Monday night, the Winner’s Manual speaker series continued with a visit from Tim Connolly. A personal friend of Coach Sean McNicholas, Mr. Connolly came to speak to the Foresters about the impact that they can have on the lives of those around them, and the amount of opportunity that they have been given.
Mr. Connolly’s talk brought tears to the eyes of several players as he touched upon issues that are relevant in their lives. Sophomore wide receiver Jesus Alvarez said, “He was the best speaker that I’ve ever heard. Every other speaker that we’ve ever had talked about success in sports and in life. Mr. Connolly focused on values, and the importance of the people in his life. He said that we should be grateful for what we have and who has helped us. It really hit me when he said this because I talk to my mom and grandma every day, but it made me think about the people that I hadn’t thought to thank.”
When I sat down to talk with Coach McNicholas about the impact of Mr. Connolly’s presence, he said, “I think there were messages that he delivered to them that were, in some cases, very relevant to their own situations, whether it had to do with family or the privilege of going to a college such as Lake Forest. He made our players think about what hard work can provide in terms of better opportunities.”
Senior Max Koenen was deeply moved by what Mr. Connolly had to say. I asked him how Mr. Connolly had changed his outlook on life and he said, “Mr. Connolly made me think about the future and how to be a better person. He showed me that the things that I am doing now aren’t the most important things in life. They may seem important now, but they aren’t the most important.”
Safety Dylan Fout ’14 was personally invested in what Mr. Connolly had to say. After playing for Mr. Connolly’s basketball team last summer, Dylan already had an understanding of the impact that Tim makes on the lives of those around him. When asked how Mr. Connolly had impacted his life, Dylan said, “He was my basketball coach for the summer. That summer, I was getting into a lot of trouble and he changed me. He once bought me proper basketball shoes that I couldn’t afford. It really meant a lot to me. He has been the person in my life that I can go to with anything.”
It’s safe to say that Mr. Connolly left a lasting impression on the Foresters. Coach Cat’s intent in bringing the Winner’s Manual program to Lake Forest College is clearly being accomplished—the Foresters are thinking about much more than just what is happening on Farwell Field.
--Elise Beckman, contributing author