I recently reviewed Tony Lotti's book "Fourth Down and Long". After a few weeks, we finally found a time in our busy schedules to talk on the phone. Tony is the person in the book. He is a very open person about his views on football and life. He has a passion for football, but more for the people he coaches. So what did we talk about?
Tony actually coached against my husband's team (at the time), Lumpkin County. It was a playoff game he discusses in the book. Of course, we talked about that team and other coaches we happen to know.
Since I have a lot of moms ask about whether they should allow their children to play football, I wanted to make sure I asked. So I asked Tony, "What are some reasons to let a child play football?" Coach Lotti's answers were that in life you face adversity and in football you learn how to deal with it without quitting. It teaches hard work as well as team work. He refers to the team as his family. He believes football teaches to set personal goals and team goals which will be important long after the game is over.
I asked Coach Lotti "What is the one thing you hope that your players learn during their time with you?" He didn't hesitate to even think about the answer. As a coach, Tony hopes that players take at least one important thing from their time with him, that they are more important to him as a person than as a player. He values them off the field because of who they are, not just what they can do for him on the field.
So what are his goals? He is thinking of writing another book. It will be about Nick and Eddie; both are football players who played for him. Nick is playing college football. Eddie was killed in a car accident. He wants to let the world know their stories. Tony strongly believes that everyone who wants to play football should. So he is also starting a flag football program for special education students at his school.
I had a nice time getting to know Tony. We talked for a while and then we both realized it was time for weight training and we had to go. But if you want to talk to Tony Lotti or have him speak at your next meeting, check out his website.
I look forward to reviewing his next book.