Time well spent
By NG3 staff
If you visit a practice at one of the high school campuses where NG3 serves, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick out the NG3 director from the rest of the coaches, unless you happen to arrive during a character lesson.
Most of the time spent during a practice, the NG3 director is serving right alongside the other assistant coaches, but there is one major difference that might be hard to spot from afar. The whole purpose behind having a consistent presence with the various teams is not to provide an extra coach the school doesn’t pay, but to build trust and rapport with the student athletes. The fruit from this commitment is not always easy to spot. This past month, at three different schools, with three very different scenarios, the gain from such a heavy investment of time was undeniable. Out of respect for the high school student athletes involved, their names have been changed, and the schools at which this occurred, will remain anonymous.
Matt is a junior on the football team and a guy his teammates have appointed to the leadership counsel. His family has fallen on hard times recently and has had to move an hour away. Throughout the week, Matt bounces from house to house among friends and family, in order to stay closer to the school. After one of the weekly NG3 led small groups, called huddles, Matt asked if he could spend the night at the director’s house. This has become a weekly occurrence, and recently, Matt asked, “Coach, can I just stay here forever?” Matt is also the same young man who showed up at practice with two different cleats on. At first, it looked like a laughable mistake until it was discovered the mismatched pair were the only cleats Matt had. Matt is the type of young man who never complains, works hard, and loves his friends well. In addition to providing a consistent message of hope and a safe place for Matt to stay once-a-week, Matt sees the NG3 director as a reliable friend and mentor to whom he can turn during difficult times.
At a different school across the county, another huddle group was meeting. Their time together went well, and at the end of the huddle, Mike lingered back in order to speak to the NG3 director one-on-one. Mike had suffered a season ending injury early in the year and needed someone he trusted to talk to. Despite only being a part of the huddle group for a few weeks, Mike turned to his NG3 director as his trusted confidant. Mike was battling with depression and struggling with his role and identity following his injury and really needed to share what he was feeling along with seeking advice as to how to best cope with this stressful and trying time in his life.
Jason is a senior offensive lineman. He is well-respected and well-liked among his peers. Jason also has a younger brother who is a 9th grader. This past year, Jason’s younger brother was on the receiving end of a misguided prank that was a bad idea to begin with, but ended much worse after execution. Through multiple interactions between Jason and the NG3 director at his school, it became apparent Jason was really struggling with the fact his brother was mistreated by some students Jason had considered friends, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening. The NG3 director has been a calming voice of reason, not only for Jason, but for his entire family.
Three different situations. Three different schools. Three times NG3 has been there for a student when they’ve needed someone to turn to. If you would like to ensure NG3 remains a constant, reliable presence in your communities, there are many ways you can help. Please visit ng3.org to find out more. NG3 is also hosting two Christmas tree lots this year, at Grace Snellville and Grayson UMC. Please plan to pick up your family’s Frazier Firs from one of those two locations, and get a cup of hot chocolate, too!
Together....we can Be the difference!
NG3 1440 Dogwood Rd.
Snellville, GA 30078
Interested in finding out more about what NG3 is doing to make a difference in the Next Generation or how you can help? Go to www.ng3.org. NG3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 independently funded by donors like you!!
P.O. Box 1429
Snellville, GA 30078
NG3 stands for Next Generation: Character Community Change. Their goal is to develop men and women of character to create a positive change in our communities. NG3 works directly with student athletes in high schools, teaching and practicing the importance of strong core values like responsibility, humility, integrity and honesty. The staff of NG3 works along side the coaches employed by the school, providing a constant presence of reliability and service.