid blossoms rare.
My little home may not be much to see;
Its chimneys may not tower far above;
But it will be a mansion great to me,
For in its walls I'll keep a hoard of love.

I will not pass my modest pleasures by
To grasp at shadows of more splendid things,
Disdaining what of joyousness is nigh
Because I am denied the joy of kings.
But I will laugh and sing my way along,
I'll make the most of what is mine to-day,
And if I never rise above the throng,
I shall have lived a full life anyway.

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)






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