When Sean McDermott took over as head coach of the Buffalo Bills, most observers believed he would make an immediate impact at One Bills Drive. On Tuesday some lucky softball players and coaches found out that McDermott plans on extending his positive influence in the surrounding neighborhoods as well.
According to McDermott, the key to building a winner is to take care of the community that supports it.
“We win together,” McDermott said. “The entire Bills organization is a lot bigger then what’s on the football field. Doing things right by having our coaches and the players being active in the community is where it all starts.”
McDermott was out practicing what he’s preached Tuesday afternoon in the Town of Tonawanda at the Kenmore West Softball Camp. He gave an inspiring pep talk for those in attendance.
The Bills head coach had three lessons for the campers; be a good student and person, follow your dreams with hard work, and to be mentally tough.
Just like his opening press conference with the Bills, McDermott addressed the importance of character to the girls ranging from ages 7-16 years old.
One of the campers defined character as “the way you act when no one is watching you.”
The head coach agreed and told the group that in order for anybody to win on the field they must win off the field first.
“Regardless of what you want to be, it’s important that you have good grades and you are a good person,” McDermott said.
McDermott also encouraged the athletes to follow their dreams whether they wanted to be great softball players, musicians or great writers. But he warned them they had to work for those dreams.
“Follow your dreams with hard work,” McDermott said.
He went on to tell the group how he wanted to be an NFL player growing up, but he wasn’t a good enough athlete. He deciding he was going to be a coach.
McDermott started his career as a graduate assistant coach at William & Mary in 1998 and through the years worked his way up to the head coaching ranks.
But there was a bump in the road.
McDermott went through some adversity when he was fired as defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.
That’s why you need mental toughness.
“I was told by them that I wasn’t good enough,” McDermott said. “That’s okay but mental toughness means believing in God and yourself. I never gave up on my dream on becoming a head coach in the NFL.”
Softball is the McDermott family’s second favorite sport. The coach’s young daughter participated at the camp. They came all the way from Orchard Park to take part.
“We’re passionate about softball. Our daughter loves to play the game,” McDermott said afterwards. “It’s good to learn from different coaches across the region. We know the program and they have strong coaching. It’s great to be a part of it.”
The McDermott family has only been in Buffalo for a few months but they already feel right at home. The head coach looks forward to furthering his impact on the community.
“It’s been a good transition. We’ve found the people here to be authentically good people and passionate about their teams. The weather has been a bit of an adjustment but we’re adjusting to it.” McDermott said. “We’re looking forward to embedding into the community.”