There is something special going on at Western Michigan University. Four years ago a new young head football coach stepped onto the scene- P.J. Fleck. He brought with him a new vision along with a mantra “Row The Boat”. This mantra has been embraced by his players and throughout the University and community. After four years, its making its way to mainstream for all of us to share in this journey of WMU football.
After beating Northwestern on opening day P.J. Fleck was interviewed by Scott Van Pelt from ESPN to discuss his mantra “Row The Boat”. Here are some takeaways from the interview with Fleck.
- Oar – The Oar represents the energy as it makes it way through the water.
- Boat – The Boat represents the sacrifice one makes for the journey. Everyone who is on boat sacrifices their individual goals for the greater cause – The Mission.
- Row – The act of rowing keeps one present. Keeps one focused on the process. No looking back at the past or looking ahead at the future, staying ever present. Rowing.
As a former Division 1 athlete I know the dedication it takes to compete at this level. After one year I chose a different path. If Fleck was my coach, would it be different? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter as that was the past. What I do know is at that time I didn’t have any man to look up to or learn from and this is what Fleck is doing right now. This is more meaningful than wins and losses. He is developing young men for life. Many of these men will carry this mantra for the rest of their lives especially when life gets tough, which it will. In a day when few men mentors are willing to share their lives with other men, its men like Coach Fleck we all can learn from.
You don’t have to be a head coach to be a leader of men or a mentor of men. We all have something to give, our life experiences. We can dig deep from our obstacles, learn from them and then be an inspiration to the younger men that follow in our footsteps. Our younger brothers need this more than ever.
Coach Fleck, I love what you’re doing! I’m on my podcast partner who is a WMU alumni to take me to a game and get you on our podcast. Go Broncos!
This article originally appeared on Chris Forte’s Blog
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Screenshot taken from YouTube