June 29, 2012 — Taking the time to make a difference is sometimes all it takes to do so.
Team Focus Camp is a concept that began with a set of numbers recognized by its founder.
“Those numbers are a date, April 3, 1956, the day my father died. I was 11 years old. My whole life changed. We were three boys and a mother looking at each other after the funeral and wondering where we go from here,” said former Morehead State quarterback and ESPN football analyst Mike Gottfried.
The Team Focus vision is to provide a program that gives young men without a father figure the opportunity to spend time with role models and positive influences that affirm the young man in order to build character and create an environment that fosters self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
Recently, former MSU Football Coach and current Director of the Team Focus Lexington Chapter gathered kids from Morehead and surrounding areas to head down to Georgetown for a few days of needed guidance towards becoming a better man.
Along with Kentucky Team Focu Advisory Board member/local business owner Darrell Littleton, Rowan County Football Asst. Coach Scott Tipton and Mike Adams, Baldridge was able to give several young men from the Rowan County area some time to experience a little Team Focus.
From learning how to handle oneself during an interview, to the basic requirements of being a gentleman, such as using proper table manners, there were a variety of benefits to be taken away from the three-day camp.
Baldridge talked about the impact this camp and program can have on young men’s lives.
“I am very proud to be apart of this,” Baldridge said. “This program really makes a big difference in these kid’s lives, and we feel it really does help them to become better young men.”
Paid a visit on Father’s Day by none other than Heach Coach for the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats John Calipari, camp attendees witnessed the caring side of one of sports most recognized coaches.
Camp attendee and Viking football player Cody Shropshire, who won the Camper of the Week award, said it was a memorable experience to meet Coach Cal.
“Well having all the older men around and seeing what all of them had done with their lives really inspired me to be all that I can be,” Shropshire said. “You know for such a big star Coach Calipari was really down to earth and I think that’s what helped get him so far. He was a team player who aimed to make his team better and not just to benefit his personal career or job.”
Tipton and Littleton noted how their own lives were impacted by the joy of helping to fill a missing void for the boys.
“It’s something I really can’t describe to you, you just had to be there to experience it,” Littleton said. “The good feelings going around the camp were unbelievable. These boys were excited to receive a bit of guidance, and for us, the chance to make a difference in their lives is unbelievably fulfilling thing.”
Tipton agreed with his colleague and fellow camp advisor.
“He’s right. Just knowing that we can help to be apart of the healing process for some of these kids is what’s important,” Tipton said. “These are good boys, boys who just need someone there to provide the attention they need. I’m happy to be able to contribute.”
Having taken place annually since 2000, Gottfried’s Team Focus has no doubt made strides in making a difference for its yearly participants.
Shropshire closed by thanking several of his mentors, including its founder, Gottfried.
“I’d really like to thank Darrell Littleton, and Scott Tipton, two great men who love God. Without them I wouldn’t have even known about Team Focus,” Shropshire said. “I’d like to thank Mike Gottfried for founding Team Focus, its really helped me cope without my father and I’m sure its helped thousands of other young men around the world too. And I can’t forget God. I want to thank him for bringing me these fine men who have put me on the right path to greatness; without them I don’t know where I’d be.”
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.