One of the goals that Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin set out for himself was not only to be successful in his field, but also in life, and to be a positive influence with his players and the broader communities that he touches with his influence.
He and his wife have tackled a number of issues over the years, but one that has always been close to his heart has been the issue of children growing up without fathers, particularly in urban areas. He experienced that himself during his youth, and so he tries to use his position to make an impact for others in that area.
That is what his ManUp Pittsburgh project is about, which has been around for most of his time with the Steelers. They will be holding an event tomorrow at Victory Family Church in Cranberry.
“To be the best husbands and dads we can be, not only for our kids but for the kids in our proximity whether it be the kids in our neighborhood or the kids in our larger community”, Tomlin said. “As I got older I realized the blessings I had in terms of surrogate fathers, my stepfather, youth coaches, guys in the community, high school coaches … That’s one of the reasons I was attracted to sports. That mentorship, the way those guys live their lives and the examples they presented me”.
The 13th-year head coach has frequently talked over that time about his belief that his role extends beyond the practice field and the sidelines of NFL stadiums, and that he can use his platform to do good, and to influence others to do good as well.
The ManUp project consists of a conference in which over 1000 people typically in attendance. “ManUp encourages and teaches men to be godly leaders for their families, and raises awareness of the detrimental impact of fatherlessness among youth today”, the event page reads. “Prominent local pastors join the mission each year to lead breakouts, including sessions specifically targeted toward young adults, coaches, veterans, fathers, and husbands”.
“You have those opportunities, formal and informal to exchange, to mentor, to help people grow”, Tomlin said, “not only professionally in terms of the football but we have a larger mission also to help these guys grow as men and realize the blessings they have and the impact they are capable of having”.
Players all across the league, as well as coaches, have charities and causes that they champion, but they go far less publicized than do their accomplishments on the field, or their errors in judgement off of it. sometimes it’s worth shining a light o the good that they do in the communities in which they live and work.