Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The role of a team's spiritual leader

Thanks to Ken for pointing me toward the Washington Post's section called "On Leadership."

There's a terrific opinion piece there from former Eagles, Rams, and Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, who writes about "Strength in Faith."


There is definitely a place for religion in football as there is a place for it in all parts of life. It is a deep part of all locker rooms. Every team I've been involved with has had a spiritual leader. They have no particular responsibilities, but rather act to bring players together.

To anyone who would say there is "too much" religion in football I would have to ask: how could there be too much of something that improves the chemistry and attitude of a team whether that be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual? It is completely voluntary and really brings teammates together, sharing beliefs, thoughts, messages.

In my decades of coaching, I never recognized a problem with it. In most aspects of life, spirituality helps bring people together, that's our culture. Sometimes on a team different religions become one faith, they become a belief in each other, a belief in the team and strength grows out of that.