Alabama high school football coaches go viral for teaching life skills in inspirational 'Manly Monday' classes
An Alabama high school football coach was quite surprised when he became a viral sensation due to his videos of members of his school team learning how to change a tire. Athens High School's head football coach Cody Gross was in awe of how his videos of students learning basic life skills spread like wildfire on the internet.
Speaking about the inception of these life skills lessons, which he and assistant coach Steve Carter call the 'Manly Monday' classes, Coach Cody exclusively told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), "We wanted to be more intentional about reaching our players. We want to develop the whole person and not just the athlete. Instead of just talking about that and hoping they would 'catch' it, we wanted to be more intentional."
The videos on Cody's twitter handle show Steve's unorthodox training methods, where people can see how the assistant coach teaches players things like changing a tire, checking oil and transmission fluid and cutting PVC pipes with twine and string. According to Steve, it was Cody who initially came up with the idea for these classes.
Steve also gave a little insight into the head coach's initiative, saying: "Coach Gross is a super caring person who loves and wants the best for the kids as are all our coaches here at Athens High School. He's all about building character in his student-athletes and teaching them valuable life lessons. He's taught them many lessons about the importance of how to respond to and treat other people, etc."
He continued, "I'm kind of a handyman and I'm always working on the coaches and players cars, lawnmowers and whatever else needs fixing around the organization. Coach Gross thought it would be a great idea if I started teaching the kids and coaches some practical lessons on how to perform different tasks that many people never experience anymore."
Opening up on some of the basic skills that the coaching duo taught their team members, Steve recalled, "Coach Gross has taught [the students] how to address people by responding with yes ma'am / no ma'am or yes sir / no sir, and how to look a person in the eyes and give them a firm handshake when meeting them. How to always show respect for others, etc. We even showed them how to tie a necktie."
Steve also shared some of his crucial handyman skills with the students, as he says: "[Coach Gross] had me show [students] some general plumbing skills like how to cut PVC pipes with twine string when you can't use a saw, how to check all the lubricants and fluids on your automobile, how to change a flat tire, how to magnetize a screwdriver or piece of metal, as well as how to jump-start a car with a dead battery."
Steve spoke about a particularly memorable class he held with the football team before the occasion of Mother's Day. He taught the children "the importance of Mother's Day and how to treat women in their lives" during the course of the particular 'Manly Monday' class.
Steve said, "I have made jewelry for my wife and mother in the past so I showed them how to make a necklace for their mom. The lesson was not about making jewelry but how to be creative and do things for the people you love. Not just on Mother's Day but all the time."
Steve further opened up about why that particular class was one of the most special lessons he's taken for the school children. He admitted, "The Mother's Day lesson is the most special to me so far because I value the women (wife, daughters, mother, and sisters) in my life."
The assistant coach also admitted how very thankful he was to not only the high school faculty but the entire school system in the area. "The entire Athens City School system has been very supportive of Manly Monday Lessons," he said. "I've been in teaching/coaching for nearly 40 years at several different schools and this is one of, if not the best, places I've ever worked."
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