Back in the 8th Grade

                                 How many of you would love to have a chance to go back to the 8th grade?

    I got that chance today by shadowing my son through his school schedule. I must say it is a bit different now than it  was when I was in the 8th grade. 

  • The lunches seem to be the same unidentifiable substances but edible.
  • The class subjects did seem more interesting as an adult than I remember.
  • I found that my Algebra & History skills still are in good shape.

  What I found interesting was the timidity of the students at this age. In some classes, students seemed very reluctant to give an answer or speak up when giving an answer.  I could hardly hear what they were saying and I was not at the front of the class room. As a 13-year-old, I guess I may have done the same, I don’t recall.  I also watched the students and realized how lucky these kids are at this point in their life. Not really having any BIG worries in  their life. No Mortgage, No bills, their biggest worry may be getting an assignment done, whether someone may like you or not or when class would be over.  Perhaps we can affirm confidence in our future youth to be confident in answering, whether right or wrong, we are learning and we can be confident in that. 

  I also got the chance to see how our teachers are preparing the future leaders of our society. Guess what, they seem to be doing a pretty good job, at least at my son’s school. They aren’t coddling them, yet they prepare them to step up to challenges. Students are being taught tp step up to situations where they may need to rely on the skills they have accumulated and be sure of their skills to give a good answer, take a test with confidence or just participate with confidence in class. 

  A teacher’s ability to relate to the students while giving them knowledge and skills to build that knowledge is a GREAT responsibility. A responsibility to the students, the parents and our future. Teachers certainly do not or should not replace parental involvement or direction, but when your children hear something from another source besides Mom or Dad, things can take on a new meaning. Even though those things are exactly what you may have been telling them for years.

  I have written the following statement and said it many times to my children but seeing it told to students in a class really made me feel good as well.

“95% of successful people READ at least 45 minutes a day. reading gives you the opportunity to go to a better college, get a better job, have a better quality of life”.

   When I heard this statement, I thought I hope these students hear this more than once in this class or in their school career. If the kids or the parents would stack up the books they have read, would it be larger than their “Big Screen” TV? As Jim Rohn would say:

                     “Successful people have large libraries, un-successful people have large TV’s”.

Let’s keep supporting our students and teachers by encouraging our future leaders to learn and grow and build skills necessary for our future of this world. These skills will come in handy.

 How Can I Help You?



This is another great article from Mark Merrill of Family Minute that I felt needs to be shared.

It’s the gift of L.O.V.E.

L stands for listen… pay full attention when your partner talks.  Stop what you’re doing and don’t interrupt. 

O is for observe… make getting to know their likes and dislikes a priority. 

V is for value… value them for who they are…what makes them unique. 

E is for encourage…build them up with your words and actions. 

Four little letters that spell out lessons in love.  It’s the best Valentine gift you can give today and every day. 

I re-read this message four times to let it sink into my thick head. So many times we take for granted our loved ones by not listening, valuing or encouraging because we think other things take priority. Does that e-mail have to be done right now? Do you really have to get out the door this second?  We really do need to realize the value we have at home and slow down to see it.

I know I do. Sometimes that means slowing down enough to let the youngsters tell you about their adventures today or listen to how your spouse’s day has been.  Sometimes it means you need to stop before going into the house and decompress for a minute after the commute home. Hang up the phone, turn off the radio and just pray or listen to the quiet and calm down.

How can I Help You?



As baseball season starts here in Florida, I was thinking of a few tips for athletic coaches. When organizations need coaches, they usually just ask for people to help. There is no real screening or “interview” of coaching skill and attitude. Some people may have experience, some may not. But the real question that needs to be asked is who are the coaches there for?

What any person that coaches needs to remember, is that the objective of a coach is not just to win games.

The goal of a good coach is to educate, encourage and instill discipline into your player’s life. 

Having your “golden team” on the field while others don’t get a lot of playing time can cause discouragement, alienation and loss of skill. Why do that to our future leaders of our society? We need to teach them the benefits of a disciplined routine and the skills built from discipline that carry over in everything they will do in life. Not to mention the ability to deal with other team members.

  • We do not need to focus on whether the team wins or loses. We need to be able to adapt to either outcome. 
  • Be open to suggestions for improvement and accolades of gratitude. I know there was only one person who ever walked on water, and none of us are him.
  • Be prepared and disciplined to handle a positive or negative outcome. Life will not hand you an easy opponent or give you an easy break.

So as baseball season starts, let’s remember who we are out there for. We are coaching to build skills, encouragement and discipline for ALL team member. Remember, baseball is a “game”, as are other sports, and the kids involved are supposed to have fun.  

How Can I Help You?

 If I can help your organization with words of encouragement, please feel free to contact me through my web page.

Living Life in the DASH

This is an article I recently read from Mark Merrill of Family Minute.

Recently, I spoke at an NFL National Meeting to Directors of Player Development. I thought some of you dads might be able to use some of these thoughts and share them with your kids.

In my remarks, I talked about the “DASH.” I mentioned that when you look at a tombstone you see a name, something nice about the person, the year they were born and the year they died… and a small dash in between. The dash is what we do with our lives between the time we are born and the time we die. It’s who we are and it will one day be our legacy. Here are the highlights of what I shared about living life in the DASH:

The “D” in DASH stands for:

Determination.  Live your life with determination. You will be an influence on a lot of people whether you want to be or not.  The only question is whether you will live your life in the DASH as a positive influence or a negative influence. From this day forward be determined to live life in the DASH as a positive influence.

The “A” in DASH stands for:

Awareness. Live your life with awareness.

  • Be aware that everything you do and say has consequences far beyond what you can see with your eyes.
  • Be aware that “Bad company corrupts good character.” Be careful who you hang out with.
  • Be aware that you are living in the dash and one day it will be set in stone. What will others say about how you lived your life in the DASH?

The “S” in DASH stands for:

Service Live your life in service. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

The “H” in DASH stands for:

Humility. Live your life with humility. In the best-selling business book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins found that all truly great leaders have two things in common.  First, they have extreme personal humility. Second, they have an intense professional will to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Remember, humility does not mean that we think less of ourselves, it just means that we think about ourselves less…and others, especially our spouse, our children, our co-workers and our friends, more. Want to be a great leader?  Want to be a great influence in the lives of others? Then live your life with humility.

When you live your life in the DASH with determination, awareness, service and humility, you will positively influence the lives of other people…and the lives you touch will be changed forever. And guess what…your life will be changed forever as well.

This is a good reminder that we need to live our DASH as best we can. Encouraging, Helping Inspiring and Appreciating everything we have and can do for others and ourselves.

How Can I Help You?