June 23, 2005
Senior fullback James Coleman, a Tallahassee Florida High product, and redshirt freshman Rodney Gallon, who attended Tallahassee Lincoln, may have once been rivals on the football field, but now they are now teammates at Florida State. The duo took some time this week to talk to local kids at a summer camp at Florida High. The focus of the talk was the importance of being good students and sportsmanship. The youngsters, who ranged in age from five- to 13-years-old, listened attentively as Coleman and Gallon talked about growing up in Tallahassee and striving for their dreams.
Coleman really got the attention of the kids when he asked, “How many people have ever dreamt about being a loser?” He followed that question with, “How many have ever dreamt about being the best in everything they do?”
“The only way you can achieve your goals is by listening to other people and respecting everybody that is around you,” Coleman said. “The only way that I was able to get to the level that I am at right now was to listen to my coaches who told me to do things that were contrary to what I felt like doing or my teachers who really told me to do things I didn’t really want to do like homework or being quiet in class. The fact is, if I didn’t listen to the advice my teachers gave me, I would have been a loser, rather than a winner. It’s good to have dreams, but you have to have action for those dreams to come true.”
Coleman also talked about sportsmanship and teamwork.
“You can be really, really great by yourself,” Coleman said, “but that’s exactly where you are going to be at the end, by yourself. It’s a lot easier to achieve success by involving people and making other people around you greater. You can do that by respecting others, keeping your hands and your feet to yourself, uplifting people with encouraging words, not talking down to people and really just helping out your fellow brother, sister, friend or teammate. Not only will that help build their self-esteem, but it will help build their view of you, which will in turn help build up your self-esteem.”
The kids asked all kinds of questions. Some were simple like the player’s position and year in school. Others went a bit deeper.
“For me, I was real active in everything,” Gallon said when asked what kind of dreams he had growing up. “I was always in the middle of the action. I always played a lot of sports. Really, my dream was to be in the NBA, but every time I played basketball, I fouled out so I could play more if I played football. My dream was always to be a success as far as sports.”
After all of the questions were answered, the kids took a group photo with Coleman and Gallon and had the chance to talk to them one-on-one.