STAB football coach uses poetry to motivate his players

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Since 1998, St. Anne's Belfield's head football coach, John Blake, has read his players a poem called "The Man in the Glass" by Dale Wimbrow before each football game.

"When I was hired here, the headmaster told me to make sure that I try to make better men, make boys men," said Blake. "It’s all about being the best person you can be. Are you going to give everything you got in everything that you do?"

Those words in the poem speak to senior linebacker, Joe Ambrosi.

As a freshman, he did not realize the poem would have such a huge impact on him, and he hopes the meaning of the poem carries over to the next crop of players after he graduates.

"It's remembering that if you don't give all you got, you're going to be more disappointed in yourself," said Ambrosi. "Heck, you don't care what I think; it’s all about you on the inside."

Ambrosi said he will carry the words from that poem with him as he transitions into the next phase of his life.

"This poem and Coach Blake has taught me to be the best husband, the best father, the best player I can be and I can take that tool onto the next level and be the best player I can be and the best man I can be," said Ambrosi.

While Blake holds his players accountable on the field, the poem holds him accountable to make sure he is doing his job.

"It's not just for them, it’s a message for me," said Blake. "At the end of tonight, I just want to make sure that today, I was a good person and did everything I could to do everything right and try hard and be the best person I can."

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