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Give Kids a Chance to be Geat
By Dr. Greg Shepard
Published: Spring 2001

Is a 6-6 245-pound guy a big man? Is he a big, big man? Think football and then think general public. Is this guy a big, big man. I just happened to be listening to a country song. It was about “Big John. Big Bad John.” Everyone was in awe of Big Bad John. Anyway, he dies in a coal mine accident and they erect a marble tombstone. It simply said, “Here lies a big . . . big man.” It was written several decades ago.

How times have changed! You probably answered, “Yes, 6-6 245 is a big guy, but a big, big man? No way.” Did you see the bowl games? Never thought I would see the day when a 300-pound college lineman would be average. We are indeed getting Bigger Faster and Stronger.

Times have also changed in nutrition facts. Some criticized my Tiger Nutrition program because I recommended eating natural foods like eggs. My doctors, mother-in-law and the American Heart Association said, “Shepard, you are going to kill yourself. Eggs are definitely bad for your heart.” Now, in 2001, the American Heart Association has changed its position. One egg a day is fine. They site that eggs are low in saturated fat and are relatively low in calories. My doctors have also changed their stance considerably. As for my mother-in-law? Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

We try to help student-athletes form their own value system with the Be An Eleven Guidebook and our seminars. At one recent seminar, I ask a junior football player, “You stick a piece of gum in your mouth. What do you do with the wrapper?”

Kids are so honest these days. He hung his head slightly and admitted, “Coach, I’d probably throw it on the floor.” Everyone thought that a lot of kids would do the same. Would an eleven? This football player said that an eleven would never throw the wrapper on the floor and neither would he from now on, even if he had to carry it 100 yards.

Another player conceded that he would probably park in a handicapped parking place if it meant that he had to walk an extra 40 yards. After considering the eleven concept, he too found it in his heart to change. He said, “From now on, I will never park in a handicapped zone, even if there were ten of them. It would be a bad example.”

The most poignant change came when a young man was out in the hall with his head football coach after a Be A Eleven seminar. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he said, “I will never smoke again.” He then pulled out a full pack of cigarettes and gave them to his coach.

Give Kids A Chance To Be Great

Dr. Greg Shepard

Return to Spring 2001 Articles

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