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Joe Ehrmann On Moral Courage

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Joe Ehrmann (@JoeEhrmann76), a PCA National Advisory Board Member and winner of PCA's Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement, is a former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman, founder of Coach For America and author of InSide Out Coaching. Ehrmann gained additional prominence when Parade Magazine dubbed him “the most important coach in America” for his unorthodox, but highly effective, coaching at Gilman School in the Baltimore area. Ehrmann was also the subject of Season of Life by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Marx.

In this video clip he shares one of his biggest concerns in youth sports, which is the moral failure of coaches. He believes this is manifesting in two ways. The first is that men are leading isolating lives, leaving them with no meaningful relationships that call for accountability. This leaves coaches focusing on attributes like individual play and selfish behavior, instead of teamwork, accountability and commitment.

The second manifestation of ""moral failure"" is a lack of value for moral courage. According to Ehrmann, coaches emphasize physical courage over moral courage, which has youth athletes focusing on the wrong value system. He stresses that we need coaches who are teaching what’s right and wrong, instead of just the playbook and physical dominance.