My boys are not avid readers, nor are they avid students. They like football, technology, their cell phones, video games, and girls; (the order depends on the day). Nevertheless, I will not give up. Every night, we have thirty minutes of family reading time (ok, I admit this moving thing has kind of thrown a wrench in the works). I buy way, way, way too many books and graphic novels and magazines hoping to find the one that will turn my guys into readers. I carefully position the newspaper, interesting photo up every morning, hoping that it will catch their attention.
This week, I bought a book I think middle and high school teachers should know about. Karl Mecklenberg was a Denver Bronco for 12 years. He played with John Elway. He was defensive player of the week/year, all conference, and all pro. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for more than 25 years. He has remained active in Denver charities since his retirement.
In the HEART OF A STUDENT ATHLETE, Mecklenberg identifies six qualities- teamwork, courage, honesty and forgiveness, dedication, desire and goal setting. Each chapter focuses on one of these traits. Mecklenberg shares lots of stories about his life on and off the field. He talks about game winning tackles, but he also talks about adversity- having to run a million hills for missing a makeup game in middle school, blowing out his knee after he made the starting lineup at the University of Minnesota, and being shot by a good friend on a hunting trip.
HEART OF A STUDENT ATHLETE is a book my boys might read. It's about football. The voice sounds like lots of the coaches my boys have played for. There are lots of stories. It's broken into short sections that could be read in any order. There are color photographs.
HEART OF A STUDENT ATHLETE is a book I would want in my classroom, if I was a middle or high school teacher. It's a book that guys like mine might actually pick up and read.