Skip Poole Represents AFA in Opole, Poland

Wykład otwarty MEDIA DAY Kenneth ‘Skip’ Poole (AFA Hall of Fame Class 2013) "My way of life - no limitations allowed".


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It has been a wonderful stay in Opole, Poland for Pam and myself. These young men are so hungry for instruction and guidance. They do not offer up excuses when things go wrong; they simply pick themselves up and continue on until they get it right. There is no interjection of negativity when they do not understand something; they simply keep studying and learning until it all clicks for them. They do not point fingers and blame others; they rally around their teammates and offer up encouragement. There is no division amongst them; they realize and promote a united front. 

I want the world to know that football is alive and very healthy in Opole, Poland. I wish to thank the honorable Dave Burch and the American Football Association for recognizing the Opole Wolverines, as they strive to establish their rightful place in the PLFA (Polish League Football of America) upper echelon. Our preseason training took these young men to the next level because of their unquenchable desire to be the best that they possibly can be. 

These young men remind me of what football used to stand for; when it was not polluted with the individualistic attitudes or even diluted by the lackadaisical preparations due to self indulgence. Yes, these young men are a true throwback to yesterday, when football was an honorable game played by a united group. We could all learn a thing or two about the integrity of the game from the Opole Wolverines. 

This was my third trip to Poland as a football coach and it has proved to be a very exciting time in our lives. There is nothing like Opole and its inhabitants; our hearts will never leave the city nor the population. As you can clearly see from some of the photographs, I am attired with my most prized possession; my American Football Association Hall of Fame jacket It was not worn as an endorsement of my accomplishments, but as an endorsement of the greatest organization who recognizes those of us who live in the game of football. No greater honor could possibly be bestowed upon these young men who do just that. For them this honorary membership into the American Football Association means more than you can possibly realize. They feel as though they have been noticed and have received the approval of a viable and well structured football organization; which they certainly have, thanks to the honorable Dave Burch. 

Let me tell you about my boys in Opole, Poland. We had been working together via Skype prior to my arrival and shortly after getting settled in, we began training in earnest. I worked them hard and they responded; I put it in another gear and they never lagged behind; I gave them both barrels and they excelled without any dissension - they were certainly up to the task. All of those who have played under my guidance know that I am a faithful subscriber to the late Coach Shug Jordan's 7 D's philosophy. It is very rare to have a team that can honestly boast of their adherence to this type of philosophy, but when you do find that team - you have found a winner. I am here to tell you that I have definitely found that team. They have:
Desire - the ability to want something bad enough to actually fight for;
Discipline - the ability to learn and work within the unit;
Dedication - the ability to put the team before oneself;
Determination - the ability to fight for every inch of ground that can be gained;
Dependability - the ability to be accountable to one another;
Desperation - the ability to fight with all that you've got...and then some;
Damn it Anyway - the ability to 'pin your ears back' and get it done, no matter what the circumstance.
Yes indeed, my boys from Opole have an active subscription to the 7 D's and they will not settle for anything less than their best effort. That is exactly what it takes to be a Champion. 
It is my decision to retire with the Wolverines; I just cannot tell you when that will be. That decision is based upon my belief that once you have coached the best - there is no reason to settle for anything less. My great enthusiasm for my boys is real and unwavering. They are, without a doubt, a part of me and I could not possibly be more proud, than I am of them. This organization is built on a solid foundation which is formed by a front office comprised of some quite extraordinary individuals (Adam, Drag, Dominik and Michael). Of course the city of Opole embraces these young warriors and strive to lend a helping hand to aid them in their endeavors to create a lasting legacy. The team itself consists of the finest young men that I have ever had the honor to coach and they did not just hear me, but they listened intently to what I had to offer. They have size, they have speed, they certainly have strength, but more than anything else, they have heart. I learned a long time ago that if you truly want to coach a football team, you better know and understand the participants and you best care for them. No one will listen to you if they feel that you do not care about them. I can honestly say that I do care about my players and I can honestly say that I love the Wolverines; each and every one of them.

The city of Opole and its inhabitants are second to none and they are genuinely sincere in their appreciation of Pam and me. Whether giving a lecture at the University or being interviewed by the media or speaking with the Mayor and City Council, I received the utmost respect and an honestly opened ear. No interruption, no blank expressions and no stoic announcements; just pure and genuine interest in the topic. Yes, these people and their wonderful city are what all dreams are made of. One of the greatest tools that I had regarding leverage concerning the support of the community to the Wolverines was the American Football Association. Knowing that the AFA recognized the Opole Wolverines added validity to my spoken words and those who were listening took notice. 

I would like to end this communication by saying that my time with the Wolverines, spent in the wonderful city of Opole, were the greatest moments of my life. My aspirations have truly been realized and my heart has been filled with the love of my boys and the inhabitants of Opole, Poland.


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