From 1987 through to 2012 I have been involved with the Warriors football program at Grande Prairie Composite High School, from 1991 through to the end of the 2011 season I was the head coach. Over that period of time I developed and tried to share with players the concept of “The Way of the Warrior”.
It is not about football, or developing great football players. Long ago the ideas and ideals behind the Way of the Warrior stopped being about football, at least exclusively, and carried over to thoughts about being the best husband, father, (wife, mother) employer, employee, and yes player or coach a young man or young woman could be. This is not to suggest that a pee wee player working to be a better bantam player, bantam to high school, high school to junior and university and university to professional football player is not a worthy goal or objective, it’s just that there is so much more for so much longer that can be taken away from pondering the Way of the Warrior as a football player and as a person.
The Way of a Warrior is based on humanity, love, and sincerity; the heart of martial valor is true bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship. Emphasis on the physical aspects of warriorship is futile, for the power of the body is always limited.
Ueshiba Morihei, The Art Of Peace
Warriors and a personal Hall of Fame.
As part of my Way of the Warrior discussion and aligned with an earlier post about picking your giants and developing your own personal Hall of Fame I like to explore some of the people past and present that I would include in my Hall of Fame and who in some way embody some of the principles of the Way of the Warrior. I note that anyone can find the flaws, and some of those flaws are instructive themselves, yet too often I fear we throw out the good in a mistaken focus upon that which is less praiseworthy rather than learning and moving forward.
To that end in my blog section I will be posting individuals who I think embody some aspect of what it might be to be a personal warrior. In doing so I do not suggest that they are perfect, the membership in that club is extremely small, however I believe we can draw upon their experiences and actions to add to our own lives and continue to learn and improve as individuals. Biographies are instructive both in what we learn to admire and take into our lives and what we learn to avoid or reject in order that we might not repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before. The Warrior seeks that which is “of good report or praiseworthy” see Article of Faith 13 or Philippians 4:8. Much of that which we seek is found in the lives of those around us…look for it and learn.