Setting an Example We Can All Cheer For

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has a knack for creating instant celebrities, and few have fit the mold quite so perfectly as Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 98-year-old nun who serves as the team chaplain for the Loyola-Chicago’s men’s basketball team.

Her joyfulness and holiness have captured the hearts of millions through TV, radio and social media feeds. But that’s not what makes Sister Jean outstanding.


Courtesy photo

No Coddle Zone

As charming and wonderful as she is, Sister Jean has zero tolerance for coddling. She is not afraid to give advice and encouragement to her players. In fact, she assists Head Coach Porter Moser by scouting upcoming opponents and comparing notes.

Back in 2011, she would send notes to Moser, who was just hired as head coach.

These types of notes would include statements like, “He’s a good kid, but a bit lazy”, “Number 23 can’t jump. Get him to stop skipping leg day in the weight room,” and “Tell William that he’ll never win with his attitude.”

As an avid basketball fan, Sister Jean always calls it as it is from her perspective.

With Loyola’s no coddling culture, this year’s Cinderella team, the Ramblers, is on its way to the Final Four to face the Michigan Wolverines in San Antonio, this weekend.

Sister Jean’s mantra is that since we are all special, no one really is. After every game, she sends emails to her players telling them what they did well and what to improve upon.

By providing fearless feedback and staying away from coddling, you too, can tackle each obstacle head on. Simply think like a Loyola-Chicago basketball player and develop the hunger to achieve more by working harder, smarter and faster.

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