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Hall of Fame: John Carrido (Estancia)

July 23, 2001

Richard Dunn

John Carrido was never blessed with tremendous height, but he's a

giant among men.

A former Mr. California bodybuilder, Carrido, who also achieved a

level of greatness in basketball and golf with a frame of 5-foot-4, is

changing the world again.

First, Carrido introduced groundbreaking material in "The Fitness

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Approach to Power Golf," a popular book and video since 1996.

Now, as coach of his 8-year-old daughter's soccer team, Carrido is

trying to make the world a better place.

The Luke Davis-coached Carrido, an All-CIF Southern Section basketball

guard for Estancia High and a contributing member of Orange Coast

College's 1979 state championship team under Coach Tandy Gillis, has seen

the television news footage of parents fighting at youth sporting events,

and, as he should be, is appalled.

Further, in Carrido's line of work, bodies are a temple and should be

treated as such. Instead of treats and goodies, he rewards the AYSO kids

with trophies and praise.

"Are you kidding me? When I busted my butt for hours and hours and

hours in the gym (as a bodybuilder), that's what motivated me," said

Carrido, a former Mr. California and Mr. Orange County, and, in 1986, a

Mr. America top-three finalist.

As a third sport, Carrido became a 6-handicap golfer in less than

three years -- showing how proper fitness and stretching can increase

one's length off the tee and overall game.

But, for Carrido, who conducts training and educational programs for

major corporations, helping each member of his daughter Kelsey's soccer

team understand certain principles in life are most important than any

bodybuilding title or basketball championship or hole-in-one.

"I ask them, 'Who wants to be Best Offensive Player? And who wants to

be Best Defensive Player?' And they all shout, 'Oh, me, me, me!' So I

tell them they have to listen, hustle, play as a team and not bicker and

praise even the opposing team's players," the enthusiastic Carrido said.

"Even players on the other team get awards. (The players) all get one.

The parents go bananas. They ask, 'How do you do it?"'

Instead of a cookie, it's praise. Instead of a chocolate bar, it's a

hug. Food-reward association is trouble, Carrido believes.

"Parents don't reward them by hugging and kissing us, but they reward

us by feeding us, like we're some damn whale at Sea World," he said.

Carrido, the oldest of 14 kids produced by his father, the late Lewis

Callejo, helped raise eight siblings, then five more half brothers and

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