In her book, Perfect 10 with Bill Donaldson, Coach Yoculan wrote about her: "Fifteen Points of Pride for a Winning Program". Coach Yoculan described Points of Pride for mentoring and being a role model as follows:
"Community: Contributing more than a fair share to the communities of UGA, Athens, and Georgia is essential to be a Georgia Gym Dog. Participating in car washes to raise money, assisting Habitat for Humanity and similar activities are contributions to the community and we do them, but these are things any student can do.
Finding an activity that takes advantage of unique characteristics of athletes can be more meaningful. Young girls consider college gymnasts celebrities. Interaction between gymnasts and young girls, especially troubled or underprivileged young girls, can have a profound positive influence on the youngsters.
The Gym Dogs participate in the Athens-Clarke County Mentoring program, in which they are paired with young girls who need help in developing self-esteem or who need to know that someone who is highly regarded takes a special interest in them. The program is rewarding to both parties in the pair, providing opportunities to interact with young girls in a manner not normally available to gymnasts who have been so busy training prior to college.
Image: Coaches and gymnasts are role models for thousands of youngsters. Always keep this responsibility in mind and live up to it. Being a positive role model is essential in the mentoring program, and because of their popularity, college gymnasts are almost constantly under the microscope of public scrutiny. Accepting the responsibility for setting proper examples is a maturing experience."
In addition to both having won 10 National Championships, Coach Wooden, like Coach Yoculan made clear in his annual letter to the team what he expected out of them as role models:
"Remember that you represent others who are responsible for you as well as yourself and your personal appearance and conduct should not reflect discredit in any way upon yourself or upon those whom you represent. Cleanliness, neatness of appearance, and good manners are qualities that should be characteristic of those who are of great influence on young people and you certainly qualify for that category. Be a good example."
We all in some way can provide a good model to our youth each day.
Who will you influence today? How?