Athens High School football coaches Cody Gross and Steve Carter are taking masculinity to the next level — by teaching his players real life skills during special events called “Manly Mondays.”
What are the details?
The Alabama coaches gather up their players every Monday to teach them skills the boys might not learn anywhere else.
Lessons include such things as learning to change a tire, tie a tie, magnetize a screwdriver, check oil and transmission fluids in a vehicle, and even make jewelry for that special lady in a young man’s life.
Gross and Carter kicked off “Manly Mondays” six weeks ago, according to AL.com, and the two kick off Monday practices with life lessons for the kids on the team.
“We taught [the players] how to look a man in the eye and give a good, firm handshake,” Gross said. “And they couldn’t leave the locker room until they did that.”
“The big thing is, as coaches, we can have a big impact on young men,” Gross said. “That’s why I do what I do. When [last] season ended, I felt the need to be more intentional about some things we do. We try to model the behaviors we expect.”
Gross began posting videos of himself and Carter teaching the players real life skills, and the videos eventually went viral. One video in particular raked in more than 4 million views.
According to AL.com, Barstool Sports picked up the video, and former Saints player Reggie Bush even remarked on the team’s practices.
“Our players were pretty pumped,” Gross said of their coaches’ internet fame. “They are fired up about it.”
Gross said that the players enjoy Carter’s lessons so much that they “clap for him.”
“It’s really weird,” he joked. “It’s like [Carter] is putting on a show for them. You can see in the video some of the players’ mouths are open, like, ‘Wow, how did he do that?'”
Carter told the outlet that it was Gross’ idea.
“I have always been mechanically inclined, jack-of-all-trades kind of guy,” he admitted. “I enjoy doing stuff like that. A lot of kids these days don’t have father figures. They don’t have people to show them things. I was blessed with a father that showed me how to do a lot of stuff.”
“Coach Carter’s amazing,” Gross gushed. “He can do anything, literally. He is a mechanic. He can build a house. He’s a plumber. You name it. He can do it.”
Carter even helped the young men make Mother’s Day jewelry for their moms.
“Mother’s Day is coming up. This is about how you treat women, how you treat your mother, how you treat your wife,” Carter said. “You don’t have to make jewelry. You can do other things for them. Women love when you are creative. … Learn to treat the women in your life – your wife, your mother — with respect and do things for them.”
“We’re trying to teach them life lessons,” Carter continued. “It’s not just about coaching football. Any sport teaches you about life, but I don’t think any sport teaches you the hard knocks of life more than football. You get knocked down. You get back up. It’s a great lesson, but there is more to it than the winning and losing and coaching a kid how to play football.”