July 21, 2022

The Lost Episodes of Coaching Character Podcast with Andrew Murakami, Pastor and Coach

The Lost Episodes of Coaching Character Podcast with Andrew Murakami, Pastor and Coach

In Episode 91 and other episodes this summer, we are taking a break from our normal programming to share with you some unreleased episodes from the Coaching Character Podcast, which Phil recorded with Coach Roz, who played football for the Oakland...

In Episode 91 and other episodes this summer, we are taking a break from our normal programming to share with you some unreleased episodes from the Coaching Character Podcast, which Phil recorded with Coach Roz, who played football for the Oakland Raiders and San Diego State, and now runs The Playmakers, which works with at-risk and developmentally different children. This is great content that we wanted to ensure got the airtime it deserves. In this episode, Coach Roz and Phil talk with Andrew Murakami, Pastor and American Football Coach, about overcoming great odds and developing the youth through sports. Don’t miss this interview with a great young man with a lot of wisdom.

Resources and Links from this Episode


Phil: Welcome back to how soccer explains leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation. I'm Phil Darke, your host and Paul Jobson and I absolutely love getting to do what we do. We get to have great conversations with people throughout the world of soccer, about all the lessons they have learned from the beautiful game. And how they are using those lessons in their life, their leadership, their marriage, their parenting. That's what we normally do. But this summer, we are taking a break, a little break from our normal programming, and we are releasing some of the lost episodes as we're calling them.

Episodes of the coaching character podcast that never made it live on the air. Coaching character was a podcast that I did with a good friend of mine. Greg Rosler, who's known as coach Roz. And we were able to interview some really cool people, doing some amazing things in the world of coaching. People who are coaching character.

They're coaching our kids on the people side of their game. They're coaching the integrity, the humility. [00:01:00] You're coaching them, not just to win, but to be able to flourish in life. And so we thought it was a perfect compliment to, in the normal programming that we bring you. in this episode, coach Roz and I were able to have a great conversation with Andrew Murakami.

He's a pastor in the willows, California. He's a coach as well. He talks with us. About some of the things. That are important to all of us. He talks about overcoming the odds. He talks about how, when he was a kid, he was told that he probably would never be able to walk normally. He wouldn't be able to do certain things that all of us can normally do.

And he overcame those odds and did some really cool things that he's going to talk to us about.

he also talks with us about character integrity, how we can implement those things into our coaching. I'm very excited to be able to share this conversation with all of you.

So without more for me, I'm going to take you right to the interview with Andrew Murakami. Kami that coach Roz and I were able to have with him. On the coaching character [00:02:00] podcast.

[00:02:01] Coach Roz: Welcome to Coaching Character. I'm Coach Roz along with Phil Darke, who was fortunate enough to make the travel team this week. we've got a guest that I am so, so eager to talk with.

 his name is Andrew Murakami, and you're gonna hear his story and some of the amazing things that he has done that he's doing. And and how that relates to football and, and things that are important to us. So let's kick this thing

[00:02:26] Phil: off. Yeah. I'm very excited for this conversation, you know, as usual, this is someone that we've known.

And so you've told me about Andrew and his story and just, just a little snippet. So I'm, I'm really, I'm psyched to get it, to get into it. So really, without more from us, you know, we wanna get right into this with Andrew, cuz we have no doubt. You guys are gonna not only learn a ton, but just be super encouraged.

And inspired by what we're gonna learn over the next, however long this takes so let's get to it. Andrew. Welcome.

[00:02:56] Andrew: Well, thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in [00:03:00] this.

[00:03:00] Phil: Absolutely. So, you know, Andrew, you're the, you're the senior pastor of, of Willow's church of the Nazare in willows, California.

And there's a whole lot more to you than that. So I want you to be able to just stay. And it's always one of my favorite parts of the show, just to hear your story and how you got to be where you are.

[00:03:17] Andrew: Yeah. Well, I would love to share that. I'll give you kind of the Reader's Digest version and then we can dive into any points you want to expand on.

 well I grew up as a pastor's kid. I was born in North Dakota and then shortly after I was born, my dad went from a school teacher to a pastor. And so I've been a pastor's kid for the majority of my life which has been fun and interesting. And probably one of the reasons why I'm a pastor today.

I wanna try to keep this brief for the most part, but part of my testimony and I think coach Oz would want me to share this is you know, when I was born the doctor has kind of said that I would have some physical challenges and some things that I would, that I would not be able to do.

Some of things that I would have to overcome. And one of them was some physical challenges. [00:04:00] and doctors saying things like probably wouldn't play sports, or if I did, I, I wouldn't be very good or, you know, I, I, my, my life would be dramatically different than it is today. And by the grace of God, it is dramatically different than what they said it was gonna be in the beginning.

But I think football played a great role in my life as I grew up because it gave me an opportunity to kind of face my fears of. Not being able to do physical things. It also put challenges in front of me to overcome, which gave me the strength to pursue the life that God had in front of me.

So football played a really vital role in not only physically and mentally learning how to overcome challenges. But also preparing me for a life of ministry beyond that. And, and so kind of growing up, you know, I had to learn how to overcome some of these challenges, but football was really that turning point for me in my life and how not only I approached, you know, physical life, but really lessons learned that [00:05:00] empowered me to become who God wanted me to be, which was a pastor.

So I'm really grateful for

[00:05:06] Coach Roz: that, Andrew. Now I, so let's start statistics and they get exaggerated. I have heard that you are the youngest senior pastor. Is that, is that a fact, are you the youngest, one of the youngest give us statistics.

[00:05:23] Andrew: Well, I was at the time that I was ordained, I was the youngest pastor, I think youngest lead pastor on my district, which include.

Cal parts of California, parts of Nevada. But there were also several younger pastors around me. So, I mean, there was maybe two or three years difference. And now obviously there's younger pastors behind me now that are on the district. So I was one of the youngest pastors. It was a unique situation in that my dad pastored on the same district for years as well.

So I was, it was the first time that father son had bid on the same district at different churches, which was interest.

[00:05:59] Coach Roz: And if your dad [00:06:00] listens to this, you're the youngest and he was the oldest. So you guys had both ends

[00:06:03] Andrew: covered. Yeah. I, I, I joke with him often. I said they probably couldn't have handled two mecoms on the same district.

So my dad had to retire shortly thereafter. So

[00:06:15] Coach Roz: well, those are, those are some certainly amazing accomplishments. And and I know Phil is anxious to dig into the, the football character side at a deeper level. So cut him open

[00:06:27] Phil: fell. Well, you know, I, yeah. And there's just, there's a lot, I wanna mind there, you know, but the, the, the first thing I wanna do, you, you said football's a big part of your life.

You kind of, you got a nice little softball there for a podcast host to be able to dive a little deeper into, but you know, and Roz has told me a little bit as well of your story. And so I do know that, you know, you're really, your freshman year is when you met Roz. If I'm not mistaken, is that correct?

Right, right. I'm told, I'm told there's a story there with Raz and how he kind of [00:07:00] encouraged you and inspired you and, and really had a, a role in you pursuing football really? Is that, is

[00:07:05] Andrew: that true? Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, the story may differ a little bit, depending on who's telling it who's the, who's the key guy, but always to, so, I believe how we met was coach Oz was actually recruiting my older brother who played on the varsity team.

And then me wanting to play football. I was kind of, you know, once I saw my brother Austin playing football, I really wanted to do it, but because of what I kind of shared earlier my mom specifically was not a huge fan of the idea of me playing a contact sport. And so, she had really took some convincing.

So, Raz came and told her that he was gonna take care of me. She probably shouldn't have believed that, but she did. No, but you know, he really reassured her that I, that I was gonna be okay. And that it was gonna be a good experience. And so that's how I kind of got into football was through coach Ross, recruiting my brother, Austin, and he got me on the field.

[00:07:57] Coach Roz: Yep. So, so now take, so take Phil [00:08:00] now to the day, you probably don't remember this, but take Phil to the day where it was about 110 degrees and you didn't wanna run

[00:08:06] Andrew: wind sprints. Ah, so yeah, so I thought you were gonna tell part of this story. So I, no, I'm not gonna tell it. I didn't wanna steal your thunder, but no way.

But so we got into preseason conditioning, which preseason conditioning both as a player, having experienced it as a player and a coach. Now I love the fact that kids go into preseason conditioning. Think they're thinking they're gonna be the next NFL's, you know, superstar. And then after the first hour, they're ready to quit football together.

And so that was kind of like my experiences I went in there kind. Dreaming dreams of, of being a football star. And then by the halfway through the practice, I was ready to quit. And so, you know, Roz sees that I'm struggling you know, and comes over to me and he says, are, are you done? Are you gonna, are you, you know, you okay?

And I said, well, I don't really think football's for me. I think I'm probably gonna quit. I just, I just can't do this. And he said, well, [00:09:00] if you quit, I quit. You know? And so it kind of. That phrase really stuck with me through my kind of the first few weeks of football, because it not only showed me that he was concerned about just my participation, not just concerned about my participation, but there's a level of commitment and buy-in not that he was expecting from me, not just that he was expecting my buy-in.

but that he was bought into seeing me succeed and supporting me, which is something that I think is really important as a coach for, for players to see.

[00:09:33] Phil: Absolutely. And, and so let, let me just make an assumption here based on what I've heard and you correct me if I'm wrong, but you never became the amazing all American football player that went to college and played D one and, or played in college at all and, and really made it to the pros.

You were not that story is that.

[00:09:53] Andrew: No, no. I was definitely not the most talented guy out there. Never had the size, never had the speed, all the things that [00:10:00] people look at to kind of determine success on the field. But it's kind of interesting Raz, when we started, he said you were on the verge of getting cut from the travel team and that's kind of where I lived.

My football career was right on the verge of being cut . So I you know, it forced me to fight for playing. Which, you know, in today's day and age where kids are guaranteed playing time, and I'm not against that, I think especially on, on the young youth level, everybody should have an opportunity to participate, but on the high school level, you know, that changes a little bit in that you want the best players to play, you know, and it, it forced me to say, well, if I want to play, that means I have to put in the work.

And so, you know, coach Raz gave me every opportu. To put in the work and to have an opportunity to prove that I was ready and able to start and take on that responsibility. And there were some games I did and some games I didn't, and that was okay. Yeah.

[00:10:50] Phil: And, and I'd say without, without making coach Ross's head too big here, I, I would do wanna ask you, you know, what, what are a few things [00:11:00] and you may have already said 'em, but I, I just wanna make it clear to the, the audience, you know, You were a guy who was fighting just to get minutes.

Not fighting to get seen by college recruiters, not fighting to get thinking of the next step. It was just, I wanna play this sport. And you were learning lessons along the way, but what are a couple, maybe one or two lessons that you learned from raws other coaches in high school, as you were just working your tail off that you still go to today as you're pastoring, as you're mentoring and training up other kids as a coach, what are some things that you go back to that will never leave?

[00:11:36] Andrew: right. One of the things that stands out and I maybe coach remembers this or not, but he would always tell our whole team, you know, give me your 100%, like give me the 100% that you're capable of. And so, yeah, I wasn't the most athletic guy on our team. I wasn't, you know, the strongest or whatever, but you know, if I went into a practice drill or I went into the game where I wasn't giving my 100.[00:12:00]

He called me out on it. That's okay. You know, he's not expecting me to be the star player, but he's expecting me to do what I'm capable of doing. And I think sometimes that gets lost on a football field, you know, especially in today's day and age, you know, for, you know, there's, it's kind of a double edged sword, you know, you want kids to participate, but there's also sometimes that lack of accountability in that it's, you know, you want every kid to perform.

To try to perform at their 100%. And that's different for every player, you know, you know, physically their physical talent, but also the role that they play on the team, you know, but you want them to do what their, what they're, you know, designed to do to the best of their ability and that their ability may vary.

But the goal is always to be 100%.

[00:12:50] Phil: Absolutely. No, that's fantastic. That's a great, great reminder.

[00:12:54] Coach Roz: so there's a there's a, I'm circling this back for a minute on the, if, [00:13:00] if you quit, I quit story. Okay. Which you told relatively accurately. Andrew, I, I gotta, I gotta commend you. You, you didn't, you didn't you didn't mention the part of, if I'm not the starting quarterback, that's why I'm quitting.

And, but, but anyway, but there's there there's there's a back half of that story that you and I tell on On different occasions. So the back half of the story is and I'll do the best that I can to tell it is several years ago I got diagnosed with cancer and got as big and it's all good now.

And but there was some, there was some chemotherapy and some radiation and things that ha that I had to go through in order to get that. And And I got a great deal of support from a lot of different people, but there was a college student at the time, Andrew at point Loma who sent me a very special very special and specific text.

And it was if you quit, I quit. And so that's been the side of the story that that is in [00:14:00] my DNA, Andrew, and I think one of the many things that. that has held our relationship together over the years. So thank you for that young man.

[00:14:09] Andrew: Yeah. And I, I think it speaks to kind of the design of this podcast.

And I think the approach that you took to coaching, not just back when I was playing, but what you do now is those lessons transcend, you know, the football field and your time. You know, there's difficult seasons in life, no matter what profession you choose to go into. There's, there's diff difficult seasons of professional life of personal life, you know, that you go through and, and that, just that, that buy in that you know, that you're part of a team that you have teammates that support you and you, and you're willing to, you know, support one another, not just when you're winning, but when you're going through something really difficult, right.

That's important.

[00:14:53] Coach Roz: Well, why don't we transition bill? Unless, unless you say we shouldn't transition cause you no, absolutely. You're really, you're in charge [00:15:00] this Andrew, for a fact, you're a pastor of a church, but you are also involved in the community as, as a volunteer coach at the youth level. Is that correct?

[00:15:09] Andrew: Correct. So the last the last three, at least three years, I've been coaching a team that I started out with. I think it was third and fourth grade at the time, then they went. Fifth and sixth, seventh, and eighth. So I've been coaching the same team for the last three years, which has really been beneficial to get to know the kids and to build that relationship with them.

Not just in football but in life. So that's been really good. Well,

[00:15:33] Coach Roz: as we uh, as we are beginning to clinic youth coaches and parents and kids around the country one of the things that I challenge coaches to do is to go on the internet and, and. And Google embezzlement and, and travesty and youth sports.

And there are many, many categories and many examples. Talk Andrew, about your influence in the [00:16:00] community with those kids as a youth football coach in relationship to your influence in the community as a pastor in the church.

[00:16:09] Andrew: Yeah, well, I think one of the major differences is Demographically, my church is a little more, I, I would say veteran or seasoned, you know, so I, I, I minister to a group of senior adults for the most part, like broad, like.

like Ross. Yeah. Yeah. Make sure, but, but coaching this football program in the youth football program, it introduces me to a completely different demographic of people in my community. Which I think is really helpful. Not just as a pastor, but as a member of the community. If you find that you're you find yourself.

Only participating with a, with a certain small demographic of your community. It is really hard to get to know your community on a broad level. If you're only with a small group and so coaching football in connection with the, the values and the things that you learn [00:17:00] that I have as a pastor really helped me engage a younger demographic, primarily kids and bring that you.

Basically tie in what I'm doing in a holistic way, in terms of, you know, some things I know from as a pastor, I'm able to apply for the football team and, and some of the information and the struggles or the, the, the issues that I see people dealing with on the football field help inform me as a pastor where the community needs help from a pastoral standpoint.

And so I think there's a lot of crossover. And how I, and in, in making those connections, I don't know if you want specific examples, but that's kind of how I see it. It kind of helps connect me to the community and also informs me how to be a better coach and how to be a better pastor for my community.

[00:17:50] Coach Roz: Well, as a pastor, at least you should be able to muster up a decent team prayer.

[00:17:55] Andrew: right. And that's one of my main roles actually this last year was as sort of like [00:18:00] a, a, a chaplain without the official title. I would, I would do the team prayer before and after the game. For for kids. And I, I was blessed to work with the head coach of my individual team was a member of the Catholic church in town.

And so he would pray or I would pray. And there was definitely that connection, you know, for the kids of, of having you know, moral principles and values being taught, you know, not just in the Xs and OS, but taking care of kids outside the field as well. Andrew,

[00:18:29] Coach Roz: I, whether you're a head coach or an assistant coach, it doesn't make any difference to me.

But put yourself in a scenario where you are addressing the, the families, the parents of the kids that you're getting ready to coach. Again, whether you're whether you're a head coach or an assistant coach, what message would you want to send to the parents that you are going to try to accomplish by coaching their kids, this upcoming season?

[00:18:59] Andrew: Wow. This [00:19:00] upcoming season. that I, I think one of the first things that I would say is in the wake of what has happened this past year, no adversity you face on the football field is gonna compare to anything you've been through the last year. So I, I think a lot of people have been through so much adversity outside of football that.

Tackling drill or playing your rival across town or playing for a championship game. You know, hopefully that's the goal. In terms of success is not gonna compare to the adversity that you've already faced. And so just by stepping on the football field, you have demonstrated a, a perseverance, a real, a resiliency that's key to playing the game of football.

In terms of specific context, you know, like football can be a great distraction from what's going on around it. And there's a lot of important lessons and I don't mean that it's trivial or that there's not something valuable you can learn from it. But this idea that that [00:20:00] sports can be a safe Haven.

You know, sports can be a distraction. Whether it's what's going on on a world level or what's going on in your household? I know going back to when Coach Roz initially started play makers, you know, there were kids from a variety of different backgrounds and I mean, I'm blessed to be, you know, to have two parents in the home that love me and have a stable up, you know, upbringing.

And, you know, I, I was blessed to have that, but not every, not every player has. You know, and, and football and coaches can be regardless of what sport or, you know, whether it's men or women sports like sports can be that safe Haven a distraction from some of the things going on in the world around us.

So I think it serves value on a bunch of different levels.

[00:20:50] Coach Roz: So you, you, you said something, several things very important, but one is you come from whatever, a quote unquote functioning family looks like [00:21:00] you've got, obviously faith is critical. Let's say you come from a family that we wish all of our kids had right.

Coming from a family like that. then, is there any role for a coach to play in supporting development of character and, and life lessons? I think what I'm saying is there is, is there any time where you would listen to a coach as opposed to listen to your family? Is there a role in there?

[00:21:33] Andrew: Well, and I wanna say this very carefully because I think the role of a father and a mother is really important and.

if they're doing the best they can and they're setting a good example, you know, they should always be first and foremost, the, the number one mentor, the number one teacher the number one supporter in a kid in a child's life, you know, for sure. But I think I often tell people you know, you. You are [00:22:00] very special to me, coach Oz, but you are one of an embarrassment of riches of mentors that I had in my life.

You, you know, and I, I always went about it as saying, you know, if I was given this upbringing, if I was blessed with this upbringing, if I had people in my life that took the time to speak into my life and to, if I was messing around. Wake me up at 5, 6 30, 6 30 in the morning and make me go run, you know, , if I was, if I was messing around or not doing the right thing, you know, like if I had people that were really invested in my life and making sure I was on the right track, I want to do that for others.

And I think coaches beyond the football field can serve as that stabilizing force that, you know, hopefully you don't have to be that main. That main person in a person's life. And sometimes that's true. Sometimes coaches end up being that number one person in a, in a athlete's life. But I think, you know, I think all coaches should serve as a stabilizing force for students not to be maybe the main person, but to [00:23:00] be to be reinforcement of, moral values, of, of worth ethic of work ethic and some of the values that we teach on the playing.

I can't

[00:23:08] Coach Roz: imagine you had a coach that would wake you up at five 30 in the morning and run you that, just that, that must have been a hypothetical example.

[00:23:16] Andrew: Well, thankfully I, like I said, I had a embarrassment of riches, so I was not, I did not have to do that too many times, but I do remember calls getting up at six 30 or seven in the morning, on a Saturday and going to do a service project for my coach who had this grand idea of starting this organization for kids.

And so I was one of the lucky chosen few. Where a test was I a test dummy or guinea

[00:23:39] Phil: pig, might call it a guinea pig,

[00:23:41] Andrew: guinea

[00:23:41] Phil: pig.

[00:23:41] Andrew: Let's see how this works out. And yeah. You know, God blessed it and it's really turned into something amazing. And I'm glad to participate in any way I can.

[00:23:49] Phil: That's fantastic.

And, and, and I just there's, there's so much obviously like, like we said earlier, that I'd wanna mine there, but I think one of the, a couple things you said there, and one we've talked about on the show a bit just [00:24:00] with, as far as the, the parents, like you said, I totally agree with you a healthy, functional.

Mom and dad is critical to a life of a child. Some children aren't blessed to have that. Aren't fortunate enough to have that. And so coaches can play that bigger role. But even with my kids, I, I tell the coaches sometimes, Hey, you know, here's some things we'd love for you to reinforce in our kid and they may hear it from you better, whatever, because of an age, because they, they.

You know, you hear it, the same thing over and over from your parents. Sometimes you just kind of tune it out whether that's healthy or not, it's the reality, but what, that, that really goes into something I want to talk to you about as a pastor and you alluded to this earlier, you really want to take these principles that you're teaching on Sundays and really incorporate them into the practices and vice versa as well.

Right. Right. And so, you know, I really would love, you know, the, on this show, really what we want to do. I mean, ideally on this show, we wanna be able to have our guests and, and Raz, and I be able to share with our audience, which [00:25:00] hopefully are a bunch of coaches all over the country and world to share with them principles and think ways we can actually do just what we just said.

Incorporate these principles of character and integrity and leadership into practices. So what are, first of all, like what are a couple of those of those principles that you, you know, again are your go-tos as you're training up your players and you know, how do you incorporate those into the team and into the practices and into the other aspects of your coach?

[00:25:31] Andrew: Well, I think there, that's a wide open question, a lot to get into there, but I think one of the things that I think is recently for me been on my heart is especially with all the things going on in the world is. You know, unity within the church or unity of faith doesn't necessarily mean a unity of a conformity of, of participation.

So for instance, when you're on a football team, you're gonna have kids from a variety of [00:26:00]different backgrounds, you know, Ty tying in what we just talked about. You're gonna have kids that come from a stable household. You're gonna have kids that don't have that stable household. You're gonna have.

Economic differences. You're gonna have maybe religious differences or, or, you know, variety of different things, you know, and I think what, what a unity of faith does or a unity of these principles, like for instance, love God and love your neighbor very broadly speaking, right? Is that, you know, if we all love speaking on football level, if we all love football, right.

And our, and our goal is to, is to do the best we can in football. If I'm, if I'm doing the best I can in football, but I have no, I don't care at all about my teammates or their, their success or, or how they're doing. Then my football team is not gonna see success if I'm just worried about me. And I have no regard for my teammate.

Right. And that's a biblical principle, that I take into the football program. [00:27:00] I, I said, you know, if you're just worried about if you're starting or not, or if, if you're the best player or not, or, you know, or if you get to be a captain, that's a big deal with kids, right? If you get to be a captain that gets to walk out.

For the coin toss, like if that's your number one concern and you have no regard for your teammate, what they're going through, either on the football field or off the football field, that's a real big failure. You know, not just, not just for coaches, but as a team, that's that that's not going to bring you much success, you know?

And so I think that's one of the big things I tell with kids is doesn't matter where you come from, it doesn't matter your background, you know, as long as we wear that Jersey, we wear the same Jersey with the same name on it. We are responsible to one another for success, not just on an individual level, but as a team.

So that's one of the principles that I, I talk to my kids a lot about, or my players a lot.

[00:27:54] Phil: Yeah. I think you need to talk with our country about that principle quite a bit more too right now, you know, [00:28:00] and, and, but you're, you're exactly right. I mean, that is a principle that you're gonna train up in these kids.

That if they can actually take that into their community, into their world, as they leave willows or stay in willows or whatever, and they can bring that into their family and into their, that side before self concept. Right. I had, I have a different podcast and an interview. I had leads United as a, a English football team soccer for you, Americans.

But and, and that's their motto. And I interviewed a guy about that. And, and that is something that I think is so. critical and important. It seems so simple. And it's something we should just. But it's

[00:28:38] Coach Roz: so rare. I thought we had an agreement. I thought we had an agreement that there would be no more soccer.

Examples brought into this. Decast I'm trying

[00:28:47] Phil: to not only broaden the horizons of you Roz and hopefully our, our guests, but I'm trying to culture and, and and educate you on. What you, you even I've started outta your mouth is, [00:29:00] is the beautiful game. And, and I don't wanna out you Roz, but you know, you said that, and I think it was a mistake, but it's still it happened.

And I'm, it's just, it was a beautiful thing. When you said the beautiful game, I'm not gonna lie, but anyway, I, I love that. I love that. That is one of the things that you are talking about because, you know, and I know. The church is not unified and our country is not unified and a lot of our families are not unified.

And when that happens, our society breaks down. Right. There's fatherlessness when there's all these issues, it's why Roz and play makers have a, have a ministry and have a, have a, you know, a, a people to go to and, and help is because we have this disunity. And so I love that if we're not training that up in our.

and sports is such an amazing place to be able to do that. I, I absolutely believe that we're not gonna be able to that's so I, I just commend you on that. I wanna encourage you on that. And to, to keep at it, [00:30:00]

[00:30:00] Coach Roz: Hey, Andrew, as we move into the. next segment here. You're probably aware with all of the Playmaker activities, we do some we do some pretty awesome camps and sports activities, and we're doing a great deal in the area of including kids with developmental differences.

Right. And so would you, would you talk for a few minutes and I'm gonna lead it a little bit talk to. A group of parents about encouraging their kids to to push the envelope a little bit. And you, you're amazing. There's a lot of people that starting with your mom that probably didn't want you to play football.

So the question is, or would you talk to kids and families about about including. And, and participating.

[00:30:52] Andrew: Yeah. I, I would love to do that. And you know, kind of going back to what I started with with my testimony you know, shortly after I was born the [00:31:00] doctors said that there might be some significant issues with me.

I had some, they tested me for down syndrome that came back negative. They tested me for, I think I had some low muscle tone. I think another thing was like left side paralysis or some muscle differentials between my left side and my right side. I ended up having some PR muscle tone issues and weakness in my ankles specifically and legs.

And so there's a lot of things early on where the doctor said, you know, you're probably not gonna play sports and, you know, you're um, you know, your, your physical ability is probably gonna be limited. And I think. You know, I think that for any parent that faces that with their children. I mean, not that I'm a, I'm not a parent, but that's gotta be something really scary, something that just strikes at, you know, your heart and your spirit in terms of wrestling with, okay.

How do I, as a parent, you know, try to provide the best life possible while recognizing. The challenges that kids face. And that goes kind of back to what we were [00:32:00] talking about, giving your 100%. I, I, I was blessed in that. I wa football actually the challenges and the work that I had to do in order I had to face in order to play football really ended up strengthening those weak muscles.

I was just talking with, with this, about my parents over Christmas break is, I don't know if I, if I had out played football. I don't necessarily know if I would've been physically how I would've, how that would've made me differently physically. So football really did for me chain dramatically change my life now.

You know, every, every context is different, right. But, and in what you're, you're differently able to do. But I think the idea that. To step beyond the comfort zone and to try to do some things, whether, whether it's to your child saying, I wanna try that. Or, or if it's you saying, I think this might be beneficial for my son or daughter [00:33:00] to do this.

I, you know, there's that initial feel fear or concern, or just wanting to keep the child safe, which I don't think my mom wanted to prevent me from doing something I wanted to do. She was just concerned for my wellbeing. And I think every parent has that she threatened being, I'm not surprised, but price , but yeah, she can, she can be, she can be intimidating when she needs to be, but but I think it's important getting back to what we were talking about in terms.

You know, buy in a phase in a series of phases, if you can get your child to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and accomplish something in that. I mean, I remember when I, I, I ran suicides for the first time and I was able to complete a full set, you know, without stopping, or I remember when in weightlifting, when I reached a new, personal goal, you know, and the feeling that I had.

I didn't even know it was possible for me to [00:34:00] lift weights or to do some of these things. And, you know, I'm not gonna lie. There were days where I couldn't do it. And there were days when it was really painful. there's there's days when it was pretty ugly, but at other times, you know, I look back on it and it was the, it was the challenge.

It was the hardship that I needed to go through in order to prepare my body for what was next. And, and sometimes. A lot of times, both on a spiritual level and on a, on a sports level, you know, you can't get to where you want to be without going through the hardship, without going through putting in the work.

You know, if you wanna win a championship, you don't just show up on Friday, Friday nights and play and win the game. Right. The game is one Monday through Thursday, you know, so.

[00:34:48] Phil: That is so good, Andrew, that, that is like gold, right? If you didn't, if you didn't catch what he, what he just talked about over the last four or five minutes, go back and rewind it because that [00:35:00] right there is so much of life.

And we'll talk about it more later, but dude, thank you for that. Just thank you for just what you're doing and for heating the call that you know is on your life and continuing to Really just, just push forward and to, to use all these amazing things, as you said I think you said embarrassment of riches you have had, and I, that alone, cuz some people that had the things that happened to you early on, would've just cashed it in and said, I guess I can't do a lot of things.

But instead, not only have you done those, but you're doing things to affect and to, and to just impact so many other lives. And I just, I just, I'm so encouraged by you, man. So I just wanna let you know that and keep at it, keep running the race, dude.

[00:35:46] Andrew: Yeah, and I would be lying if I said there weren't days where I wanted to do that.

fairly convinced that I wanted to cash it in, you know, but you have coaches and you have people that play that role. But I also had teammates. I have coach Oz NOSO well, I have a [00:36:00] friend named Matt cook that we met in eighth grade, right before we started playing high school football together. And I mean, I we've gone through things.

He's been another brother for me and, and teammates are like that. I still talk to my teammates from high school, you know, and still keep track with them. And, and it's something that football, but all sports kind of unite. You have a special bond with those people that you, you participate with that. I think is an underrated value of sports that nobody really talks about,

[00:36:31] Coach Roz: you know, as, as we're as we're wrapping up Phil, I, I just got a picture of, we need to have one of the episodes needs to be a follow up with with Andrew's mom and dad getting them on and, and just getting the parent perspective.

There there's a lot. There's like you said so much, we can mine here. Andrew, we've gotta get things are gonna get back to what we know and the normal you have I'm gonna, I'm gonna challenge you that we get play makers up to to your [00:37:00] field and to your kids. And and, and just continue to do more.

You're gonna have to be at our camp this summer. and and get your coaches gear on. And there's just much more to do you you know, how unbelievably proud I am of you.

[00:37:17] Andrew: Yep. Yep. And I feel the same way about you.

[00:37:19] Phil: well, thanks for being on Andrew. Thank you for who you are, what you're doing and yeah, just thanks again.

And I, I do look forward to getting you on again in the future, whether it's with your mom or dad, or just talking about more of the lessons that you can teach us and teach others that are, that are listening in. So thanks a lot.

[00:37:36] Andrew: I've loved being on. Thanks again, for the opportunity in any way, I can be a partner to what you guys are doing. I would hope to do so.

 Well, everyone, I hope that you enjoyed that conversation as much as I did, and I hope that you are now seeing why. Paul. And I thought it was a great idea to release these episodes of the coaching character podcast, this summer. it [00:38:00] just never ceases to amaze me all these people that most of us have never heard of that are doing these amazing things that have had lives that are incredible overcoming odds of lives that are impacting others because of the trials that they've had to face in their lives. So I hope that encourages you.

As you may be going through some trials, as you may be going through some issues as maybe you are a person who has been told you can't do something. So I just want to encourage you to, to take this. Conversation that I was able to have and Roz and I were able to have with Andrew and take his life as an example of someone who, you know, just because someone tells you can't do something.

You know, use that as motivation to go out there and do it. And then to be able to know that you can impact others lives with as lessons you learned, overcoming those odds. And so that's something that I definitely took away from this interview, as well as all the other great lessons that come out of it.

But I just want to also remind you folks that you can go, you know, we've talked about the last couple. Uh, episodes that we've been releasing these coaching [00:39:00] character episodes that coach Roz runs an organization called Playmakers in. They are doing some amazing stuff. You can find out all the information@theplaymakers.org. That link is at the show notes to this episode as well.

What we also talk about all the time is the work that Paul and Marcy Jobson are doing on the warrior way. That's at warrior way, soccer.com. You can check all that out and you can get involved with them. We also talk about the coaching, the bigger game program, coaching, the bigger game.com Christian DeVries, and I are working on that and we're helping people in leading themselves, leading their individual players and leading their teams.

We also do disc training as well on personality assessments. So these are all things that you can get involved with. If you want to, you can check all that out at the show notes. To this episode, we have all the links to all those things. So as always folks, I hope that you are taking everything that you're learning from [00:40:00] this show and you're using it to help you be a better leader, a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend.

And you're continually reminding yourself that soccer does explain. Life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great week