Real Men Feel: Episode 59, The Good Athlete Project with Jim Davis

May 10, 2017

Real Men Feel - Good Athlete Project

The Good Athlete Project with Jim Davis Episode 59, May 9, 2017

This week on Real Men Feel, Appio Hunter is joined by Jim Davis, founder of The Good Athlete Project, to discuss the power of using sports in character and leadership development.

Jim Davis is a high school staff and student wellness director in Illinois as well as being an athlete, artist, poet, writer and founder of The Good Athlete Project. Jim is passionate about athletics and the arts and shatters so many stereotypes about being a “jock.” Jim doesn’t subscribe to any stereotypes, be it jock, artist, man or anything. Stereotypes, at the most basic level, are lazy thinking. At their worst level they are hateful and dangerous.

Jim explores the metaphor of an anchor and tether. What anchors someone is their absolute belief in an area of life and how much wiggle room there is. If we find out we’re wrong, we need to be willing and able to pick up and move our anchor.

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Jim also shares his path to bringing the Good Athlete Project into the world. As an athlete he did his best to influence and be good for his teammates. Then he pursed that positive influence as a coach, and then expanded that to coach other coaches to meet the needs of more students, and now scaling that model even further espousing character, culture, equity and service.

“Competing is showing off all the good work you’ve done.” ~ Jim Davis

The Good Athlete Project is an international, sports-based, non-profit focused on outreach, leadership training and research. The goal is maximizing athletics as an educational platform. Sports gone wrong is something that fuels Jim. The notion of “locker room” talk and similar poor outcomes of athletics. Sports has the power of momentum, and the Good Athlete Project wants to get in front of stigma inducing behavior.

Being tough does not mean talking tough or degrading women. We made up what “tough” looks like and we can remake it. Ideally there is no barrier to how much we can care about each other.

“If you are part of a team, you should never feel like there is no one to talk to.”~ Jim Davis

The interview wraps up with an interesting discussion on concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).


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