“You want to know why we have become the program we have, let me tell you about the heart of a leader and the spirit of a team. Let me tell you about the greatest teammate I have ever played with or had the honor to coach. Let me tell you about George.” Jeff Tambroni (from Jon Gordon’s “The Hard Hat”)
Mario St. George Boiardi, known as George to his friends and teammates, was a quiet leader who modeled behavior that made his teammates want to follow him. George had a work ethic that defied so much of what we see today, working past earning it, working because he believed it was the right thing to do even if he already had the starting position or goal he was after. His push at practice and games elevated the team around him to be better. His leadership came from reaching out and encouraging, pushing, leading the way and showing how to get it done and by being the hardest worker and sweatiest most exhausted player after every task. Boiardi didn’t tell you how get better, he showed you and made you want to excel.
In Jon Gordon’s most recent book, The Hard Hat, you can read the incredible story of how this young collegiate lacrosse player impacted a team, imprinted on a lacrosse program forever, and how we can all learn about becoming a better teammate, and a better person. You can read about what his teammates thought of him, his coaches, and his family. You can feel his passion and his drive and it will motivate you to reignite your own drive and passion.
What we can’t do is interview George, because after being hit in the chest in a lacrosse game with a lacrosse ball, he suffered from Commotio cordis and after being transported to the hospital in an ambulance, the team learned of his passing.
His family, his teammates, and all those who have been impacted by this condition during sports know just how important that AED (automatic external defibrillator) on the side line of games and practices really is.
Some programs hesitate to spend the money on what can seem like an excessive piece of equipment for a rare condition in an already stretched too tight budget. But what if George was one of the kids in your program, what if you had the chance to save him in that small window only a few minutes long where a shock to the heart is the only shot at revival?
US Lacrosse and the alliance with Cardiac Science, a leading manufactural of AED’s, gives US Lacrosse members and programs the access to highly discounted pricing on the AED and resources for managing an AED program.
Organizations can receive grants lowering the price to $700 during the 2 month window while grant applications are being accepted. (March 1 through May 1 annually)
Immediate AED needs can also be met at discounted pricing at $1250
AED training is available in most places through community programs, but they are also very user friendly. The AED talks you through the steps, has picture diagrams and won’t shock unless it detects the need for it. The hardest part about AED’s are remembering to have them within reach, they are most effective when the shock is delivered in the first 5 minutes after collapse, which means there really isn’t time to hunt the school hallways to find one.
Mario St. George Boiardi left a legacy behind him, in his short time at Cornell he impacted an entire program. Through his story he can inspire and challenge the growth of greatness in our lacrosse community, and through his passing – he can continue to save lives as well.
All of the author royalty proceeds from the sale of The Hard Hat: 21 ways to become a great teammate by Jon Gordon will go to the BoiardiFoundation.org Boiardi Foundation
Info about George Boiardi was adapted from Jon Gordon’s The Hard Hat: 21 ways to be a great teammate.
AED Grant info was found at http://www.uslacrosse.org/resources/programs-grants/aed-grant-program.aspx and should be confirmed through US Lacrosse directly