SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In sports, everyone wants to win of course, but in the game of life, it’s your character that really counts.
That’s one of the many messages a former basketball coach is spreading to young athletes all across the Midwest.
For 25 years, former basketball coach Tim Weidenbach called the gymnasium his second home, but he began to realize he had a much higher calling.
“Higher Power Sports is a non profit I started about six years ago,” Weidenbach said.
Weidenbach says his non-profit ‘Higher Power Sports’ is an opportunity for him to speak to young athletes all over the Midwest on various topics.
“When I started it was just character coaching where I would go into area high schools and college athletic programs and talk about team work and leadership and things like that,” Weidenbach said.
But Higher Power Sports has evolved into something so much more.
“I go into schools now and I do a ‘be kind message’ where I talk about the golden rule, basically treat others the way you’d like to be treated,” Weidenbach said.
He also speaks to a lot of driver’s education classes on distracted driving.
It’s a topic that hits home personally for him.
“I talk about an incident where my cousin was killed in an accident caused by a distracted driver, she was riding her bicycle over by a family farm over by Hills, Minnesota and I’ve given that talk over 400 times even now it’s emotional to talk about,” Weidenbach said.
Emotions that are sometimes shared by his audience.
That’s why he’s enlisted the help of a friend, man’s best friend.
Meet Remi. She’s a one year old golden retriever. Weidenbach says she comes in handy during some of his talks, especially the difficult ones.
“It’ll be a buffer after my emotional distracted driving talks that kids can kind of decompress and pet Remi, or I do a lot of mentoring with kids who are going through difficult times and when I do those mentoring sessions it’s nice to have Remi come and be a… Hopefully not running around like this,” Weidenbach said.
Obviously Remi is still in training, just like her vest says, but she along with Weidenbach’s message, are impacting young lives at no charge.
“Tim does not charge, everything he does is based off of donations, so whatever school he goes to, driver’s ed program, college or university there is no fee,” Higher Power Sports board member Mike Neufeld said.
Weidenbach speaks about 200 times a year, and that can get costly when you’re traveling thousands of miles.
“Some people go overseas for missions, I think he views this as his mission,” Neufeld said.
A mission with powerful messages that scores big points with young athletes all across the Midwest.
“Sports has been a very important part of my life, I’m here because what I believe is my higher power to go out an serve others,” Weidenbach said.
If you’d like to donate to help him continue his mission, click here