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Addiction- The Real Toll It Takes on the Family

This week I lost a family member to something that breaks millions of people and wrecks their lives. I am talking about addiction and they come in a variety of ways and means. Addiction to drugs takes over a persons body and eventually takes over their soul. Everything becomes about that high, that short term good feeling and each time a needle hits the arm or drugs are put into a mouth a little more of that persons fate is decided and life begins to be lost. Some may find this to be too much and that is OK. But for me I have to speak to the damage that drugs, street life and addiction does to a family and not just the person.

Drugs destroy families, destroy relationships and strips people of their potential to be great and do good things for people. Drug addiction is a path of destruction that hurts so many people and leaves a legacy of damage to the parents, siblings, and children of the end user. The children of those that die from drugs are the real victims here. The people that take drugs and die from that high chose to do so. They chose a path of destruction over their family and kids. They chose to do what they wanted to instead of doing what was right for their family. I may sound a vit angry in this and I am.

I have witnessed close family suffer emotionally and be scarred for life by the actions of a drug addict that refused over and over, many times over to stop what they were doing and get clean. Instead of surrounding themselves with supportive family and friends they chose drug culture and the so called easy way out. Well that culture ended up costing a life and costing the children of this person a lifetime of questions about “why” my parent chose dope over me.

Stop the madness, step away, get counseling, get a job, get a life, do whatever you can to stop addiction. If you don’t it will certainly cost you family, friends, jobs, life and eventually give you death. And your death leaves those behind wanting to see you, hear you, touch you and just be near you. God can cure addiction and you can also if you want it bad enough and decide enough is enough. To those that have beaten addiction, awesome and best wishes forward. To those that lost someone to addiction, I am sorry for your loss and feel your pain and frustration.

God Bless!

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Everyday Is A Gift From God

Everyday Is A Blessing Quotes. QuotesGram

We all are given 86,400 seconds, 1440 minutes or a total of 24 hours per day. Every second, minute and hour is a true blessing we receive from God. We are given this time here on Earth as an opportunity to spend it how we choose to. God made us in his image and has high expectations of our conduct, behavior and actions. We choose how to use that time, spend that time and the impact we will have on our family, friends, co-workers and community. We can choose to be kind, compassionate, caring, loving, supportive, engaging, friendly, helpful, honorable in our actions, behaviors, thoughts and conduct.

We also have the option to be rude, selfish, mean, unsupportive, unloving, cowardly, bad, ill, sorry, lazy and all the other words that are negative in our lives. God gave us the option of choice and that is where we fall short so often. Human nature tends to lead us to react to, behave and treat others the way we are feeling at the time. Those choices have consequences either good or bad for everyone involved. I am asking that we all take those 86,400 seconds, 1440 minutes, 24 hours to be the most positive, loving and wonderful person you can be to your family, friends, co-workers and community. God Bless you and yours.

Coach B

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Big Dreams Require Big Effort and Focus

I here people talking about their dreams and ambitions.  I ask students at school what they are going to do when they graduate high school and get these answers.  I am going to be a doctor, lawyer, scientist, professional football player, pro basketball player, police officer, fire fighter and so many more.  I love to hear my students talk about how they want to live their lives and do things they can only imagine.  However, sometimes as an adult we have to temper things and get kids to understand that they can achieve those goals when they graduate.  However, we have to make sure they know the price that will be paid to become those things.  

I had a student that hates math and makes barely passing grades tell me he wanted to go to Georgia Tech and study to be a Mechanical Engineer.  The mom agreed and likes the idea so I ask them both what “little johnnie” would need to do to get into GT and earn that degree.  Neither knew and were clueless, so I had to let them know what it took.  #1 Little Johnnie needs to step up his game in math class since that degree has loads of advanced math classes. #2 Johnnie needs to come to class, get his head off his desk and do some work. #3 Johnnie has started out his high school transcript with some bad grades and a terrible GPA 

With all this information, we can assume Johnnie will have to change his ways big time, work much harder and get lucky to be admitted to have a chance at the GT education.  The point of this story is that we all have big dreams, hopes, ambitions and goals in life.  The ones that talk about it only tend to fail at those dreams and goals over and over.  The ones that bust their ass tend to meet or exceed those goals. 

As a veteran coach and teacher I can state that the best students and athletes I have taught or coached have always set themselves apart from the others by working hard, studying, setting goals and listening to people that try to help them.  You see Little Johnnie has had his ego inflated by mom and dad because he always got a trophy for participating.  Participating only, showing up only will not get you anything but a paycheck at McDonalds or a warehouse once you leave school.  

Big Dreams require big effort.  Big dreams require constant focus on goals.  Big dreams require big sacrifices.  Big dreams require big challenges and learning to overcome them.  Big dreams require knowledge, power and skill that is developed over time to make it happen.  Big dreams are not achieved or gained by participating and expecting a trophy for your efforts. You want things, work hard.  You want a big house, work hard.  You want a big family, work hard.  You want to be a mechanical engineer, you damn well better work hard and study.
Coach B

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Shamed, Demeaned and Cancelled- Woke Cancel Culture

Todays writing may hit a few nerves so I give advance notice. If it turns you off or offends your feelings then please read another person postings. However, my hope would be that because we may disagree on this does not mean we have to quit following one another or reading each others work. I am writing this because I am tired of seeing my friends, family and co-workers that do not agree with liberalism, socialism, Democrats or woke culture get cancelled, called stupid and demeaned because they disagree or have a differing opinion of this new movement in America. We have this thing that the country was founded on called the Constitution and it guarantees certain rights under the law.

One of those rights is the first amendment otherwise know as 1A. That gives people the individual right to speak freely, freedom of the press, choose the religion of their choice, “peacefully” gather to protest and petition the government. If your not aware of it go to google and see what it is about. It seems that we have a new culture of people that are now dead set on infringing on this very right from what appears to be a lack of understanding of what it represents “individual right to speak freely” without being censored. I have a suspicion it is being taught to these people by liberal woke teachers and professors in schools. Once again, that is my opinion so that is what it is, an “opinion”.

We can prove that it is all over social media, television, internet sites and the left wing mass media groups. Some of the largest companies in the world are shutting free speech down, especially if it does not agree with their woke ness and views. Heck, this one may get shutdown, but that is OK because I have my rights and refuse to be told how to think, act, behave or get re-engineered to meet someone else’s standards. I will write about my beliefs, opinions, views based on my set of morals and how I think.

I exercise my right to free speech just as most people do on social media sometimes and I do not post things with intent to harm or offend anyone. I simply post things of interest to me that meet the values, beliefs and issues that are important to me as a man, husband, father, teacher, coach and Christian. What has spurred this posting today was a simple picture I posted about gas prices. It showed the price at $2.55 per gallon and I had recently bought gas at the same place a month ago in mid December for around $2.10 a gallon.

Instead of reading the posting and either liking it or stating some type of opinion, suddenly I was hit with replies that I am basically stupid, do not know what I am talking about and other comments. The intent was to show that my idea of progress is not paying .45 more cent per gallon at the pump. It suddenly turned into a posting with liberals posting fact checking, stats and columns from guess where, liberal media sites and outlets. I am an educated man with two Bachelor degrees (one in Business Management) and a Masters Degree with advanced education.

I am smart enough to think for myself, form an opinion and post it without being told by a woke person or liberal that I am stupid and my opinion does not count. Then it expanded into conservatives versus liberal, then it went into Trump versus Biden and what they did or did not do. All over a freaking picture of gas prices simply asking to “please explain how paying more for gas is progress”. I got replies about the Texas storm, renewable energy and other stats. What I wanted was explain to me how going backwards is progress.

(IMO) shutting down the pipeline is impacting gas prices and anyone who cannot see that well I won’t say what I am thinking because then I am part of the problem then. Think of it like this, you own an oil company and have an unlimited supply at minimum cost. The system works and everyone getting it from you is good and its easier on their pocket book. Why in the hell would you sell it to your neighbor, give him control over pricing so he can charge people whatever and think that is progress. Paying higher prices, taxes, costs, losing jobs, losing industry, and many other progressive views cannot be progress. Going backwards is not progress, hell it is actually going backwards.

Does a football running back take the ball and run the wrong way? Does a tractor trailer load heading west turn around and waste time driving East? Does a person wanting to lose weight instead purposely gain 10 pounds? These are silly but tell the story of who truly may not be as “woke” as they think they are. Personally I think as a country we need energy independence while working towards a better future with some green energy options.

The very same people stating I am stupid and do not understand get in their car everyday and drive to work using what “gas”. Gast that is made from oil. Oil that was coming from America and Canada mostly. Duh, dumbass and they want to tell me conservatives speak out of one side of their mouth. Yes, I was told I speak out of one side of my mouth during this posting. Honestly I speak what I consider to be the truth and it comes straight out with no BS, make you feel good sugar coating.

It then turned to Trump and Biden and who is the best and all that bull crap. If you like Biden, good for you and I hope it works out for us all. If you like Trump or King Kong it is your business, opinion and thought process. For the cancel culture folks, please explain to me how tearing up cities, destroying the past and rioting makes things better? Explain to me how a movement that claims to want equality is trampling on the very rights they claim to need. Explain to me how some people of all races, colors, creeds and religions make it in life while others don’t. Explain to me how me and other working class people owe anyone a damn thing.

I have been working over thirty five years and no one ever punched the clock for me and did my job, no one paid my car payment, college loan or mortgage. Why in the hell do we need to do that for basement dwelling college dropouts that will not work because they are “professional gamers”. I refuse to be cancelled, re-conditioned, changed, woke, harrassed or believe that anyone else’s thought process or opinion of me is valid if it involves hate, malice, anger or resentment. You see that is the root of the problem (IMO). The bible clearly states that these things are unGodly and create issues within us.

For the woke generation and cancel culture people reading this. Do your research, use your mind to think and form your opinions, values and beliefs on how you feel and not how others tell you to feel. Stand on your own, be an adult and respect others regardless of how they agree or disagree with you. I will end by saying I could have “cancelled” those people. I could have “erased” the posting. I could have fought back, sent hateful and resentful remarks.

Instead I just read what they had to say, absorbed it and was an adult about it. If I was to unfollow the people that disagreed with me I would then be part of the problem and not the solution. If I was to erase the posting to stop the banter back and forth, then I am giving into their demands and trying to erase or cancel the past.

I will post, read, react and exercise my rights as given to me by the Constitution of this great country. I will consider other views and opinions, but ultimately I will be guided by my belief systems, views and moral code. I refuse to be woke, cancel out the past and allow my country to go to hell in a hand basket by being told how to act, think, behave or believe. I am smart enough to do that for myself whether one agrees with me or not. That is all!

Coach B

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10 Quotes to Inspire You

Today I am giving you 10 quotes to inspire, motivate, encourage and help you change where you are in life. You can be what you want to be if your challenge yourself, push yourself to live your dreams and accomplish your goals. Living a successful life requires hard work, dedication, determination, discipline and courage. Allowing yourself to fall short is on you and no one else.

1) “The Best Way To Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.” – Walt Disney

2) “The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

3) “Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today.” – Will Rogers

4) “You Learn More From Failure Than From Success. Don’t Let It Stop You. Failure Builds Character.” – Unknown

5) “It’s Not Whether You Get Knocked Down, It’s Whether You Get Up.” – Inspirational Quote By Vince Lombardi

6) “If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.” – Steve Jobs

7) “People Who Are Crazy Enough To Think They Can Change The World, Are The Ones Who Do.” – Rob Siltanen

8) “Failure Will Never Overtake Me If My Determination To Succeed Is Strong Enough.” – Og Mandino

9) “Entrepreneurs Are Great At Dealing With Uncertainty And Also Very Good At Minimizing Risk. That’s The Classic Entrepreneur.” – Mohnish Pabrai

10) “We May Encounter Many Defeats But We Must Not Be Defeated.” – Maya Angelou

Things not to do:

Sit around on your butt, be lazy, spend hours staring at your phone, believing your own press, wasting time, making excuses, blaming others, being negative, giving up , quitting, bitching, moaning, groaning, arguing, being petty, letting media brain wash you, not being realistic, doing things that hold you back in life and finally not holding yourself accountable for your actions, behaviors, words, thoughts and results.

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Proud Papa Moment

https://www.wdfxfox34.com/story/43373691/26-year-old-taylor-bowers-went-from-broke-college-kid-to-six-figure-entrepreneur?fbclid=IwAR0ZJpgw5UdVw-rjMS3PAe5igsA2vcZfMKSWr1G3deGTH9j89U8ceVvN6F4

Today I simply just going to share the story above about my oldest daughter Taylor. She has been so successful and I like to write about success and leadership and she has attained that with hard work, dedication and discipline in her business venture. I could not write any better example so enjoy!

Coach B

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“G” Words Alphabet Series- Great Leaders

Today I am back on my series of alphabet words that describe great leaders, coaches, motivators and people we all are attracted too for being great.  Good leaders can be great leaders if they work really hard at building their management skills and grow their employees, athletes and team members with guidance and direction. These coaches and leaders are often gleeful people that gain the attention and can make people giddy with excitement when it comes to accomplishing goals.  These bosses, coaches, business owners are gems in the rough and often shine as they sometimes have to grin and bear the brunt of organizational missteps, setbacks and failures.

They give their all to the team, staff and organization in an attempt to gain buy-in from everyone so they will generously give of their time, energy and commitment to make things happen.  Great leaders greet people and show them they care and have genuine concern for their well being.  I have worked with many coaches that just had the gusto for life, being successful and gone above and beyond to make dreams come true.  Working with gutsy people helps them accomplish goals, dreams and maintain good values as they do so.  Often being considered as gallant people by those around them, they can galvanize the organization and allow people to use their gifts to give to the overall quality of work life at the company or on the team.  

Great leaders and people are often so glittery and gleaming with positivity all the time.  This enables them to glimmer and win the glory and glamour that often comes with success.  They may be good-looking, good natured and graceful in their actions, behaviors, comments and presentation.  Great leaders can meet people in a gregarious manner and are almost guaranteed to be groovy.  Great leaders and coaches I have worked for were ground breaking and had so much more gumption and gusto than the others on staff.  They showed gratitude and gratefulness for their people and which made them a golden gem of a Godsend type of leader.  

Moral of the story is to know your “G” words, find some the apply to you and go be greatgloriousgargantuanglamourous and ever so graceful as you whip this thing called life into your version of greatness!

Coach B 

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Dead Roses- It Really Is The Thought That Counts

This past Valentines Day I was still recovering from Covid and not being able to drive around town very much due to a lack of energy, cold weather affecting my breathing and not wanting my wife to see what I was trying to do I used an online flower service to get her some (what I thought would be very nice roses). I also ordered a card and some candy and man I was pumped. I was excited that I had gotten her a nice thoughtful gift and she would be so happy with it. Well lets just say that sometimes the best laid plans fall apart for one reason or another.

I knew the delivery was arriving on 2/13 and was expecting a delivery person to knock on the door and hand her the gift. She would be excited, cry and all that mushy stuff and I would hit a homerun. Team Hubby 1, Team Wife 0. Well unfortunately the flowers arrived in a box, had no water and were almost completely dead. The candy sucked but the card was nice and had my special message on it. Lets just say the dead roses didn’t go to good for brownie points with the wife. Team Hubby 0, Team Wife 1 and no brownie points for me.

Lets me state that she was excited about what I had done and the effort I put in, but the roses being so bad kind of took the wind out of the moment. So guys, let me tell you from my recent experience to do your homework, research and properly plan and execute the perfect moment. I had no idea the roses would suck and have since contacted the company about it. However, I felt really bad that I had let my beautiful wife down with such a a lousy (unplanned gift).

Now that I have wrote about how stupid I can be and the mistake I made (promise it will not happen ever again). I am writing to talk about being grateful for the people in our lives and the things they do for us. Even if it falls short at times, goes south of what you wanted or just is a plain screw up. In my case I had the best of intentions and wanted to do nothing more than make my wife happy. After it was all said and done and the shock and letdown passed we were able to laugh about it and talk it out.

Moral of the story is do not let dead roses get in the way of the true meaning of a relationship with someone. Hope for the best and understand that things happen in life even with the best laid plans. Acknowledge the gift, thank the person and be grateful that they took the time, effort and energy to try and take care of you and please you. Look past the material and look into the heart and soul of the person that messed up (accidently or not) and know they had their best intentions the entire time.

By the way, I recovered with a spare and she got a much nicer bunch of flowers and candy right in time. Thank goodness for local companies so I say support them and buy local because you know exactly what you are getting.

Have a Blessed Day, forgive, love, forget and be thankful for those that care for you!

Coach B

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What’s In Your Bookbag- Emotional Baggage

Today I am writing about your bookbag, your purse, your wallet, your gym bag of whatever it is you carry around with you day to day.  This bag is filled with all the stuff you need for the day to function like a phone charger, some snacks, bottle of water, clothes, laptop and all the other things we carry daily to live our best life.  But, this is not the baggage I am talking about.  I am talking about the baggage we carry that cannot be seen, it is not physical or a solid thing.  It is emotional and is the result of hurt, pain, bad relationships, physical abuse, mental abuse and anger.  As a teacher I worry more about the baggage my students bring to school and how I can look for signs to get them help.  

Adults also have baggage and plenty of it.  I see grown people in their 30’s, 40’s 50’s and older carrying around baggage from emotional scars that always seem to surface when things get tough.  They have not dealt with it and have tucked it away inside deep and it is a roaring lion waiting to be released on a family member, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, co-worker or others at a moments notice.  The person attacking will not tell the other person why they are so upset or mad and the person on the receiving end is confused as hell about what just occurred.  This is a quite common in second marriages and relationships between parents and teenagers.

The things of the past come back or come out to haunt the present and future.  So how do we learn to overcome this and leave it all behind.  I truly believe that it all starts with forgiveness.  We must first forgive ourselves for allowing whatever it was that scarred us to happen.  Then we must forgive the person or persons for doing what they did.  In Ephesians 4: 31-32 it states that we should “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”.  Holding malice and anger is what the devil wants and he loves to see us fail at being a forgiven person.  God wants us to forgive and live a vibrant life that does not include the stress of anger, resentment and malice towards others.  We then direct all that sin and meanness towards those that truly love us and have our best interest at heart.

What is in your bookbag and does it get in the way of having  a healthy relationship with family, friends and coworkers?  Does your inability to forgive the past get in the way of your future.  I myself have been hurt and have scars and not so long ago after two close class with death I suddenly realized that holding onto anything from the past that is not a positive memory is life walking around in a mine field somewhere.  The loved ones you attack because of your anger and malice towards someone else also wonders if they are going to step on a mine at times when you become mad.  Below are things I feel would help you to understand how others feel when you blow up on them because of something someone else has done to you in the past.

1- Most people generally are not mean and are “not” doing things to you on purpose.  Why would anyone do something knowing an ass chewing may be coming from it.

2- People that are unforgiving and holding onto emotional baggage tend to take everything to heart. They accuse their spouse, siblings, family and friends of hurting them on purpose or doing things just to be mean.

3- Telling someone “nothing” when they ask you what is wrong, why your mad or what they did does not fix things.  That is the problem, instead of talking it our, acting it out, going outside and screaming or whatever it is they lash out at others as a response because they have programmed themselves to feel pain and blame it on others.

4- God can and will help you with this.  He has the answers and will enable a change in that bookbag and the baggage it is loaded down with.  In order to do this, you must first seek him, his guidance and learn to let go, live anew and forgive the past.

5- Walking away will not fix it.  Changing spouses, quitting a job, moving to another city, etc. will not fix it.  Is will just mask it, put a little bandage on it until it rises up again.

“You cannot have a future without forgetting, forgiving and moving on from the past”. Get out of your feelings, get over the poor pitiful me routine and clean out the bookbag and build healthy relationships.  Love, Kindness, Compassion, Mercy, Grace , Forgiveness, Empathy, Sympathy and other positive words are what we all should try to be.  It starts within and then can spread to others.  

Coach B

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Chasing Championships- Never Let It Override Your Family Time

Coaching for a long time has shown me many things.  I have made one of the biggest mistakes many coaches make and that is losing focus of the family, spouse, kids and the most important people in your life as you pursue excellence and chasing championship rings.  I coached football for almost thirty years and in 2018 after a playoff loss I knew it was time to spend my weekday afternoons, Thursday and Friday nights with my wife and grown kids.  I did my best to manage my schedule when my girls were growing up and rarely missed the big events.  I was fortunate to coach them in softball for many seasons in community ball, travel ball and the high school level.  Coaching at the high school level requires a good 25-30 extra hours a week of time depending on the sport.  

Most days if your a teacher and football or wrestling coach run12-15 hours and that adds up quickly.  Countless days coming home at 8:00-9:00pm just in time to eat a little, spend a few minutes catching up and back to bed to recover and do it again tomorrow.  It is a passion that is not for everyone, but one that also can eat all of your time up.  I know lots of coaches that literally missed a bunch of very important events with their family and spouses due to coaching and chasing wins and rings.  With this being said I want my fellow coaches, leaders, teachers, pastors, mentors, business owners and whatever hat you wear to remember this one piece of advice from a long time coach.  The most important ring is the one your spouse is wearing. 

Let me repeat this, the most important ring you ever chased, bought, worked hard for and earned was the one your spouse is wearing.  Do not let coaching isolate your family, sons, daughters, parents and spouse. Work hard, accomplish what it is you want that day and go home.  I used to be told that I was one of the first to arrive on campus and because I coached three sports for over 13 years I was one of the last to leave.  One day I realized something had to give and it could not be my relationship with my wife and kids.  So I gave up head softball coaching, then football went in 2018 and now my only coaching job is still as a Head Wrestling Coach.  I have learned to manage the time, energy and prioritize things much better as I gained experience, got older and learned from my mistakes.  Below are some tips for balancing coaching and family.

1- Make sure family time is on your schedule.  If that means you cut short a coaches meeting or wash the dirty team laundry the next day then find a time and stick to it.  Do your best to manage family time and watch your kids grow up.

2- Set boundaries with the players, assistant coaches and parents.  Have a meeting and emphasize that players must have rides at the end of practice.  You would be surprised the extra time coaches spend sitting in the car or office waiting on a parent to pick up a kid.  That is valuable time you cannot get back so establish a procedure for this. Your already giving tons of time, so do not waste the other waiting on people that cannot get their daily routine in order.

3- Delegate Responsibility.  This is a huge one and is hard for many head coaches and athletic directors to do.  Assign duties to players and coaches to take care of things. Two things I always volunteered for over the years was washing the dirty clothes from practice and making sure the locker room was clean.  I would assign the locker room cleanup by football position and have an assistant coach watch over it daily to make sure it was done.  Being on a team is more than practicing and playing.  It is about sharing, helping and keeping everything neat, tidy and clean.  

4- Include your own kids and family as much as possible.  My kids grew up on football, softball and practice fields. They went with me to practices and games, helped out with managerial duties, kept scores, cleaned up and lots of other duties.  They learned life skills doing this and were able to spend time with the team, the coaches, made friends and great memories.

5- Prioritize your spouse over everything.  Communicate with your spouse, spend time with them, go our to eat after school or practice.  Take short weekend trips or just spend time with them chilling out.  This is the most important part of your support network.  My wife gets all the credit for putting up with my coaching and was always my #1 support system.  She was the one that I went home to when things were great, good, bad, ugly, hard, difficult and special.  

Coach B!

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Physical, Mental and Spiritual Impact of Tragedy

Today I am writing a brief post about one of the hardest times in my life.  I was coaching at a local high school and halfway through the season our head coach and my good friend passed away suddenly and unexpected.  This was a huge loss for his family, students, athletes and the community as a whole.  I am going to go into all the details of what happened, but instead will talk about the loss of a dear friend and coach and how the coaching staff and team responded to that loss.  Losing important people in out lives is never easy and brings a rush of emotion that we deal with for sometimes months or even years.  I was the offensive coordinator at the time so when my friend passed I was asked to continue the season as the interim head coach.  I remember the conversation with the principal when he asked me to take things and finish the season.  

I gladly took the responsibility not because it was a chance to take the program over.  It was the right thing to do in honor of my friend, players, community and school.  I went home that day and just prayed and cried about it.  This was a really bad situation and I had to find a way to step up, hide my emotions and feelings and stand tall for my players.  I sat down and came up with a plan that I wanted to use to try to manage the coming weeks activity which included a memorial service, a funeral, practice. planning, teaching, counseling crying and overcoming the fact that I was not Coach C.  My goal never was to replace such a great man, it was simply to honor him.  I will leave the football story at that and move into the emotional, physical and spiritual impact that this loss and the events that followed took on my mental, physical and spiritual help.

As you can imagine, by the end of the week I was broken in all three areas.  I was wore out, tired, emotional, couldn’t sleep and many other things that were going on.  I was trying to manage life at home, life at work, coaching, grieving and supporting the players, coaches and staff.  When tragedy strikes we often are tasked with the responsibility of stepping up and leading through these tough times.  We do not expect it or ask for it and without warning bam, we are now sitting on the toughest situation of our lives.  I have always been a person to step out front when needed and do what I can in whatever capacity.  I willingly took the responsibility with a goal of just keeping things as normal as possible as we all worked to overcome the loss of our coach and friend.

1- It is in tragedy and strife that we become our strongest.  It takes courage, strength, internal fortitude and drive to keep going when things are really bad.

2- It is in tragedy and strife that we realize just how important people were to us when we tell them goodbye one final time.

3- It is in tragedy and strife that we learn to overcome the physical, mental and spiritual beating we take by just moving forward.

4- It is in tragedy and strife that we see how pushing emotions, grief, anger, and all the other emotions to the side can build us up, but also tear us down later on.

5- It is in tragedy that we honor those we love, help their family, our community and friends out who are in need.

6- It is in tragedy that we look to our faith in God, family, friends and community to make it, to deal with it and to adapt.  We seek counsel and grow in our faith in all things good through the bad.

We all face tragedy, especially the lose of loved ones in life.  We fight the emotional, physical and spiritual burdens brought on by that.  But we also step up, rise up, battle, fight and eventually overcome all of it and live with the precious memories of our dearly departed souls we miss everyday going forward.

Coach B 

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Life Skills We Need Learn Growing Up

Playing some form of organized sports is like a right of passage for many of us.  I grew up in a large family where every boy played football.  All of my brothers, and boy cousins played football at some point in their life.  Most of my girl cousins played basketball and softball in school, but they also played football on Sunday afternoons at my Grandma’s house.  These games were brutal with heavy hitting, tackling, blocking and running.  We all got cuts, bumps, bruises, stitches and a few broken bones at some point in our childhood and teenage life.  Through these injuries and tough hits, we learned things about life that later propelled us to become productive adults, parents and friends.

Learning life skills is an important part of the process of growing up and as a coach and teacher one of main focus points is to teach my kids the valuable life skills that can help them lead a good life.  A life that allows them to work, live, play and do what they want to do.  A life that is an example to others around them.  Life skills are defined as having the ability for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal with the daily stress and demands of everyday life.  

Coaches, leaders, parents, mentors, pastors, family leaders and others want their people to learn these top ten life skills that will help them be great in life and give them the tools to empower others around them.  These are learned over time, through experiences and develop as we get older and make good decisions and bad ones along the way.  Sports teaches these life skills to people if they are focused on the right concepts and keep in mind the end goal of making our young men and women the best possible adults we can.  We want to produce student athletes and children that become good parents that will in turn continue the line of successful adults by teaching their kids life skills.

1- Self Awareness- Teach self awareness and how important it is to know who you are and be an individual.

2- Empathy- As a nation we are much less empathetic than we once were.  Empathy is needed so you know how others feel when things are bad or not going so well.

3- Critical Thinking- Being able to critically think is very important.  Too many people are growing up on google now and do not know how to look at things from a critical stand point and make a good logical decision using that information.

4- Creative Thinking- Can a person use creativity in situations at home, work and play.  Working in a professional job often requires someone to be creative even if they are not artistic.  Some of the best inventions of all time came from someone using creative thinking in their garage or basement.

5- Decision Making- Being able to make a valid decision and using information and data is important in life.  We make some huge decisions like buying homes, cars, investments, having children and others that impact our current and future life.  

6- Problem Solving- Can you solve a problem when you have to.  Coaches and parents are constantly solving problems.  We fix one and another comes up.  Being effective at problem solving is a needed skill to avoid frustration and stress associated with it.

7- Effective Communication- Are they effective at communicating their needs, wants and desires in a professional and educated way.  Learning time and place is important in this process.  I tell my students there is always a time and place for different types of communication.  They will not be able to speak slang or street lingo at a job or in an office.  Save that for hanging out with friends and know when and where to use it.

8- Emotional Management- You might say what is this?  It is being able to manage feelings, emotions, reactions, behavior and actions when dealing with people.  It is also about limiting emotional baggage which is one of the biggest things that destroys relationships and job potential.  Otherwise known as being “Cray Cray”.  

There are all kinds of life skills needed to be a mature, productive adult that lives a great life.  Work on developing these skills and use them to your advantage.  Then teach them to your children so we continue to produce good people that will love other people and make the world a better place.

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Life Lessons Learned From Losing

Today we are talking about that word that all coaches hate to see and hear.  It begins with an “L” and ends with “ose”.  Yes the terrible word we all face in sports, life, family, business, finances and troubling times.  Losing is tough and is never a goal when preparing for a football game, wrestling match or other life activity.  We never go into something that important wanting to lose, well at least I have never went into a football game or wrestling match with a written goal as losing.  There are times when we all face losing, setbacks, unexpected events and upsets.  There are also times in life and sports when we get that upset win set the opponent back and do what we were predicted not to do.

During my coaching career I have had my fair share of winning and some losing in the mix.  I am blessed to be able to say more winning than losing.  It is in failure and lose that we face our iniquities, short comings and lack of preparation.  The true measure of someone is how we react to losing and what we do with the lessons it taught us.  It is what we do with that knowledge, experience and setback that is the measuring stick of where we are and where we are going.  Having the best game plan, best preparation, best week of practice all season and best play calling does not always mean the scoreboard will fall in your favor when the final whistle blows or bell tolls. 

Once the captains shake hands and the referee blows the whistle it is on and someone will win and the other will lose.  I have seen players, coaches, parents and spectators lose with such a bad attitude and just be a brat.  I have also seen the same people lose with dignity, with their head up and then move forward with an attitude of getting better the next event or game.  I demand my athletes win and lose with integrity, a positive attitude and be grateful for the opportunity to represent their family, community, school and teammates.  Loses whether small or large are opportunity to attack and go after a win the next time.  

1- Losing challenges our core values and beliefs.  It makes us evaluate where we are and look for wasy to get better for the next game or match.  

2- Losing shows who we really are as a person.  I have seen some of my best wrestlers just humiliate themselves, the coaches, the team and their family by acting like a spoiled brat after taking a tough lose.  Sometimes in life we start to believe our own press a little too much and when we face a setback suddenly that lose has become too much to overcome for them.  

3- Losing builds character.  As a coach my main goal is to make sure I am giving the athletes the best possible chance to be successful as an individual and team. However, making sure I teach them good character, values and how to react to things in a positive way that represents a solid attitude of good integrity and character is just as important.

4-  Losing has a bad rep in sports and life.  Some people have such high expectations that they lose sight of reality and when they lose the world is coming to an end.  Being successful at everything I do is very important to me and I write it daily.  However, I will never put my self down or down grade my ability to be successful based on a few bad loses or untimely setbacks.

5- Losing does not have to become an excuse or habit to fail.  I have seen losing take over a kids mentality.  They take some loses for various reasons, typically because they lack the strength, knowledge and experience to beat the opponent.  That is when it becomes a mental game more than physical.  They start to see failure as an option, as OK and then make excuses instead of putting in the work to overcome and get better at winning.  

Do not let losing set you back, hold you down or ruin your dreams and visions in life, work, sports and play.  Prepare for whatever it is, go after the win and if you lose take the feedback, get better, work harder, work smarter and whoop it the next time you face it.

Coach B

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Setting Smart Goals For A Successful Life

Today we are talking about how being a goal driven person can help you become very successful in life, work and play.  The poster above tells us that we must set goals and work hard to accomplish them.  As a coach, teacher, husband, father and mentor setting goals for the team, family and my own life have always been an integral part of the process.  I cannot imagine tackling any task without a plan, end goals and dreams.  Every season I coach the team and I sit down and we talk about everyone’s individual goals, team goals and how we accomplish them.  Everyone has different goals in life based on their age, living situation, finances and career goals.  

When setting goals you must start with short term attainable goals that steadily clip off time to reach the end long term goal.  I teach financial math to my 11th grade students and we cover goals at the very beginning of the class.  If they do not know where they are and where they want to go then I am teaching them to fail later in life at goal setting and accomplishing their dreams and visions.  If they want to buy a house, then their are processes involved in that with mini steps like saving money, building credit and establishing a good job.  Coaches, mentors and leaders must be goal oriented to help drive the team concept, allow the individual players to grow and win in games and life.

Ultimately, as a coach and teacher I have to make sure that I am giving my players, wrestlers, students and others I work with life skills that will help them overcome challenges and make great strides when they become adults.  I am in the process of setting team goals and looking at each individual member as our season approaches.  We will post those individual and team goals on the board in our workout room and look at them daily.  Talking about goals and not writing them down, analyzing them, revamping them and resetting when needed has to take place to get things done.  

Below is the simple process of setting good goals that you can manage and attain.  I was once told that I was looking to far out and needed to reel things back in because I went from a goal to trying to finish it before I actually worked on small steps to attain them. That advice helped me to bring things back into perspective as a coach and set the tone for success going forward.  If my goal is to win a state championship as a coach then I must set mini goals and a plan to reach that goal.  You just do not become the head coach, walk into the room and bam three months later you win a state title unless another person left or retired and you inherit that title team.  So it begins with a plan, hard work, putting a system in place, recruiting the right kids, scheduling, fundraising, getting parents onboard and so many other things that lead to that eventual title.

As the great Bo Jackson stated above, set your goals, work hard and do not stop until you reach it.  Quitting on it is not an option and if you are not willing to take the good with the bad, overcome setbacks and stay on track then that end goal will eventually stop you in your tracks.

1- Specific: Set your goals to meet specific needs, wants and dreams.  They must be a specific goal that can be attained.  An example of a bad goal is “I will lose weight”.  That is not specific and lacks the actual end goal.  It could be written like this to be more specific.  “I will lose 20 pounds in the next four months”.  Adding that detail gives it more bite and allows you to see the actual goal is to lose 20 pounds and not just lose weight.

2- Measurable: The goal above is not the best written goal but it is specific enough that I could manage it and check the progress daily, weekly and monthly.  A goal has to be measurable and manageable to attain.

3- Attainable: Is the goal you are setting attainable?  If I were go change the goal above to say “I will lose 50 pounds in two months”, then I am writing a goal that will likely not be successful at.  A good weight loss plan will allow you to lose 1-3 pounds a week if it tracks well and do it in a healthy manner.  To lose 50 pounds in two months that is just setting the bar to high.  So it can be adjusted and made a long term goal of losing 50 pounds, but maybe in a time period of 6 months.

4- Relevant: If the goal relevant to meet your needs, wants, dreams, and desires. Make sure to not let the end goal get in the way of the process of accomplishing the actual goal.  Like I said above about winning a state title.  In order for me to do that I have to build my roster, build my program, win more matches than we have and start by winning maybe the conference title.  Then we take the next step of a regional title, then a state title and so on.  Not making a goal relevant tends to put a stop on it at some point.

5- Time Bound: Is the goal time bound where you can accomplish it.  Just as I wrote about losing 50 pounds fast versus getting that first ten or twenty off first in a specific time frame.  The you reset the goal, start again and get another 10-15 pounds off as you work towards that goal of 50 overall pounds.  For me to win the state title I need 3-4 seasons to build the roster, experience and dedication to the team and program that it will take to get there.  Winning state titles are far and few between so as Bo says, “set that goal and go for it”.

Set smart goals, work hard, work smart and go after it with intention.  Be intentional in every step you take to become who, what or why you want to be!

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“E” Words That Describe My Kind of Leader

Today I am continuing my series of blog post about the alphabet and descriptive words that define what coaches, leaders, and mentors exhibit.  I have worked with so many coaches, peers, teachers and leaders that were so encouraging to their student athletes.  These people were very energetic in their daily walk, work and focus and worked with intention.  After a long day in the classroom knowing a two hour or longer practice is coming and the day is just beginning again it is empowering to feel the energy of a peer coach running onto the field fired up and ready to get work done.  There are just some people in our lives that are essential when it comes to needing a great pick me up when we are tired and ready to take a little break.

Great leaders, coaches and mentors have the experience to help grow the team and individual talent of their players, employees and peers.  They have an amazing endurance about them that is hard to match.  The team, fans, parents and coaching staff look to them with eagerness and become engaged on the process of building a winning team or organization.  This willingness to step out and lead shows the leaders expertise in their particular field or chosen profession.  Utilizing their skills, background and knowledge of the game or industry they work in allows them to be extremely effective at what they do.

These leaders are efficient at what they do and enjoy success in work, life and play.  That success is often exalted in the media and with those that are around them.  These endearing qualities can often  overlooked by people around them if they truly do not know the heart and soul of the leader.  The best coaches I ever worked with are very ethical in how they operate and promote equality among their team, staff and players.  Great coaches and leaders take pleasure in watching their coaching staff elevate their game and careers.  Helping your people evolve into greater human beings, better coaches and masters of their destiny builds esteem and empowers people to go to greater heights and reach higher goals.

These coaches are usually not very easy-going and have high expectations about the desired goals, results and winning.  However, this attitude of winning makes being part of the organization they run full of people that are ecstaticenthusiastic, and exhilarating.   This is a silly little story about the letter “E” and I used many words that exaggerated but the main message is if you are a coach, mentor, leader or business owner then be expressive to your people, lead by example and always encourage excellence of yourself and everyone else.

Coach B

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Alphabet Series- “C” Words That Define Great Leaders

I am continuing my series of alphabet words that best describe great leaders, coaches, teachers, mentors, business and family leaders.  I talk about leadership alot but it has a special place in my heart and has been engrained in me since I was a child.  I grew up watching my dad be a man that led in the community on the job, as a volunteer and as the bread winner of my family.  My dad had all of these qualities and I often say that if I can become half the man, father, friend and community leader my dad was then I will live a great life.  My dad and mom worked hard to provide for my brothers and I and set the example for us as adults and how we manage out lives.

My dad always seemed to be composed.  He stayed calm when things went south or got shaky.  He kept his mind and focus on the problem and did not let them see him sweat.  My dad was committed to his family, friends, job and community.  Even after he retired and lost his vision and could barely walk using a cane he still served the community with meals on wheels, the Lions Club and at the local high school.  He was committed to the causes that were important to him.  My dad was generally a quiet man, but when he did speak he communicated his words well.  He could get his point across and make people understand what he wanted, was saying and he meant business.  

When we talk consistency, I am going to switch over to my mom.  Dad was consistent, but my mom was always right on task, on track and on top of things.  She treated everyone the same, loved them took care of them and was a great mentor to myself and my friends.  That consistency was one of the traits that made her so loved and a second mom to so many people.  Charisma is a trait that both my parents had, but I would say my mom in her later years became more charismatic in her thoughts, actions and behaviors.  Both of them were charming, fun to be around and devoted to living a great life full of service, helping others and would stand up and take action when needed.  

Now let’s finish with confidence.  As parents it was important to my folks to make sure they raised well rounded, confident children that could go out and tackle life.  As a teacher, coach, mentor and parent my goal is to make sure I am giving those I impact the tools and knowledge to be a confident person.  Coaches and leaders that win are confident in their ability to lead, put a plan in action and see it to the finish.  There are other words that could be placed here to replace those I used and I will leave that up to you.  But these are my words that I feel are important when describing leaders and the kind of people, family and friends I want to be around. 

Be composedcharmingcommittedconsistentcharismatic and confident person that can communicate their vision to an organization, family, team, school staff and other groups of people. 

Coach B

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“B” Words That Define Successful Coaches. Leaders and People

Today in my mini series of successful words that describe great coaches, leaders and people in general I am using the letter “B”.  The other day I posted words on the letter “A” if you would like to go back and read that posting.  There are all kinds of words that start with B that help describe or define a person that is dynamic and a super leader of people.  A person does not have to be a coach, teacher, business owner or leader of an organization to possess these traits.  However, I am focusing this series on coaching, leading, mentoring, guiding and helping people become better than they are and how they are built up by these leaders.

I have worked with all kinds of people and most would get many of these B words as a descriptive to define their personality, behavior, actions and results.  While a few, well lets just say would be defined with other B words that are not so nice.  I choose personally to set a standard of being defined by positive words through my actions and behaviors (though sometimes I fall short).  Below are your B words for the day so try to think about which applies to you as you work to become better today than you are right now.

1- Leaders believe in themselves, their people and their goals and dreams.

2- Leaders are brave.  They take risks that others are not willing to take to accomplish their dreams and goals.

3- Leaders know how to balance work, home life, family and other obligations.  They have to maintain some form of normalcy to keep up with the daily grind of all the obligations set before them.

4- Leaders are often the best at what they do.  They shine, they outwork people, they utilize their skill set better others and it helps them be on top of their game.

5- Leaders are bright.  They are sharp minded, quick witted, smart, and use their experience, background, education and training to better others around them.  

6-Leaders are beautiful people.  I am not talking about looks, I am referring to personality, energy, excitement, shining light, bubbly and so many other ways.  People want to be around them, work and play for them.  

You can put together your own list of B words that describe you or others around you.  I hope those are positive words because we all know there could be some “b” words used to describe a person and their actions that are not so nice.  So lets be positive and keep it clean! 

Coach B

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Positive Attitude, Work Ethic and Winning at Life

Someone shared this with me today and I decided to write about the motivation it gave me instead of my other topic.  The quote above talks about mindset, attitude and putting in the time and effort to win.  Roger Clemens was a dominating pitcher in major league baseball from the 1980’s into the early 2000’s.  He had a Hall of Fame career and worked his tail off to be the best he could.  I liked to watch him pitch as he went right at the batter and had some nasty off speed stuff.  He made people nervous stepping in the box to bat.

He was known for his fastball and the speed he put into it.  That took years of practice, training, overcoming pain and injury and an attitude.  Not an attitude of a jerk, but an attitude of being the best he could in every game he pitched.  He stepped in the circle and was determined to strike you out with every pitch. You better be on your best and have an attitude when it came time to face him because it was coming at you very fast, hard and you had about 1 second or less to decide to swing or not.


His quote inspired me to write about attitude, work ethic and winning.  You see those three go hand in hand and you cannot have one without the other.  You have to possess an attitude that you can and will be the best you can be and never waiver on that commitment to excellence.  You have to put in the work, train, read, study, rest and repeat to stay at the top of your game.  Then winning will come in life, sports, at work and with family life.  Winning does not mean you have to be Roger Clemens and one of the best MLB pitchers of all time.


Winning means accomplishing your goals, taking care of family, business and being the best you can at what you do.  For me winning is being successful as a teacher/coach.  Being success as a father, husband and friend.  Being successful in my community and giving it my all when helping others.  Being successful in writing/blogging and selling books. Being successful in my faith, behavior, actions and the results I get from that effort, work, and attitude it takes to be what I want to be by.  
1- How is your attitude about work, life, family and play?

2- Are you putting in the work to be successful or just showing up for work, life and play?

3- Are you winning at the game of life?

4- What can you do to overcome the challenges, reset, reenergize start winning again?


What is your definition of success and who motivates you to be successful. In my opinion, others can motivate you but the bulk of it has to come from within you.  You have to be positive, work hard and learn how to win as you go.  Set your goals for winning at whatever it is, make a plan and Go Win at life!
Coach B

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Eight Practices of Successful Leaders and Coaches

Today we are continuing the series on successful coaching, leading and mentoring of people.  Being successful as a leader, mentor, father, mother, coach, teacher, pastor, business owner or whatever your title is requires a skill set that is constantly developed as you become the best you can.  As I look back at my career as a teacher and coach and as a business professional I am grateful for the people I was blessed to work with that had these qualities.  They were successful at what they did and were so consistent with the habits they had to remain on top of their game.  I have tried to be the best leader I can and at times sure I failed at one or two of these qualities somewhere in the process. 

The key is knowing where you are, where you want to be and how you will get there. You don’t have to be a leader to maximize some or all of these qualities.  I have worked with front line teachers, sales people and other peers that exhibited many of these traits.  They may not have wanted to be a leader, but in their own way led and inspired people by their actions, habits and behaviors.   As you can see I have put eight qualities above for leaders, coaches and others to exhibit, practice, portray and model to get people to take action and follow them.


1- Success comes to those that teach their students, employees, family and friends with a passion.  You do not have to be a certified school teacher to teach people.  

2- Success comes with inspirational actions.  Successful leaders inspire action, behavior and focus by modeling expectations and leading out front.

3- Successful people have goals.  They plan ahead, set short and long term goals and track the results making sure they are working towards accomplishing the goals they want and need.

4- Successful leaders motivate their players, employees, family and friends with their behavior, work ethic, integrity and actions.

5- Successful leaders “led by example”.  They would never ask you to do something they would not or have not done themselves.  They are out front and set the pace for the organization with passion and commitment to the team, brand or company.

6- Successful leaders mentor their players, staff, personnel and employees.  They teach, train, share, show, and guide those around them.  Sharing knowledge, experience and background engages people and grows their skill set.

7- Successful leaders/coaches emphasize teamwork as a requirement for success as a whole.  It takes teamwork to accomplish goals, complete task and grow the brand, business and win.  It takes teamwork to win, whether that be in the company itself or working with customers, recruits, players and family members.

8- Successful leaders have vision for the future.  They realize that having a vision is  part of the model for success and instilling that vision within the organization, team, or company.  I have worked for head coaches whose vision was lacking and it worked its way into the locker room and on the assistant coaching staff.  I have worked for others that led out front, had high expectations of everyone including themselves and the vision of where we were going was quite evident in their work ethic, actions and behaviors.


In life we wear many hats as professionals, business people, workers, teachers, coaches, lawyers, doctors, parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, and all the other hats we could wear in life.  Growing our skills and becoming a leader at work, at school, in the community or at home is a constant and evolving process that we work on to become the best we can be at what we do.

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Four Things Great Coaches/Leaders Have In Common

Coaches hold the key to make or break a teams success. Coaches that have poor interpersonal skills, have huge egos, don’t care about their student athletes and just use power to bully their way with the athletes put a sour taste in the mouths of the players. On the flip side, a great coach inspires, motivates, leads, guides, teaches and mentors his or her players. 

They can inspire a love of the game and a life long relationship with the players they impact.  There are plenty of good sports coaches out there that keep the season humming along, but it’s those great sports coaches that kids (and parents) will remember and love forever. Here are four things those great sports coaches have in common that make student/athletes want to play for them.

1- They love to teach: A great coach loves to teach the sport and does so with passion.  They use the game and its learning to teach life skills, build relationships and build the skills of each individual athlete.  They inspire the players and coaching staff to get better by sharing knowledge, experience and the background they have attained from that sport.  

2- They take time to build relationships with each individual and learns their skill set: Great coaches can take average players and make them very good or even great.  Great coaches see things in the players and maximize their potential to be successful as a student athlete.  They build on the strengths, coach up the areas of opportunity and put the player in a position to be successful.

3- They are passionate about the game, the athlete and life: Great coaches build programs by getting those around them to buy in and work hard.  Great coaches show passion for the game, passion for the players and the organization.  Their passion trickles down into the organization, the coaching staff and locker room which creates a winning attitude and high expectations driven by the coaches passion.

4- They have very high expectations: Great coaches have extremely high expectations of themselves, the players, the staff, families and community.  They set the tone from day one and hold everyone accountable to team rules and are very consistent with the way they deal with people.  They are goal driven, want to win, show passion and expect results. 

I have been blessed to work with what I consider great coaches.  In my opinion, you do not have to be a national championship coach, state title level coach or have all time winning records to be great.  I think you need to have the above traits to be or become a great coach.  You can also apply these to regular life, work, career, family and how you play.

As my dad once told me, “find something you love and do it with al your heart, passion and commit to the process” and the rest will take care of itself.

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Professional Growth and Career Direction

Creating awareness of your current professional career growth and direction begins with knowing your own routines, habits and results.  We go to work and before you know it the day has come and gone with the results we may not have desired or planned for once the morning started.  There is only a set amount of time in a work day that we can devote to getting work done, doing our jobs and getting the results that both we and the company desire.  Finding ways to become more productive both at work and in your personal life will benefit you and make you more productive at both.  Thinking back to some of the things you have learned through the years from parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, leaders and friends that you once did is a good way to see where you currently stand.  

Have you changed, backed off of how you used to be, are you as driven, have your priorities aligned differently now from where they once were.  These things can get in the way and many times it is a new habit we have formed or an old habit we got away from.  Getting into somewhat of a routine can help you balance work and home, but staying at the top of your game, whatever that is and how it applies to your life is not always easy.  Below are some simple techniques or changes you can make, realign to or begin to practice to get you back on top of your A game and add balance to your work and home life while allowing maximum productivity. These will help you grow in both areas as a professional and at home as a person.

1- Form habits and routines that are productive for you and those around you.  If things are getting in the way, make some minor changes and move back into a more productive mindset.

2- Time Management and Focus. Are you losing valuable time at work and home with things that are just a distraction.  Can you better manage your time, energy and focus to get better results.  

3- Team, Family and Co-worker Buy-in.  Do you have complete buy-in from those that are your biggest supporters.  Are they onboard with your goals, dreams, aspirations and work ethic.  Are you onboard with theirs?  Find a way to support them and get that in return and you can become more productive in the process.

4- Be Proactive and less reactive.  Are you seeing the big picture, what things are getting in the way of your best productivity at work and home.  Have you went from proactive about things to just reacting and fixing them when they arise.  Allowing known obstacles to rise up on a daily or weekly basis will limit your time to be the best you can.  Stay on top of those things and get out ahead of problems when you see them coming.

5- Manage conflicts with communication and strong social skills.  Conflicts arise constantly for some people, its like they are a magnet for it.  Manage conflict, resolve it and communicate your needs and care for the needs of others to avoid the setback of time off work and home tasks to fix things for yourself and everyone else.  

6- Accountability for work, life and play.  Be accountable and hold those around you at the same standard.  You can manage your life better by working on accountability and avoiding setbacks.  Be the one that steps up when you are wrong, learn from mistakes and move on.  This is a growth process and a required professional tool you must have in your box.  

Work hard, work smart, set goals for work, family life and play and be productive when you need to and just chill when you can!

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Go Camping- Five Reasons to Pitch a Tent This Spring, Summer or Fall

I love to go camping in the North Carolina mountains with my family.  My old roommate from college and I used to go every summer in June for a weekend of camping, trout fishing, grilling good food and chilling out with a few cold ones in hand.  Camping is not for everyone and there are different ideas of camping according to who you ask.  My version of camping is a tent, some food, some fire wood, what supplies you need and go find a nice spot on a rushing creek (helps you sleep so good at night) set up and enjoy a few days and nights in the woods getting back to nature.  I have a favorite little spot called Mortimer campground.  

It is open only during the spring and fall seasons in the NC mountains on the Wilson Creek Gorge.  If you are ever in NC go see that place it is awesome and has some really good water, great pictures, swimming and fishing. My wife and I plan a trip out west this summer to go enjoy nature and see some mountain parks, rivers, animals and whatever else gets thrown at us along the way.  We will pack a tent and some camping supplies just incase we find that perfect spot on a lake, in front of a mountain or near a pristine rushing river.  It will be a time to make memories as a family, relax, unwind and just get back to God’s Country.

1- You get out in nature and you can hit your reset button.  I love nature, especially mountains, rivers and big giant rocks.  It allows me to relax, reset and reenergize and is something that I need often.  My wife and I go to the mountains every year just to take some pictures, look at nature and chill out.  While your camping go find a swimming hole, walk in the creek, lay under a waterfall or just take some good naps. This past summer we met a couple that was camping out of the back of their SUV.  They found a nice spot along the road, pulled over, cranked up a fire and was chilling out sitting in chairs.

2- Gets you away from technology.  One weekend or a few days without internet service, social media and the rigors of your phone going off all day about work, family and stuff.  Most far out destinations in the mountains or way out in the country may not have service so enjoy that break.  Let everyone know your off grid for a few days and make sure the family knows where to find you in case of an emergency.  Heck, play some board games with the kids on the old wood table at the camp site or play hide and seek (safely).

3- Helps you understand that you can live with less.  As long as you have shelter (tent and maybe a canopy), food (canned foods, water, some drinks and snacks), extra clothing in case it gets cold or you get wet and a fire your good.  You pretty much have everything you need to survive a few days out in the wilds.  Some places have a bath house, some do not.  I have bathed in a bath house and I have bathed in a creek.  I prefer the creek but the water was cold.  A few days in the woods with family or friends is all you need to have a great weekend and realize that you actually could survive without all the luxuries of home.

4- Food just seems to taste better cooked over a good slow fire or on a grill.  The best steak I ever eat was cooked in a hole in the ground on top of hot coals by a guy next tent site over.  He had some fresh deer meat and made my friend and I a steak.  He cooked it for ten hours while we were all gone fishing and hunting all day.  That thing cooked all day and it was wonderful.  My brother in law cooked a stir fry while camping one time and it was awesome.  Fill up a cooler and go cook some good meals, eat outdoors and enjoy.  Sit by the fire on that old wood table and enjoy family, friends and food.

5- Camping is very affordable and budget friendly.  You may have to put up with some temperature differences and may not be as comfortable, but renting a camping space is cheap or maybe even free in many national forest locations.  You can camp at the beach, in the mountains, on a creek, on a lake, back in the woods, wherever you want to (just make sure you have permission). Set up a nice weekend retreat with all the camping stuff you go buy at the store on the way and enjoy.  Save that money and make great family memories.  

These are just some of the things camping has done for me and my family.  The biggest and best reason for me is the great pictures, the family time, laughter, hiking, day tripping and just chilling out in nature.  Go grab a tent, grab some food, take a fire starter and hit the trails for the weekend and get back to nature.  Heck you could even camp locally or even in your back yard.  Your kids may complain, but once they get in nature and see all the beauty they will come around.  Lastly, never ever go camping or on a road trip without some form of protection.  A good pocket knife or multi tool is like gold when you are out in nature. 

Have fun, find a great spot and get into nature.  Sleeping under the stars making memories that will last a life time for you and your family!

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Showing Empathy During Tough Conversations Builds Bridges

Today I am talking about having a tough conversation with people and how being empathetic and showing you respect and care about what they are saying goes a long ways to building a bridge that can help you gain some type of agreement.  That agreement may be to agree, disagree or table the topic but using these little techniques will make you a better listener, talker and communicator when having tough conversations.  We face those in life with family, friends, co-workers and at times even strangers.  Knowing how to handle these situations with a calm heart and cool head are the key to getting some results from all that drama.

  
As a high school teacher and coach, I see this all the time with what I call “teenage drama”.  I work with my kids on social skills, communication, manners and learning peer pressure to avoidance to just walk away.  I tell them did you physically hear it, see it or touch it.  If not then avoid it and walk away.  Most drama gets started by another person and generally is the result of having a bad attitude, bad day or just looking to start trouble.  Work on your social skills, learn to overcome bad situations and stay calm.  

1- Show that you care and are concerned about the situation.  Ever been told by someone they “didn’t give a rats _ _ _” about your feelings, what or how you feel.  Maybe they said they “don’t care” or “could care less” about what you say,  These are a lack of concern and social skills coming out in these people.  That is a defensive technique throwing up a block at you or trying to avoid the conversation.  If you remain calm and stay focused on solving the issue and do not get into the drama statements like that you have a better chance of walking away with some type of resolution.
2- Own your part.  If during the conversation you suddenly realize that you actually did do what they said or own it then claim it.  Be the bigger person and take accountability for your actions, thoughts, behaviors and words.  Telling someone your are sorry and owning a mistake is a good thing.  It shows compassion and that you are a good person that made a mistake.  
3- Seek more information, get back ground.  Remember, many people do not have the skills to properly communicate with people in stressful situations.  They may be hot headed, hard headed and all those other words that could describe them.  Be patient, listen to them, pick up on clues and ask questions.  Many times things can be solved before it gets out of control by simply getting the information, thinking about it and then giving your side of the story.  There are always two sides to a story, so agreement doesn’t always happen but get the information and see if it helps resolve it.
4- Rephrase the question, complaint or comment so they can hear from you what they actually said to you to start with. This can create a pause in the action, forces the other person to think about what they said and may trigger them to see they are exaggerating or taking things way out of order.  By doing this you show the person you heard what they said, but are seeking to make sure that is what they meant. Use it to clarify objections, comments and statements, then react accordingly.
5- Communicate respectfully even when they attack,  This is much easier done than said and I understand that.  Getting mad, upset and going back at someone just makes it worse.  The other person is already stressed, on edge and mad at you, someone or the world already,  Why pour gas on the fire, when you can hit it with some calmness and bring it down a notch.  You be the calm, cool and collected person that seeks resolution and not escalation.  Steady, strong and focused will help you solve the problem.  

Lastly, if you have to just walk away.  Do not let your ego, over confidence or attitude get you into something that can be avoided by simply disagreeing, saying have a nice day and tabling it for another day.  I see people arguing at stores over parking spaces, shopping carts, covid masks and stuff and it it ridiculous, childish and uncalled for.  Stay calm, seek resolution, agree or agree to disagree and move on.

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20 Emergency Preparation Kit Items for Survival In a Disaster

Today we are talking about items that you need to have stocked in an emergency preparation and travel kit in case of a natural disaster, loss of power or who knows what with the current state of things.  After doing research on this I realized I had most of these items around the house or in the vehicles.  These are pretty basic items that you can buy at any store, even maybe a dollar tree store for lots of them. 

Being prepared for emergencies, natural disasters and other events we do not know are coming is something you need to do to make sure you and those with you are ok.  Going out the day before a predicted wind storm, hurricane or other event creates stress and the items you may need will be gone or very high priced.   
Take a look at this list and add/subtract what you want from it and prepare now.

Tuck these things away in a bag, box or the garage and have them ready to go.  Some of these things need to be in your car at all times as a precaution just incase you break down or have an accident.  Sometimes we have to think about the what ifs of life.  What if we have a wreck and the car goes down in the woods and cannot be seen by people passing by.  What if a storm hits quickly and kills the power for a few days or a week.  Think about being prepared, where are you in this process and what do you need to do to get stocked up.  As stated above, I can go to a dollar tree and buy lots of this stuff cheap and have it on hand for emergency purposes.

1. Bottled Water- You need a gallon of water per day per person.  You should have a minimum of a few cases of water tucked away in the cabinet or garage.  Water is an essential to survival and if power goes out you will need it for drinking, washing, cleaning and surviving.

2. Flashlights- Go to the store and get a few flashlights and put one in every vehicle with extra batteries.  A flashlight is a must when power goes out or if you are camping, lost or stuck on the highway somewhere.

3. Charged Portable Cell Phone Charger- Go to the store or order one online.  Fully charge it and put it in your vehicles, bedroom and emergency kit.  

4. Battery powered or hand crank radio.  You can get these online or at an outdoor store.  You lose power, get lost or have an unexpected event you grab it and turn the handle about 100 times and it gives you a way to listen to communication about things that are going on.

5. Non-Perishable Foods- Get a two week supply of canned foods for the house.  Soups, veggies and other items that you can open with a can opener (make sure you have a manual can opener in the kit also) and stock up.  It will not hurt to keep a few cans of these items in the trunk of the car as a backup plan in case of a wreck or accident and you cannot get help.  Do not leave them in the trunk over the hot months.

6. Flares or a Whistle- You need a flair or a whistle in your kit.  These things can be used to draw attention, ward off criminals and help you be found if you are lost, have wrecked or are in danger.  Flares and whistles can be bought at any outdoor store and most retail box stores.

7. Knife, Ax, Cutting tools-  Having an old cheap pocket knife or ax in your emergency kit is a must.  It offers you a variety of options such as protection, cutting tools for wood and being able to possibly bust a window out to save your life or others.  You can get a good knife pretty cheap or better yet a multi tool that has a cutting blade, screw driver, can opener and other functions.

8. Tools-  I have lots of tools as many people di, but I was able to go to the dollar tree and build a tool kit for about $10.00.  It has an adjustable wrench, different kinds of screw drivers, a multi tool, a knife, a small hammer, small box of nails, small box of screws, Pando straps, cheap duct tape, pliers, needle nose pliers and several other small tools.  

9. Moist Towels/Baby Wipes/TP- You can buy these at the dollar store and place them in your kit and every car.  Baby wipes, moist wipes or a few small rolls of TP can save the day if you know what I mean.  When traveling you need to make sure you have these and in case of emergency.

10: Paper Towels and Toilet Paper- Get a good deal on toilet paper and paper towels and put them in storage.  Remember back when everyone was fighting for TP and paper towels.  Prepare now and stock up now.  

11. Candles- You can get candles at any major store and even some tealights at the dollar store.  Tealights need to be in your emergency kit.  They offer light and heat if needed.

12. Pet Food/Supplies- If you have dogs and cats you need to have some food for them.  Even if it is cheap bag of food from the dollar store as a backup for emergency, power loss and other events.  Our fur babies need to eat also.

13. Medicines- Are you on medication and if so make sure you have enough extra tucked away in the kit for emergencies.  You may not be able to travel due to power lines down or fires.  Know which meds you must have on hand and stock up a months supply.  Put a week minimum in your emergency kit.

14. Important Documents- Get a fire proof safe or a small safe and put your most important documents in it.  If you for some reason have to leave quickly due a fire, emergency or whatever the reason you can grab the fire box and take it with you.  

15. Clothes- Socks, underwear and other needed items.  It pays to always have a change of older clothes in a book bag or bag in the trunk.  Put a few needed items in your emergency kit so you can grab and go.  Winter items during the winter and summer items during the summer.

16. Weapons- Not everyone will agree with this one, but I will never travel without a weapon to protect my family.  In the case of an emergency, traveling, camping, and other times you are away from your family carry some form of protection.  Better safe than sorrow.  Whatever you carry, learn how to handle it and make sure it is a last resort.  This can be a knife, big stick, stun gun, pepper spray or other weapons.

17. Fire starters or matches- You can get these at dollar tree and put them in your emergency kit and each vehicle. Do not leave matches in the car in hot weather.  It is best to have a fire starter found at any outdoor store or large retailer.  You can also get one of those clicking fire starters at the dollar store.  They last a pretty long time and can save your life in the wild, camping or if you have a car wreck and need heat.

18. Maps- This is a thing of the past, but if you are hiking, camping you may have to go old school and whip out a map to find where you are.  Cell phones do not always work and if your service is out or bad a map can serve as a guide for finding direction or a town close.  A compass is even better, it can help you find direction and if you know the road is north, follow the compass.

19. Eye glasses/contacts- Do you have to use these to see where you are going or what you are doing.  Put an old set of glasses in the emergency kit and the vehicles for caution.  Eye glasses can also be used to start a fire if needed on a sunny day. You can cut things with them and do other life saving activities.

20.  Cash and Coins- Store some spare cash in your home for emergencies and have maybe $50.00 in your emergency kit including some coins.  A debit or credit card may nor work for you depending on the situation so cash is then king.  

Other items you may need: Baby food, diapers, formula, feminine products, deodorants, hand sanitizer, extra batteries, roll of plastic wrap (you can always make a shelter with duct tape and plastic rolls).Fire extinguishers, cleaning items, car jacks, flares, first aid supplies, dust mask (covid mask), gloves, rubber gloves, water containers, sleeping bag, extra bullets, quick start fire logs and rope.  

Main thing is to be prepared for the worst case scenario and if you do not use something then that is a good thing.  You must have food, water, shelter, clothing and warmth to survive regardless.  So make sure you have those items on hand and ready.  I am not saying become a prepper for the end of the world, but if you get caught off guard and do not have the basics to live then life will be hard and survival will be tough. Best Wishes and good luck preparing for the “what ifs” of life.

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Standing Strong and Upholding Your Values in Troubling Times

Today I am discussing the importance of standing strong to you values, morals and belief system during times of trouble, struggle and strife.  Unfortunately, we are living in a time of moral, political, faith based and other belief systems that have led to a division among friends, family and co-workers.  I have friends that have different values in all of these areas and still remain friends with them despite the differences of opinion.  We all grow up in different households, build different values and form our own opinions about faith, politics, life and all those other things we see and hear daily.  I have had some very interesting conversations lately with friends over the phone, online and other ways and it amazes me how some people think, have formed an opinion and just are dead set on that being the only way.

I have been told I am hard headed at times and I definitely have a certain opinion about things.  If you read my blog or follow me you may have figured out by now that I am all about faith, family, and friends.  I value those three things more importantly than anything else and those are the foundation which I have built my life upon.  I have began to back off the internet and posting my opinions on sites or forums because it seems like someone always is trying to tell you how to think, act, or believe. We suddenly live in a world where if you disagree with someone then you are wrong, bad, evil, a hypocrite, racist or all the other terms people now use to attack someone with a different opinion from their own.

I formed my value system and belief system from growing up, becoming an adult and living life which taught me what was important to me, my family and how I want to impact the community and live life. I am writing all this to say we as induvial must stand firm in our set of values, beliefs, faith and press forward against the opposition and backlash it may bring.  Take a stand for what you believe, stand firm in it and never ever let someone sway you against those values just to fit in or agree to make head way in life.  The moment we default on our own values and faith is the moment we give into the strife and become part of the problem.  

1- Determine your values and stand strong for them.  

– What is your core set of values

– What drives you daily in lives mission

– Will you stand form for how you think, what you value and accept different thought as opinion (that is all it is).

2- Refrain from telling others how they should think, belief, worship or if you agree or disagree with them.  

– It is your set of values and not theirs

– You cannot change people that do not want to change

– Respect the fact that we are all induvial and will think, act and behave differently

3- Say what you mean and mean what you say. 

– Do not fold, give in or change your values to fit in with groups, people, friends or organizations

– Be open, honest and frank in how you feel.  If people see you are passionate about it they will respect it regardless of agreement

– Stand your ground, hold strong and focus on “you”

4- Be willing to listen to others.

– Listening to them will not kill you

– It may give you an idea of what drives their thought process

– It is a good life skill that we all need in relationships

5- Standing firm shows integrity, discipline, courage, honor, self confidence and many other great traits people want to see in you.

I enjoy a good debate, reading and hearing other peoples opinions, values and what drives them.  But I refuse to give into things I disagree with whole heartedly that will shake my faith, family and friends foundation.  We all make small changes to how we live, think and act as we mature in life.  Bit stand strong, stand firm and never ever let someone else tell you how to think, act or behave. Its your life and you are the one that owns the consequences food or bad for your thoughts, values, actions and behaviors so live it, love it and learn from it.

God Bless!  

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Leading, Guiding, Mentoring, Teaching and Coaching People

I hope we all at some point had a parent, mentor, teacher, leader, boss, or coach that just stayed on us hard and held us to a high standard all the time.  A leader that mentored us and kept us on a path moving forward and growing as a person.  The great coach Tom Landry is todays motivational quote and topic.  He was what the players called a players coach.  He was kind of old school and was a true believer in following a set of values to lead the organization, team and individuals to bigger and better things.  I personally can say that I do not always want to hear what they have to say, especially if it makes me think about where I am as a person, father, husband, teacher, coach and community worker.  


Being challenged by the most important people around you and having successful people surround you drives goals, thoughts and preparation in life, work and play.  I am blessed to have a few very good friends and coaches on my staff that add so much value to the team, organization, school and community.  They keep me grounded, give me feedback and on track to become the best I can.  As we get older and reach pinnacles in our career, family and other goals we can become complacent in how we work, attack and go after life.  I am thankful to have people around me that push me, push my athletes and give so much for so little on rerun.

As a society we need more leaders that take us out of our comfort zone and into a challenge phase.  At times being told by someone with more experience, knowledge or background becomes a test to our communication skills, adult skills and attitude.  I personally am Thankful for all the coaches I have played or wrestled for and the ones I have coached with.  Each brought a skill set that was different and I learned both how to do things right and how not to do things from them.  Overall the good has far outweighed the bad and the feedback, guidance and leadership they offered is invaluable to me.  With this being said I ask this question for you to ponder and think about.


1) Would you rather have a mentor, leader, friend, teacher, coach or spouse that is straight up, to the point and gives you feedback that makes you better or do you want someone to pamper your feelings with what you want to hear because it strokes your ego and allows you to avoid facing the truth about things.


Have a great day and I hope and pray the best for you and yours!
Coach B

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Ten Things We Do Not Do Anymore Because of Technology

Today we are looking at a list of things that people used to do on a daily basis before technology changed everything and made them go away.  These are actually things people should continue to do and some may do these anyways.  I love technology but I also continue to do some of these things and still teach my students some of these items because I consider them to be needed life skills.  We all become so dependent on computers, phones, headphones, iPad and all those other gadgets that make life convenient and put the answer right at our hands.  I remember not so long ago traveling with the family and you had to actually take a map of the state out, locate the town or road, read the map and drive to that location.  Now we just say the address to our phone and it tells us how to get there and how long it will take. 

1- Figuring out basic math in your head- Kids are graduating school and cannot make change, count forwards or backwards to make change without a cash register telling them the amounts.  They grab their phone and put it in the calculator to determine your change.  If my bill is $10.05 and I give you $20.05 then the change is $10.00.  Kids often struggle with that concept because they no longer are required to memorize addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables like they used to. Being able to count change, identify coins, bills and make change is a life skill everyone needs and we shouldn’t have to rely on technology to tell us how to count it out. My students do basic math word problems solving retail and utility bill transactions in class to make sure they can count and make change.

2- Writing in cursive/signing your name- We go into the bank, store or another business and make a transaction and we sign by swiping a credit card or just running our finger along the screen making a line for our signature.  Kids are not learning to sign their names anymore in cursive.  There will be times in their adult life when they will be required to sign on the line.  Ask most teenagers, early twenty somethings what a John Hancock is and they probably do not know.  For those reading this a John Hancock is your signature. He was one of the first people to sign the Declaration of Independence, thus the tag line give me your “John Hancock” (Signature).  My classes practice signing their name in cursive weekly.

3- Call someone/family member to see where they are.  We use a phone app to locate them, ping them or check their profile.  I must admit this is a nice and convenient way to do it and as a parent of grown kids I love being able to track the progress of my kids when they are traveling.  It is nice to know where they are and they are safe.  Back in the day we actually picked up the phone and called and checked on people.  We spoke to them verbally to acknowledge that we were curious or wanted to know how they were doing and where they are at.  Remember, a good phone call with conversation goes a long ways and it may be the last time you speak to them.

4- We do not have conversations with people six feet from us.  I watch kids between classes while on duty or at lunch and they physically sit beside each other and type messages, chats and all that other stuff they do instead of talking to each other.  Go to a mall (after covid ends) and watch teenagers walk beside each other or sit at a table and send messages to each other instead of physically talking.  I will be at home and get a message from my wife or daughters who are like twenty feet away instead of simply saying “hey, blah, blah, blah”.  We must work on our communication skills because they are needed as adults on the job, in certain life situations and in the community.  Put the phone down and talk to people.

5- Telling time on a manual clock or alarm clock.  People have lost the skill of knowing what a clock is and how it works.  I actually had a student ask me onetime what that thing on the wall was behind me.  I said that is a clock and he looked at me like I was crazy,  My students learn how to tell time, read a calendar and other life skills like that.  It is convenient to look at a watch or phone, but can they actually read a clock on the wall if they go into a business to see what time it is.  This sounds silly, but if we do not teach our kids these skills then these things will fade away with time and be a lost skill needed for life. Do they know how many months have 28 days (1), how many months have 30 days, 31 days and so on.  You may not see the importance, but I see it differently as knowing how many Fridays in a month may determine how many times you get paid weekly or bi-weekly.  Get my point yet.

6- Taking pictures and developing film.  I am aging myself with some of these things, but pictures are important.  They are a way we reminisce about the past, celebrate the good times and track the growth of our family.  I love being able to take an instant picture on my phone and post it to the world to see.  But how about picture albums, albums of older family photos, home movies on CD’s and DVD’s.  When my parents passed away we found so many family photos and albums my mom had put together.  She had one each of my brothers and I and many others with all kinds of great memories.  I thank her for that effort and for knowing how important those pictures would be someday.  I am not knocking digital technology and the use of mass picture keeping in iCloud.  But to sit and look at actual photos taken through the years to me make them priceless.

7- Listening to good records and albums on a record player.  This is a niche market and some folks are really into older music and buying albums.  I still have many of my favorite albums from growing up and they are awesome to listen to.  Some of my all time favorites I have are Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Pink Floyd, Molly Hatchet, ACDC, Elvis, Cheap Trick, Heart, Wild Cherry, and many old top 40 albums from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  A new store opened near my house recently and I cannot wait to go check out their selection and grab a few good records from back in the day.  Modern music is really good, but anyone that grew up in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s knows the music was awesome and is still very valid to this day.  

8- Recording our favorite movies or shows on a tape.  I do not know of anyone that still does this, though I am sure they are out there.  We use DVR services and streaming services now because it is at our finger tips and very quick to access.  When my wife and I moved to our second home many years ago we had boxes of old tapes we had recorded television shows, movies and other stuff on.  We had great movies that can fill a great two hour time slot on any rainy day like Pretty Woman, Rambo, Top Gun, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Home Alone and so many more I cannot think of right now.  Now we just log into our paid service and stream it or pay a few bucks and watch it on the television.  I know this may not come back strong, but sitting and watching a good old movie is family time worth doing.

9- Run to the store for a last minute gift or go shopping.  People still shop brick and mortar stores and go to Walmart, etc.  But now we just pick up the phone and order it online or have a delivery service being it to us the next day.  We order it and ship it straight to the persons house and yes it is convenient.  But it also takes the art of finding that perfect item, gift or from the heart purchase out of the mix.  Guys, I am not talking about that anniversary day last minute trip to get the wife some flowers, candy and a card. My mom loved and lived to shop and she taught me and my brothers how to shop.  I love to go with my wife and just try to pick out some really cool stuff (I may not need) but its is cool and a great gift idea for someone.  

10- Writing checks to people and companies.  How annoying is it when you are in line at a store and an older person is writing a check for their groceries or food.  I am guilty of thinking the same thing and it has been a while since the wife and I wrote a check to someone.  But we do have a check book and on occasion writing a check is needed IMO.  When you purchase a large item like a car, truck or house you need that documentation in case something goes south later on.  That could mean getting a bank check or money order, but that documentation is needed for taxes, records and personal protection later on if a court issue arises or a dispute is filed.  I teach my kids at school how to write checks and balance a checking account so they have that ability as an adult.  Keeping a register is important to knowing how much you are spending.  Just swiping that debit card until the money is gone is often a way to get into debt, pay fees and run over the limit.

There are many things we have stopped doing and you could list them yourself.  Some of these you may still do and that is good.  Things like carrying cash, using a dictionary, using a pay phone, writing on paper, writing an actual letter, walking in and paying for gas and on and on.  These are items of convenience and technology makes it easier (most of the time) and quicker so we can move on to the next thing on our list of to do’s.  Slow down and make sure your kids do not forget or know how to do the “old school ways” of living.  They may need it Oneday as an adult when that phone battery goes dead or they need to sign their “John Hancock” to buy a home or car.

God Bless!

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Ten Odd Things We Took For Granted Today

Living in America on most days 99% I would guess is a dream that many people from other places and countries would love to have the same daily opportunity that the majority of us have.  We do have some issues that plague society as a whole but most of them are on a smaller scale and in many cases are brought on by the individual through choices, bad situations and other events that we cannot predict.  I have put together a list of the little things (blessings) that we woke up with today that myself and many other didn’t think about or give thanks for this morning or tonight before we go to bed.  
Blessings come in small gifts and packages sometimes.  They also come in large packages and events that shape our lives, change things for us and challenge us in life.  Take a look at this list and give thanks for the blessing bestowed upon you and your family today.  You may not experience most of these all the time, but my guess is you have the majority of them daily and can be grateful for it.


1- You woke up today.  May sound silly but you were given another day to work, live and play the way you want to.  You are not as they say “pushing up daises” or ” laying six feet down”.  Take each day your given and do the best with it.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow.
2- You have freedom to do what you want to do today.  Most people do anyways.  Do not take your freedoms for granted and be careful what you surrender to government, agencies and other people that want to control you.  Living in America and other countries that are free allow you to live, work and play.  Do not take this for granted folks.
3- You will get fed today or have some type of food.  There are far too many people in the world that have no food, water or a safe place to sleep.  Your meal may be ramen noodles or a bowl of tice, but it is food and a blessing that you can out something in your belly.  Do not take food for granted!
4- The sun and moon are still giving us warmth.  We are blessed to have such a wonderful solar system that includes the two things we need to survive.  Both give us light and warmth even during the coldest of days.  It is always a blessing to see a beautiful blue sky also as a true gift from God.  Do not take being warm and having the sun and moon for granted.
5- You were able to see something wonderful in nature today when you walked outside or left for work.  If you sat on the deck or porch and looked at trees, greenery or even some nice sky lines.  Be grateful for that wonderful feeling of nature and nurture that feeling daily.  The earth is a beautiful place and we need to do a better job of taking care of it and keeping it clean and pretty.  
6- You have family, friends and significant others that are with you today.  Do not take these relationships for granted and always give love, support and offer help to them. Hug people, give them compliments and help them raise up daily.  We lose too many people that are important to us over silly things.  Do not take this for granted. 
7- You got up and went to work today.  For those that have a job be grateful for that and the opportunity to become better, grow in your career/job and make a good living.  Even if it is not the living you want or the job you want, be grateful for the chance to improve yourself and your family situation.
8- You are not sick, affected by Covid, Cancer and other disease.  If you are healthy do your best to stay that way.  Be mindful of those that are suffering and have empathy for them.  Do not take your health for granted as I know all to well.  A month ago I got Covid and it almost killed me and changed things for my wife and I.  Be grateful and remember there are others much worse off.
9- You got to pet a dog or cat today.  You got to spend time with your favorite little or big critter today.  They are our best buds and take care of us.  They are patient, stay close to us and are not demanding of our time and energy.  Take care of your fur babies, feed them, pet them and show them the return love they give to you.  Never take your fur babies for granted!
10- You got to use technology today.  Technology has made all of our lives better in some ways.  It instantly gets us in contact with family, friends and work.  It allows us to see what is happening in all the lives we touch, pay bills, order food, ride cabs, and all the other things we probably take for granted.  Do not take technology for granted, it can be a blessing in your life.  


These are all just simple little things I feel blessed with.  You can create your own list and add or take away as needed.  We may not have it all, but we have plenty in the grand scheme of things. Live, Love, Lift Up and Have a Great Day with small but significant blessings!

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Ten Life Skills to Teach Your Teenagers

 Today we are talking about basic life skills that we need to be teaching our pre-teen and teenage children that will assist them in being a productive young adult once they leave the safe confines of mom and dads house.  They will no longer have mom and dad to take care of their clothes, make sure the oil is changed in the car, things are clean and organized and all the other stuff we do for and with our children.  As a high school teacher that specializes in working with kids with intellectual and behavior disabilities one of my main focus points all school year is growing the basic life skills of my students. 

As a coach I also assign certain duties to the team so they can learn how to do laundry, clean and keep the locker room neat and orderly.  Our children do not need to grow up having everything handed to them or done for them. Our goal as adults, parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, aunts and uncles should always be to help our kiddos learn to live, work and play the best they can once they are grown and can no longer depend on us for everything.  With this said, I have put together a list of ten things kids need to be able to do before they leave your home and venture into the world wide eyed and bushy tailed to take it on. 

My parents taught me valuable lessons like cooking, cleaning, doing chores, working outside, gardening, fixing things, and most importantly to be able to depend on myself to get things done.  My dad could fix anything and was very good with his hands.  I tried to learn that but am not the most mechanical person so even in my 50’s I continue to tackle that task and get better at fixing things around the house.  I assure you, my wife would likely hire someone else to do it versus allowing me to do it as I am not the best at reading directions.  

My mom taught my brothers and I how to clean, shop, cook, take care of chores and be respectful to women, family, friends and neighbors.  Both taught us the value of hard work, family, faith and being able to conquer lives challenges. Below is the top ten things I would like to see teenagers and emerging young adults be able to handle in life and these can be taught as they are growing up in your house.  Take a few minutes and involve them in these things and watch them learn and grow into productive adults.

1- Laundry- Kids need to be able to do laundry.  My brothers and I rotated helping my mom with laundry growing up.  Did you know there are certain ways to fold certain things.  I drive my wife nuts not folding underwear and tee shirts the ways she prefers (hee hee hee), got to get her someway right guys.  Keeping clean, orderly, properly folded and hung clothing is an important part of life. Why spend the time rushing before work to press and get clothes wrinkle free when they could be hung properly so you can grab and go.  When they go off to college, move out and begin life they need to be able to take care of clothes.  Clothes are expensive and should be handled with care.

2- Shopping for groceries is another skill they need to have.  I am not talking about running in and buying milk and eggs for mom real quick.  Can they make a list of the items needed for the pantry, to make a recipe or prepare for a holiday meal.  Do they understand pricing per ounce, what is the best buy and the difference in generic and name brand foods.  Shopping can get very expensive if done randomly and without a process to maximize savings while getting every item needed.  Teach them how to shop, ask them to do the math and compare prices for the best deal. 

3- Teenagers need to know how to cook.  I am not talking about just boiling macaroni and cheese.  Can they prepare a meal that has the basic parts needed like a meat, protein and veggies.  Can they measure out ingredients and properly season a meal.  My mom taught me how to cook and I still love to cook to this day for my family.  Taking a one semester class in school about foods and nutrition is pretty standard, but as parents and guardians we need to teach our kids to prepare foods, cook it and serve it to people.  

4- Teenagers need to know how to manage money.  Most kids take a basic class in school about finances or in business classes but can they actually manage money, make and count change, identify bills, coins and know how to save money.  A piggy bank is not saving money so open an account with them not for them.  When they get all that birthday money take them to the bank and have them save 50% of it in a checking account.  Teach them how to write a check, make a debit card transaction and how using credit can ruin them early on as young adults if not managed properly.  

5- Teenagers must learn to stay organized and not be so cluttered.  They live a life on the go and one that involves the use of technology.  Teach them how to stay organized, neat and clean in life.  Do you allow their room to be cluttered with stuff laying all over the place.  If they rely on you to help them stay organized and find stuff then hold them accountable and the next time they miss a deadline on a project then they get the grade they get.  Teach them about organization at home, work and in life.  They will need this skill later on to function as an adult.

6- Teach them how to manage time.  As a teenager I grew up in a different time but kids are not that much different now from back then.  They stay busy, on the go and are constantly looking for the next thing to do.  However, they must learn as they grow up that managing time is important.  Teach them to be on time, be early to events, manage the time they have between homework, sports and other activity.  If you as a parent are always late getting them to school, going out the door and trying to manage life.  Then it is time to sit back, reexamine you schedule and make positive changes so you can teach your kids the value of managing time.  

7- Teach them how and when to communicate with people.  Dealing with adults, at church and other events is not the same as talking to their friends on the phone or at school.  Our kids are growing up in a technology age where everything is bam and done.  They have 25 apps on their phones that they chat with, send pictures and share things with their group of friends. The question I have is do they know how to properly communicate with adults, teachers, parents, school personnel and the community as a whole.  Do they know that street language, bad language and slang terms are not appropriate at work, church, in the community and at social events.  I tell my students daily there is a time and place for certain ways to talk and communicate. I do not respond to my student/athletes saying “yo”, “hey”, “bro”, “what”, “dude” or any of that other street lingo.  

8- This one may surprise you but it is very important.  Do your kids know how to swim, tread water or survive or help if someone is drowning.  My kids love to swim and grew up in a pool all summer, in the lakes near the house and learned how to swim.  Water is a killer and knowing how to swim, tread water and survive is important. Take them to the YNCA, a lake or a local river and have them learn how to swim.  You may think, is this really a life skill they need and I respond by saying what will they do “if” Oneday they see someone, maybe even their own family or child struggling.  Are they going to stand there and watch the person drown or take action and try to save that life.  Think about it!

9- How to do basic car maintenance.  How many times have a I heard a mom or dad say that little tommy ran the car out of gas, out of oil or broke the tire off.  Teenagers need to know how to get the oil changed in a car, to check the tires for air pressure before taking trips, check fluid levels and add fluids as needed.  They need to be able to change a tire on a car.  Yes they will call mom and dad or a friend, but they need to know where the spare tire is, where the jack is and how to use it.  What if they are an hour away somewhere, they could have it changed or fixed before you get there.  Do they know that the temperature gauge goes over a certain point or they smell fluids burning to pull over and call for help.  I worked with a football coach years ago that actually took his players to the parking lot and with parental permission would have them change tires, rotate the tires, and check fluids in every car.

10- Teenagers need to know the value of hard work and what it takes to be successful.  Are you teaching them that everything will be handed to them on a silver platter or are you teaching the values of work ethic, dedication, discipline and how to get ahead in life.  Teenagers need to work a part time job if they can, especially in the summer time.  It will give them the opportunity to actually put into practice the thing on this list we talked about.  They will learn to make money, save money, work hard, take car of the car, live on a schedule, manage time and stay organized on their studies and life.  

Lastly I beg of you to please teach your children what I call the Barney Principles of life.  These are basic life skills that will enable them to find, keep and be productive on the job, in life and how they play.  Please, Thank You, Yes Mam, No Mam, Yes Sir, No Sir, Your Welcome, No Thanks, Bless You and all those other sweet sayings that make people feel warm inside, shows respect for people and allows them to properly communicate with peers, family and friends.  As a teacher I address my students with these kind words an sayings and expect it in return.  As a parent, guardian, teacher, guide, mentor, aunt, uncle or coach we should raise the expectations of our youth, teach them these life skills and allow them to grow into wonderful productive adults they can be!

God Bless!

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My Four F’s- Faith, Family, Friends and Fitness

Today I am writing about the four main parts of my life that equal up to 100% of good spiritual, mental and physical fitness.  This is my list and may vary from what you think are your top four.  For me all of these are necessary for me to live my life with vigor, intent and pursue my dreams.  These four areas are Faith, Family, Friends and Fitness.  I will explain each and how it applies to my overall well being, goals and inner self.  We all have things that drive us, traits, behaviors, beliefs and actions that define us to our family, friends and community.  These four are my main definers and are equal parts to the overall well being of my spirit, mental and physical condition.  

I have not always been focused on all of these and they probably were not equal parts.  My faith defines me and drives my interactions, behaviors and thought process with people.  My family is a priority and taking care of them, being a good father, husband, brother, cousin and all those other roles is very important to me.  I grew up in a strong faith based home with outstanding parents that taught me the value of faith and family as the two main concepts of living a sound life that impacts people and makes the world go around.  My friends are too numerous to mention and of recent I have seen just how much love and respect they have for my family as I have faced heart issues and a pretty severe case of Covid that required a hospital stay.  

Our friends stepped up bigtime sending over food, calling, texting, emailing and sending prayers and thoughts during this health crisis. I cannot imagine life without them, their support, guidance and care.  Some friends you may not see very often, but when it comes time to step in they will be there and you have to make sure you are the same kind of friend to them.  Lastly, I included Fitness as part of the process and that had been very important to me growing up and into my early 30’s.  I let myself go with work, teaching, coaching and family obligations for too many years and am now working hard to overcome that lack of physical fitness in my life.  I was always active coaching, working outside and stuff but just did not do the regular exercise needed to be fit and healthy.  

Now, I am working more on that goal with more routine exercise, stretching and eating better.  I am not trying to totally change who I am, just want to become healthier one step at a time so I can live a vibrant life as I approach the best years of my life with my bride of 28 years beside me and my grown kids to enjoy. 

Faith- Faith in a higher power, God or whatever it is you worship gives a solid foundation for overcoming the tough times and acknowledging the many blessings we have when times are good.  

Family- We find strength in our family relationships.  Our brothers, sisters, parents, grand parents and all the others we call family.  Family is important and we should all cherish those daily, weekly, monthly and yearly visits, calls, vacations, holidays and time spent together.  I have already lost my parents and grandparents on mine and the wives side so I will tell you to spend time with them, seek them out and love them as hard as you can.

Friends- I have already spoke about friends and there is not much more to say.  I hear people say they do not have many friends or seek to make friends and that is a foreign concept to me.  Having that community of friends to reach out to, spend time with and care about is a true treasure in life.

Fitness-  For me it is more about my mental, physical and spiritual fitness and the balance I need in each.  I want to be more fit and have set goals for that to be a healthier person.  Being fit of mind, body and soul enables you to live a life of challenge, vigor and be intentional with each days gift.  

I recommend that you take a look at each of these areas in your life.  Determine where you are, where you want to be and how to get there in each area.  One may need more focus than others or you may need to add one or two of these to build that solid foundation for a successful life.  

God Bless!

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Balancing Home Life, Work and Play- Five Tips to Pull it Off

Today I am writing about one of the biggest problems, issues, conflicts or whatever you call it we have as adults. Balancing work and everyday life is a daily challenge, chore and task that at times can get the best of us. I have been working as an adult now for well over 35 years and have already transitioned through the various cycles we see in our life cycle as adults, parents, working people and all the other stages we enter and leave in our life. During all of these stages of life one monster was always in the way and that was finding a way to balance home life, work and play.

First lets define how I see balance in the parts of your daily life. Work-life balance is basically the concept or way that you prioritize your time, energy and commitment to work, family and fun activity. It is a way to encourage you to divide your time in a way that is best for you and the family. The benefits of prioritizing work-life balance include increased productivity, higher work engagement, reduced stress and more time to devote to leisure activities

As adults we are constantly busy with family, friends, work and community activity all designed to live our best and give our children the best possible life they can have. We spend so many hours working and sleeping that we often do not take care of the other most important part and that is how we play. We have to play, relax and just get away at times to reenergize, rebuild and find that balance we must have to stay healthy emotionally, physically and spiritually. I did some basic research and came up with five tips I can use to help me balance my home life, family life, faith life, work life and other interests I have and pursue.

  1. Limit nonessential activities- We often go to places and do things just to do it. I don’t know how many times I left work to attend a function, event, ballgame or activity just because it was a busy task. These are important events, but finding a way to limit them is important to balancing life. As an example, I am a career coach and teacher and have spend thousands of hours in gyms and at football fields watching and coaching games. As I got a little older and my priorities changed I learned that I did not always need to stay at school after a 10-12 hour day to watch every basketball, volleyball or soccer game.
  2. Learn when to say “NO”. This is huge especially if you are a service minded person that loves to give, help, support and serve others. Pour your time and energy into the community, church, outreach and other positive functions. But also know when to stop and say no. You can become over whelmed by all this activity and burn out fast. Do not take on more than you need and think of it like this. If you are pouring your heart and soul into 1-2 things instead of 3-4 things then ultimately your giving more and putting your all into it.
  3. Establish boundaries and unplug. Walk away from life sometimes to recharge, reenergize and rebuild. Tell the kiddos tonight is find what you can find to eat night. Use a delivery service for food, have groceries delivered instead of spending a few hours after work hunting the aisles for things. Send the kids to their rooms and give them a night of movies, video games or playing games. Go hide in your room and read, take a nap or just talk to your spouse.
  4. Consider your schedule. Communicate your needs. Take a hard look at your schedule and figure our what can stay or go. Are you doing things just to do it and stay busy. Do not waste that energy on a senseless activity, instead use it to be productive or relax. Can you cut back on work hours, change jobs, careers or possibly retire. Are you on too many committees at church, work, and in the community that are getting in the way of your goals. Take a few things off the plate and see the difference it makes.
  5. Communicate your needs. Make sure your boss, spouse, kids, grandkids, family and friends all understand where you are. If change is needed then make sure to communicate that to the most important people in your life. Do not try to do it alone and when you feel the stress, anxiety and other emotions rising up talk about it, go relax and let it out. Not communicating your needs is the worst thing a family can do, especially when dealing with a spouse.

I Hope these simple techniques can assist you in living your best life. Have fun working through the changes we face and the challenges they present. Work, play and live the best you and God Bless!

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Five Simple Changes to Kick Start Weight Loss

Today I am writing a quick blog post about simple ideas and changes that will allow you to begin the process of losing a few pounds at a time and getting healthier in 2021. I myself began the process of working on my health and weight back in the middle months of 2020 just prior to getting sick with heart issues and then Covid 19 hit me hard. I had lost about 15 pounds by making some small changes and was beginning to feel the physical effects (positive) of the small weight loss and changes the wife and I had made to our diet plan, exercise routine and activity.

When Covid hit me in December of 2020, the weight started flying off literally as I have since dropped about 30 pounds so far and things are starting to level off now as I am healing daily, gaining my appetite back and strength a day at a time. I plan to continue to lose weight, get lean and work on total health in 2021. I am not talking going crazy and becoming a gym rat, just small simple changes that will help me live a better life, feel better and move forward towards goals I have in life.

Below are a few of the changes that I had already made and plan to continue to pursue daily to slowly work my weight down, stay active and live a great life that meets my new goals in my mid 50’s.

1- Water: I am drinking water all day now and maximum hydration is part of the process of a healthy life. Track your fluid intake daily and avoid high sugar content liquids, lots of caffeine and sodas. Drink water, sports drinks and supplemental shakes to stay hydrated.

2- Sleep 6-8 hours a night. Track your sleep with a phone app or invest in a really nice bed. I am not advertising and will tell you it was expensive. But the best thing my wife and I invested in 2020 was a sleep number bed. It tracks my sleep patterns, is very comfortable and adjusts to me. I love it and getting better sleep allows you to be more productive, have more energy and live life at its fullest.

3- Keto, Vegan or other plans often can kick start your weight loss and add value to the overall health plan you set. The wife loves Keto, but for me heart healthy is more important so I added some Keto, some vegan and some other changes that made an impact overall. Below are some examples of changes we have made that had made us feel better.

Almond Flour Wraps- Replaced whole grain and processed breads.

Vegan Meals- Occasionally we just eat all veggies or replace some of the higher calorie processed meats with vegan options.

Sugary Products- Get rid of the high calorie sugary drinks, cakes, puddings and pies. Replace them with a stevia based product or something more natural that has the flavor but reduces the calories and sugar going into your body.

4- Exercise: Small changes such as walking 15 minutes 3-4 days a week are huge. If you have steps, just do up and down step ups for five minutes at a slow pace to increase your heart rate. Walk to the mailbox or around your neighborhood for 15 minutes or so. Do some pushups, sit-ups and other body weight exercises to become lean and mean.

5- Ditch the junk food for other options. You can snack on things in a healthier way by making small changes to your snack program. We all need snacks on occasion so plan them out. Use almond crackers, make your own buffalo dip or sauce, weigh it out in small packages and eat that only. The key is do it, but do it light and stop when you are full. I love Buffalo’s dip and can sit and eat a whole thing of it and that holds tons of calories, sodium and other bad things. So my wife now makes it for for me and it is much healthier using fresh chicken, a lower sodium sauce and spices.

There are many other ways to kick start your 2021 health plan and become the person you want to be physically. Do some research, try things and see what works for you. My wife lost 40 pounds on Keto, but for me it just did not do the trick. Each person is different so individual needs will be best to meet your goals, ideas and plan for 2021 forward.

God Bless!

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2021 Declutter Strategies

Today I am writing about ways you can declutter your life for the 2021 year moving forward. These are all simple, basic ideas that will allow you to take some of the things off your bucket list or honey do list for the guys. I have a long list of things to complete, declutter and move on from that will take some pressure off of me, the family and allow us to move on and press forward. Clutter is not just all those things we have collected through the years laying around in the closets, garage, storage buildings and drawers.

We get clutter in our lives physically, mentally, spiritually and things we gather. We hold onto these things for emotional reasons many times or just in case we need it down the road. Reminds me of my grandmother who saved every ounce of bacon grease, fatback and leftovers she could pack into an old can or jar. Might need it for a rainy day, right. So with this said I am taking a look at how I can declutter my life, get rid of some stuff and clear that list off a few things at a time.

1- Go through your closets and clear them out. Right now is a great time to donate clothes, food and other usable items to local food banks, churches and other community organizations. You clear things out and help others, it is a win win for both sides.

2- Rearrange a room or two in the house to meet your needs now. Do you have a bedroom your kids used years ago sitting there empty. Turn it into a she shed or man cave. Make it a reading space, quiet space, chill room, yoga room, nap space or office space. This gets rid of that furniture you do not need and makes a new fresh space with a quick paint job to declutter and refresh things.

3- Clean out your entertainment centers and drawers. When my wife and I moved houses we had all kinds of clutter in drawers. Batteries, candy, combs, papers, and all kinds of mess just packed in those drawers. The entertainment center was packed full of old Disney videos, CD’s, Cassette Tapes and stuff that we were able to pack up, sell, throw away or transfer to video using all this new technology.

4- Get in the garage and clear it out. Bring in one of those totes from a trash company which may cost a couple hundred dollars and start tossing stuff in it. Send it off and clear out that garage so you can actually park your car or use the space for the things you need. We used one of those and cleared out so much stuff that had collected over the years. We threw away old equipment, yard tools and boxes of stuff that just was taking up space.

5- Clear the mental clutter- Take a look at your life, where you are and where you want to be. Do you have people that are holding you back, negative, energy vampires in your life that you need to declutter. Set boundaries with them, move on from the drama, stress and issues that they present in your life. Good mental health is a 1/3rd of being a healthy person so declutter your mental health. Find ways to relax, chill out, have fun and grab a mental break as often as you can.

6- Declutter physically by beginning a small routine. Start walking, stretching, doing yoga or just get outdoors and do some activity. You do not have to go hard core and burn out, just start slow and make small changes taking baby steps along the way as you declutter your health. Lose a few pounds, breath better, feel better and you are now decluttering another 1/3rd of most important part of the life cycle.

7- Declutter spiritually also. Regardless of how you believe, what or who you value as a God, Savior or Deity. Consider where you are spiritually and what changes do you need to make to get growth, become a better human being and lift yourself and people up. I use prayer, meditation and rely on the Holy spirit personally to declutter my spiritual life and offer guidance, strength and mercy into my life.

8- Be less busy and make everyday count. Find ways to not just be busy running around doing aimless things. Instead find things to do that are productive, add value to your life and value to the family, community and nation. Volunteer, spend time at a shelter feeding people, go to church, go to parks, take quick weekend trips, enjoy hobbies and do it for fun with no expectations other than living your best life.

I hope these tips help you have a more productive and decluttered 2021 going forward. I have lots of work to do myself on them and look forward to the progress I can make on my mental, physical and spiritual 1/3rds of life as well as the clutter sitting in the house, garage, cars, office space and everywhere else.

God Bless! KB

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Ten Ways to Change Your Financial Situation in 2021

Today I am giving some sound basic principles about small ways you can change your financial situation, save money, save on fees and avoid credit related issues as we all push into 2021 with new financial, personal and career minded goals. For me personally, I am at the point of mid 50’s and really working towards being able to retire sooner than later by investing everything I can, becoming 100% debt free and setting my goals I can reach one dollar at a time by managing what I already have, will make and hopefully find some ways to bring in more $ in 2021.

I am not a financial guru of any sorts so please understand these are just simple ideas from my personal experience, adult lessons learned and current state of economics that apply to my household, career and banking situation. Being smart with our earnings, making sound investments, paying off debt, using less credit, paying cash for things, spending the bulk of your money on needs (not wants) can make a huge difference. Just imagine saving $1000.00 a year or even 10’s of thousands of dollars a year by making small changes that will be managed daily, weekly and monthly to save you a ton of money.

1- Automate Everything- Set all your bills (utility payments, credit cards, investments and other financial obligations on an automatic process. This enables you to pay everything on time, avoid late fees, cutoffs, charges and interest. It also allows you to grow your investments more rapidly. Set it up, watch it work for you and check reanalyze everything every few months to make sure you are getting the bang for your buck

2- Evaluate Your Banking- Are you setup with the right banking services? What are your interest rates on loans, mortgages, payments and investments. Are you helping the bank build huge sky scrapers or are you building your own fortune. Shop banks, compare rates and make a move if needed. Check into federal credit unions and see how much you can actually save on fees, charges and what kind of products they carry to help you out.

3- Attack Your Debt- Do some research on how to alleviate your debt the fastest possible way. You may want to attack the largest debt first and then the small or vice versa. Either way set up a financial plan and attack debt. Every dollar you prepay now saves you interest and makes you more money in the long run. Why pay a minimum payment on a loan for 3-4 years when you can pay extra ($5.00-$50.00) or more a month and get rid of it. Why leave $2500.00 sitting in the bank making less than a few percent interest and pay 20% interest on a loan. Use it, lose it and move on to savings.

4- Maximize Cash Back Opportunity- If you use a credit card, make sure you are buying from places that pay you cash back. Shop cards and move balances to the best possible situation you can find. Use online apps that apply discounts, give cash back and link your cards so you reap the benefits. There are lots of opportunity in this area so do your research.

5- Evaluate Your Budget- Are you paying for TV services, streaming services, fees, charges and other unnecessary items that can be saving you in the long run. I recently checked into all my services, streaming, cable, phone, internet, etc. to see what possible changes I could have made to save money and invest that for my future. What I found was that I had 2-3 services at almost $40.00 a month I didn’t need. I consolidated and cut off my television service so I could use streaming cheaper and actually watch what I want to.

6- Review Your Employee Benefits- Do you have the correct amount of life insurance, are their cheaper benefits. Do you carry benefits designed more for single or married status. See how you can maximize every single dollar of employee benefits and leverage that to save money.

7- Check Your Credit History- Sign up for a free service to monitor your spending, credit and status. In todays times and with all the scammers we must stay on top of our credit and know what is happening with it. Most credit card companies and banks offer free credit assistance, reports and monitoring. I have made more financial strides and moves the last two years simply by logging into my free credit service, checking balances, watching my score grow and my debt go down. It shows me how to attack, what to attack and the impact it has on my ability down the road to become more financially secure.

8- Down Size- In the case of my wife and I, our kids are in their 20’s and have moved out. We no longer need a four bedroom home that sits there and eats a bigger mortgage payment, higher utility costs and insurance. So we cleaned it out and will have it on the market soon. The time is right for selling as home prices are way up and people are moving out of big cities like crazy to get away from the chaos happening. Find a smaller, nice place you can retire in, rent or go ahead and make that move to the beach, mountains or another town you always wanted to make.

9- Pay Cash- Do not use credit unless you have to. Save money and pay cash for large investments. I want a brand new truck, but refuse to pay $700.00 a month for 72 months so I will save for a few years, find a reasonable good used truck that meets my “needs”, not my “wants” and then make the deal with cash. Eat out less, cook at hone, avoid impulse buys. I am the worst at this so I am preaching to the choir. I love sites like wish, amazon, etc. and I believe a truck comes almost everyday with something. I have work to do here and making a bunch of routine casual unexpected impulse buys for “wants” can drain the old pocket book quickly.

10- Be Your Own Bank- Help those that need help, invest in your community and local shops. Give to good causes and watch the blessings return to your ten fold. Avoid being the family bank and allowing brothers, sisters, cousins and all the others to beg for money and use your emotions to keep their lifestyle up. Help them if needed, but set ground rules and “cut” them off if they cannot fulfill their obligations back to you. I have been burned by family and friends and it hurts, but we have to hold ourselves and them accountable for sound financial decisions, actions and behaviors.

As my dad always told me, “it is not what you make son, it is what you do with what you make”. He was a wise man, never had a great job or income but through sound financial choices and being smart with what he made, he and my mom set the standards for my brothers and I to better live lives, support our families and work towards accomplishing our dreams.

God Bless!

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Top Ten Skills Needed for Success In Todays World of Work

Today we are talking about ten essential job and life skills that are a must in todays world of work to remain competitive, grow and drive your life and career to meet your financial goals.  Most of these come with time, energy, experience and just putting in the hours on the job learning.  As a high school teacher trying to prepare students for how they want to work, live and play after graduation I always spend time teaching these ten principles, having them complete job skill assessments, personal inventories, learning style inventories and identifying their strengths and areas of opportunity.  We all have specific areas of strength that guide our daily work ethic and help to deliver results needed to be successful on the job and in the career.

We all have areas of growth or opportunity areas that we must also attack and work to grow as these may be holding us back in life, on the job and in relationships.  Taking an active role in understanding your current skill set, being open and honest to feedback and setting a plan to grow is a must in todays world.  We all live, work and play in a very fast paced world that has changed a bunch over the years.  Technology and automation pretty much drive everything now so there has to be an emphasis on those skills for sure.  Most of students are wiz kids at using social media applications and other fun entertainment systems.  However, most of them are clueless on actual applications that are used on the job such as word, power point, coding apps, google docs, etc.  

With all this said below is a short list of the ten things that will help you grow, make more money and compete in the 21st Century and beyond.

1- Communication Skills- I am not talking about social media apps.  I am talking about actual conversation with a person.  Having the ability to write an email that is professional and to the point.  Being able to look someone in the eye, acknowledge them and stay on task while having a conversation.

2- Problem Solving Skills- Can you react to situations, problems, setbacks and other events without being a drama queen or king.  Can you overcome problems in life, work, relationships and deal with these in a positive and contributing mannerism.  Many young people do not have the social skills to solve problems, so work on this area constantly to grow.

3- Teamwork- Are you a team player or a rogue employee?  Many of our new generation have been raised to think life is al about them and they are number one. Bringing this mentality into a job often results in the issues I have already addressed and will be adding.  Suddenly, they are part of an organization with team goals, corporate slogans, ideals and requirements and it can be challenging for self-centered people.  Put your kids in little leagues, bands, groups, YMCA and urban leagues to teach them they are part of the big world and the skills to contribute as a team member for the greater good of all.

4- Initiative- Do you take care of things without being told what to do?  Are you driven to deliver results without people overseeing you and telling you what to do, how to do it and when?  Will you step up and be a leader in the office, job and in life when the opportunity presents itself.  Taking initiative is a key to success in life.  Those that try to manage career, family and life without pressing forward into it often struggle.  Build initiative by making small positive changes in your lifestyle and seek opportunity to grow this area.

5- Analytical Skills- Can you analyze things, data, problems and situations to find a solution or seek opportunities to make them better.  Being able to dive into data, information, knowledge, and read about topics of interest is key to success.  Being analytical requires to see the opportunity, analyze the information, make a list of possible fixes and implement the solution.  Work to grow these skills as you press forward in life.

6- Professionalism- Are you a consistent professional with all the things listed above and below?  Do you have integrity, do you take responsibility for your actions and behaviors?  Do people want to be around you, work with you and feed off of your positive vibes?  Being a professional in the way you dress, speak, act and behave is likely the number one key to holding a career job and moving forward.

7- Leadership- What is your interest in leading people, organizations, community and businesses?  Leadership skills are developed on the job, at home, by taking classes, going to seminars and many other ways.  Leaders are are not demanding, overbearing or aggressive to the point of being a jerk.  Leaders are empathetic, understanding, share knowledge, grow their peoples skills and hold themselves and those around them accountable.  Developing leadership skills is the way to growth, more money, responsibility and being out in front of the competition.  Work on your leadership skills constantly, never take a day off from it and grow.

8- Detail Oriented-  Are you a detail person or scatter brained?  We are all wired different way but being detail oriented especially in a job with those requirements is key to a long and lasting career.  Is your level of work and detail of high quality that delivers results needed and required by your boss, company or customers.  Delivering on time commitments, promises and contracts is huge to making $ and growing your own business, growing on the job or building an empire.

9- Digital Technology- Most employers deliver the training required for on the job production, applications, machines, computers and programs needed to complete work assignments.  Growing your digital skills will enable you to take them with you and are always transferrable to other occupations, jobs and self employment interest.  Grow these skills, utilize them and think out of the box when learning new digital skills and never go into an interview and refer to snapchat, Instagram and other apps as digital skills needed on the job.  

10- Adaptability- Are you adaptable and adjust to change quickly?  Can you take quick feedback, assignments and challenges and go after them quickly, orderly and deliver results.  Do you stress out easily when change hits you or do you attack it, think about it, breath and overcome?  Learn to adapt to nature, jobs, weather, career moves, challenges, sickness, health, body, mental and spiritual issues.  Grow this skills and you can overcome all of the things on this list and become the most productive career, family and community oriented person possible.

I wish you all the best, hope for your continued success, growth and opportunity in the world.  Focus on your strengths, grow your areas of opportunity and live, work, and play with vigor and always be intentional.

God Bless! Coach B

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Leaving 2020 and Moving into 2021- My Must Do’s

Some of my readers may or may not know that 2020 was a very tough year for me and my family.  I personally have battled heart issues, covid and other sickness since September of 2020.  I had three hospital stays, a couple of real scares as far as living another day and this has took a toll on me mentally, physically and spiritually.  But it did force me to take a hard look at my past, present and future growth in all three of these areas that are required for us to function healthy in life each day.  Taking this hard look will enable me to build a brighter future in all three areas of my existence.  You may not need all three, but for me they go tit for tat and connect the dots of the life style I live.  I must have all three to be strong of mind, body and soul. 

Everyone writes a bunch of new year resolutions that they intend to work on for the new year and go flying into the new year all fired up and on a mission.  Then soon, the mission becomes less important by day as things begin to get in the way, we face setbacks and life happens.  Instead of creating new habits, we fall back into the old ways and soon those resolutions are distant past and fading quickly.  Well, with proper planning and setting great doable goals we can all overcome 2020 and have an outstanding 2021 and beyond. 

People go out and join the gym taking advantage of those new year special $1.00 down fitness deals, buy new things, work on relationships, change jobs and do new things.  In my case these are not just going to be new year resolutions as I had already began to work on these things prior to even 2020.  Setting new goals in life requires us to first analyze where we have been, where we are and where we want to be.  We then can set an actionable plan in place with valid baby step goals, begin work on those goals and nip them off one second, one moment, one hour, one day, one week, one month at a time.  

We are always looking to grow, change and challenge ourselves based on where we stand in life at that om that moment.  Often, we get way out ahead of ourselves by setting these huge goals that may be way off in the distant future and will take plenty of work, time and energy to realize.  Setting smart goals that can be attained, refocused and allow you to see growth and the light at the end of the tunnel is the key to success in change.  If your goal is to get out of a $10.00 an hour labor job and become a millionaire self employed business owner then there will be steps in between.  You have to set reasonable goals towards, training, qualifications, education and skill growth to make that big of a move.  

You may want to lose 100 pounds total, but that will have to start with 1-2 pounds a week or 4-5 a month to set a pattern in place.  Instant success often leads to setbacks which some people just struggle to overcome.  Set your goals, work steady, take it slow and constantly refocus, reenergize and rest to stay on track.  Lastly, never give up on yourself, your faith, your family, your friends or life.  Look those goals in the eye, tell yourself you are special everyday and know that you are supported, loved and pushed to be the best you can.

1) Spiritual Growth- I have always been a spiritual person, but of recent I am really focused on my goals with God, faith and emerging myself into gaining a much higher connection with God.  I can do this by simply reading more, spending time in prayer and being around spiritual people that will help me reach those goals and grow daily.

2) Physical Growth- I have plenty to overcome as I have reached my mid 50’s and certain health conditions have arisen within in me (mostly my fault) from years of not doing the right things.  I am not a lost cause and can recover and will.  But it will take a consistent practice of eating well, walking, relaxing more and just enjoying life the best I can.  

3) Mental Growth- As I stated 2020 was s mental health emotional roller coaster ride for me.  It was full of ups and downs, curves, big hills, little hills, falls, speed and I got jerked around a lot.  I would be good to go one minute and an emotional wreck the next.  Things like anger, frustration, fear, self-loathing, health issues, relationships, family, friend and work related issues can wear you out emotionally.  2021 will be a rebound year in which I will focus on the now, move from the past and gain that vibrant healthy outlook on life I always had prior to 2020.  It will not be easy or straighten out that fast, but with time, energy and effort 2021 will be a great mental health break out year for many including myself.

4) Refocus, Reconnect, Reenergize, Revitalize and Reestablish-  I will use 2021 and forward to refocus, reenergize, revitalize and reestablish whatever is it is I need and want to do in life.  I am at a milestone where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel from a retirement perspective and how I intend to spend my golden years with my wife, kids, grands and friends.  I plan to set goals in place financially to enable this to come to light and happen sooner than later.  Like I said, above it will be baby steps in the process with the ultimate goal reached in the end.

5) Let Things Go- As I have reached a pinnacle of certain amounts of success in life, teaching, mentoring, coaching and as a family man I plan to look at what I can let go of.  In 2018 after nearly 30 years of coaching football I walked away one Friday night and never looked back.  I miss the game, but not the rat race it left my life in 6-7 days a week coaching, preparing and leading in the profession.  I have other responsibilities now that soon may come to an end.  I have had a great run as a coach, mentor, teacher and community supporter and now it is time for more family time. It is time of me time, wife time, kid time, chill time, travel time and other things I want in my life.  

I hope you enjoyed the blog today, got some inspiration, motivation, excitement and energy from the words. Dedication, Determination, Discipline, Devotion, Deliberate, Destiny, Disciple and all the other motivating D words are yours today!

God Bless! Coach B

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Fight, Fight, Fight

2020 was a tough year for me physically as I was faced with multiple health conditions that truly tested my physical, mental and spiritual durability. As the year wound down along came the COVID 19 virus and it took major hold on me attacking my health, lungs and body. The biggest challenge was mentally as the virus took its toll on my breathing, energy levels and the other problems it created. It eventually becomes a mental battle when your energy levels are squashed and it wears you out just to take a bath, dress or walk into the kitchen.

We got sick about a week before Christmas Day and things escalated from there quickly. COVID started out slow but began to roll along and challenged my health quickly. Next thing you know, I am in the hospital like many people have been fighting for my health and future. As a career coach and teacher I have always spoken to my student athletes about being a fighter and suddenly I had to stand to my own words and fight. And a fight it has been and one that continues in the hospital as I type this blog post.

COVID is nasty and effects everyone differently and there were a few days, times and instances I wasn’t sure it was going to work out very well. All along I got very uplifting words of encouragement from my family, friends and peers telling me to fight. Yesterday one of my wrestlers called me and said “coach, your a fighter, hang in there, battle this and come home soon”. Oh the words of a 16 year old that is motivating a grown man with the same words of encouragement I have used on him after several matches he may or may not have won.

I constantly encourage my guys to stand strong and fight. There will be points in our lives when we are forced to fight, forced to stand, forced to meet obstacles head on. COVID will overwhelm you and make you quit if you are not tough and fight. For those that have fought the battle keep it up. And for those that have lost someone, I sincerely wish you blessings, mercy and guidance from God during these times. I found strength in his word and battled, fought and have kept a positive attitude so I can overcome this COVID mess and go home to my family, career, students and athletes.

Fight, Overcome, Battle, Win, Have Faith, Live Intentional, Hope for a brighter time and let’s whoop COVID 19!

God Bless! Coach B


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Teaching Tips for Future, Beginning, Mid Career and Old Timers!

Today I am writing about being a teacher and thinking back on my career especially when it started.  We go to college and learn our subject matter, take those fancy classes about classroom management, fundamentals of teaching and all those other elective classes to prepare to go conquer the world and be the best teacher we can possibly be.  Prior to graduation you serve an intern with a veteran teacher and in a short semester you are off into the field at your first job.  I am not discounting all the training, classes and prior knowledge and experience brought into that first job.  It is a plus and helps set a foundation for a bright future, one that regardless of what some people think is not easy, very rewarding and comes from the heart.

Over the years we have all been through tons of training, read books, attended seminars and continued our education to become the most qualified teacher, mentor, facilitator, administrator, media specialist, lead teacher, and all the other opportunities that are open to an educator.  Principals, School Boards, Admin teams, Superintendents come and go and as they do so does all the new training, ideals, books, philosophies, rules, regulations and all that other stuff that is part of that turnover.  The one thing that stays the most consistent though is the frontline teachers, assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians and all office personnel having to adapt and overcome the best they can.  Lets not forget to say the students and parents as well as these moves in and out by career driven admins create inconsistencies for the community as well.

I have worked for some fabulous administrators, superintendents and well, unfortunately for some that were full of it and just did not manage things effectively, communicate well, take care of their students, staff and admin teams.  Thank goodness, these have been far and few between the good ones.  I am grateful for all of them as lessons are learned and growth takes place within adversity.  Being comfortable is the easy way out, but when we get thrown out of our comfort zone it creates opportunity for us to grow in our chosen profession and life.  With this said I have some advice for those considering teaching, new teachers, veterans and those set in their ways (we call them career teachers).  

I am not a perfect teacher by no means and have had a great career working with students, teaching, mentoring and coaching them for many years now.  I am honored to work with such great people, students, parents and admins daily.  We teach because we care, we teach because we want to make a difference, we teach because someone else made a difference in our lives at some point in a classroom, a band room, a football field, the gym or in the admins office.  Below are some ideas and tips for you to stay fresh, relevant and continue to deliver rigorous content to your students and allow them the best possible learning environment possible.  

1- 3 C’s- Be absolutely Clear, Concise and Consistent in your interactions with the students, staff and parents.  They must know your expectations and that you will be the three things listed above.  I am not saying be a jerk, micro manager or the “boss”.  What I am saying is our kiddos need consistency, clear concise communication and consistent modeled behavior.  You say “yes sir”, “no mam”, “please and thank you” to them and watch what happens.  I call it the Barney Rule!  My kids address one another with those terms of endearment because of modeled behavior.  I do not respond to “hey”, “bruh”, “dude”, “what”, “yo” or any of those other slang words kiddos use today.  

2- Effective Classroom Management- Hold yourself and the students accountable for their actions, behaviors, often misguided teenager intentions.  Remember, we were once teenagers and probably acted a little silly, stupid, couldn’t sit still or just acted out at times.  Boundaries must be set and it you monitor your classroom, feed positive vibes, correct the correctable behaviors then your classroom will be an effective, supportive and inviting learning opportunity for the kiddos.  As a backup point to number one, my kids correct one another in class when they hear someone say a “bad or derogatory” word.  It puts the expectation on them and of course, I am always there to get it straight if need be. 

3- Be Flexible- This sounds the opposite of the above, but I am not referring to just winging it daily or changing paths on a consistent basis.  What I  am saying is that you have to be flexible at times.  The best laid plans often fall short or just are not getting it.  There are a number of variables that can slow you down, mess you up and set you back (attendance, sickness, holidays, behavior, school campus activities) and so many others.  Be flexible, have a backup plan and a backup plan for that one just incase.  Allow the students to engage one another, make presentations, build projects and do hands on stuff.  

4- 3 R’s- Relevance, Rigor and Review- Teach your content, but do not teach to a stupid test.  Teach relevant topics that can help your students grow their overall educational background.  Make it rigorous by using all kinds of teaching techniques to push them to learn and lastly, review to make sure they picked up what you have worked on with them.  Do not find out after the fact they missed it, teach, review, practice, teach, review, practice and master it the best you can.

5- Pick and Choose your battles- Not every issue is worth a fight with a student.  Know what is in their back pack.  I do not mean literal pencils, books, PE clothes, etc.  I mean home life, homelessness, behavior disorders, learning disorders, parental issues, sickness, health, hunger, abuse, working jobs, how many siblings, single parenting, street life, school and athletic pressures, and tons of other stuff they bring to school in that backpack.  Know your students and what they are packing.  Sometimes, it is just better to not address it, let it stew for a bit, handle it later or speak with the student quietly and calmly.  RELATIONSHIPS!  Let me repeat, RELATIONSHIPS!  That will allow you and the student to begin to “unpack” that backpack one issue at a time.  

6- Have fun, grow daily and go home- Never let them see you sweat, make sure they know you appreciate them, love them, push them, hold them accountable, take care of them, feed them, counsel them and make sure their well being is always #1.  The rest will take care of itself.  

Grace before grades!  What is allowed will persist! Never let them see you sweat! Always remember who’s name is on the classroom door! Build relationships, rigor and be relevant. 

Have fun, enjoy and teaching is the best job ever!  

God Bless! Coach B

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Battling Covid 19

I took a few days off from blogging as I have been recovering from Covid 19 over the Christmas Holidays.  I am writing this to tell my story of the battle I fought with Covid and how it has impacted me and the family this past week and a half.  Since Covid hit we have been very focused on avoiding it the best we could and took precautions to not contract it.  That all changed a week and half ago as we were exposed to someone that did not know they were a carrier and within a few days the wife and I started feeling bad and suspected that we may have contracted it just prior to the Holidays.  It started out like a common cold with runny nose, chest congestion and stomach ache.  We tried for three days to find a testing site close to the house and eventually drove down the road about forty five minutes to be rapid tested. 

We were steadily getting sicker and within  a few days of the test we got the results back that we were positive for the virus.  At this point we cancelled Christmas with the family and locked down at home keeping to ourselves and ordering out for food and groceries.  Thank Goodness for all these delivery services as we loaded up with over the counter meds, food, ginger ale and supplies to to ride it out.  The first few days were not too bad, mostly just sickness kind of like a common cold and my wife had it worse than I did.  Soon though, things began to clear up for her as she started to get her energy back and strength.  That is when things went south for me as I have a few underlying medical conditions and believe me it turned nasty quick a few days ago.

Just as we thought we were pushing through it, the virus got into my chest and nasal areas and created some major breathing issues.  We contacted the doctor and I went through one round of antibiotics with very limited progress.  At that point we were just praying and hoping I did not end up in the hospital with pneumonia.  We continued to take meds, rest, do breathing treatments and stay as positive as possible about it.  Yesterday morning I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a truck, my body was sore, I was majorly congested and had a terrible headache and sinus congestion.  We called the doctor and I am now on round two of antibiotics and making slow progress.

I write this as a warning to people to be safe and not take this covid stuff lightly.  We do not know how it will impact us and if you have underlying medical issues be extra careful.  It is brutal on the body, wears you down and beats you up pretty good.  I am fortunate that I avoided the hospital and have a great wife that has taken care of me (men we know we are big wusses) when we get sick.  I have friends and family that have struggled during these covid times, lost love ones and still are suffering. So with that said, I acknowledge that I got off easy with covid, but promise you I never want to fight this mess again.

If you get it listen to the experts. These things have helped us push through it and I will go on record to say I am not a medical person, just giving you some tips on what helped me. 

1- Rest

2- Dull the symptoms with over the counter meds

3- Take long hot showers to clear your lungs

4- Sleep

5- Check your blood sugars, oxygen levels and blood pressure if you have underlying issues

6- Pray, have faith for healing hang on

Stay safe, be blessed and live your life as Covid free as you can!

God Bless! Coach B

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All I Want For Christmas 2020 and Beyond

My wife and I have grown kids and they are always asking us what we want for Christmas.  Many parents out there of grown children can relate to this dilemma and we all probably give the same answer over and over.  We say “I don’t know”, “I don’t want anything”, “I don’t need anything”, or my favorite which is “I just want to be with you on Christmas day”.  I sometimes even tell them “my two front teeth” just to get them riled up.  My wife and I are blessed and we really do not have anything on a list that we need.  Heck, we all have online ordering and next day delivery for all those things we want to buy.  I wrote yesterday about A Covid Christmas which is what we are celebrating this year as we all have Covid and are separated for the Holidays.  

We all have family traditions like gathering, eating, fellowshipping and sharing gifts with family and friends.  For years we have always opened one present Christmas eve as a family tradition.  We always decorate the family tree together and certain ornaments have to be placed in certain areas of the tree.  All of these traditions are what makes memories and family time that is unforgettable.  I remember all the family Christmas growing up to this day and many of the gifts I got.  With all this said, the wife and I really just want to see our kids and spend quality time with them year round as much as possible.  

We are fortunate that we currently live with our oldest daughter while we are selling our home and our youngest daughter comes over weekly to visit.  With that said, it sometimes still is not enough as we want to see them all the time.  They grew up so fast and have now become grown adults and are doing so well in life.  They are busy and stay on the go living their lives and we just want to be part of it as much as we can. They will one day understand how we fill and the urge to see your grown kids as much as possible.  So to my grown kids if you read this blog post today, please just come see mom and dad as much as you can.  Call, text, email or just stop by and we will be completely happy with that!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and the blessings of God.  Remember the true present that was given to all of us for Christmas way back when and if you need a reminder go read the True Christmas Story listed below.

God Bless! Coach B

Luke 2: 4-19 The Christmas Story

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Covid Christmas 2020

This week my wife and I tested positive for the Covid 19 virus and are locked down at home for the Christmas Holidays.  We have been very careful to avoid people, mostly staying at home and using proper protective measures for months.  Our oldest daughter has it also and is stuck in Florida for the Holidays, while our youngest daughter is finishing up her covid lockdown from being positive a few weeks ago.  We have called all the family to advise that we cannot meet with them on Christmas day to eat breakfast, open presents, fellowship and most importantly celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

This however does not mean that Christmas cannot be just as special because we will get together in a week or so when everything clears up and everyone is well enough to be safe to gather.  This Christmas will be unlike any we have ever experienced with covid lockdowns, infection rates spiking and the need to being safer than ever.  People are stuck at home, in nursing facilities, and hospitals with nobody able to visit with them or see them.  With this in mind, we all need to be openly praying for those lonely folks and feel blessed that we are not in that situation.  We will rise on Christmas morning, eat, drink some coffee and celebrate Christ as a couple.  

We can still celebrate this Covid Christmas season by using technology, video, texting, google meet, zoom calls, skype and all the other things that are available in this new age we live in.  You can ship your presents to the family and watch them open them up online using one of those technologies.  Or, you can do what we will do and that is wait and celebrate the family, fellowship and make new memories after the Holidays. May you all find blessings, make great memories and push forward into 2021 with hope, faith, love and be fearless.  God has this and it will all work out as he sees fit. Be safe, use common sense and make the best of a Covid Christmas 2020.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers.

God Bless, Coach B

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If I Could Be Twenty Again- Seven Things I Would Have Done Different

Today I am writing about seven things that I look back on that I should have done a bit different when I was twenty.  Thirty four years later I have learned many lessons in life and am grateful for those lessons.  Setbacks, disappointments, tragedies, and unexpected life events allow us to grow and become who we are.  These events give us wisdom to share with our children and the next generation.  These events make us tough skinned and give us direction to overcome obstacles.  I am mostly satisfied with the way things have worked out so far, but looking back I now see doing these may have opened doors for me, my family and prepared me for life as an adult.

1- Get rid of toxic people- We all have family, friends and co-workers that we know are energy vampires.  We do not look forward to being around them or hanging out with them.  These negative people drain you and will hold you back with their poor pitiful me routine.  Get rid of them, see them less often or whatever it takes to keep them from draining you.  See number two for who to hang around.

2- Surround Yourself With Winners- Hang around family, friends and co-workers that are motivated, grounded and have a good moral code.  Find people that are goal oriented, set goals, career training and educationally motivated.  People that work hard, play hard and have fun in life.

3- Go to bed and rest- Do not create a habit of staying out or staying up all hours of the night.  Know when to put the video game or phone down.  Set a reasonable time to go to bed and make it a habit.  As you get into your higher 20’s and 30’s and begin a family, you will find out that resting, sleeping and relaxing is very important.  

4- Be an early riser-  The old saying “the early bird gets the worm” still has meaning today.  Be an early riser. get out of bed, eat breakfast, take a run, meditate, think, drink coffee or whatever it is that gets you going.  Make this a habit and it will bode well for you in life.  Be the first to arrive and the last to leave at work.  Be different from others and watch the dividends pay off later in life.  

5- Take care of yourself physically and spiritually- Be active, go to the gym (you do not have to be a gym rat) to stay fit.  Walk, go on hikes, ride a bike or just go jog for a few minutes to clear your head and move your body.  As you get older, get married and have children things will tend to get in the way of that routine so make a habit of being fit in your early twenties.  Create a habit of exercising and taking care of yourself.  Watch the carb heavy foods, beer and alcohol.  Limit yourself on those things and do not binge drink or binge eat.  It will eventually catch up with you.

6- Work on your relationship with God- Pray everyday for guidance, do not stray away from the faith you may have created as a youth.  If you do not have faith, work to find it (however that suits you).  Be faithful and know that a higher power has a plan for you.  One that does not include tons of sinful behavior.  Seek his guidance, grace and mercy and enjoy the fruits of positive, healthy living.

7- Save, Save and Save more- Do not blow your Friday paycheck every week at bars, on trips and stuff you do not need.  Get into a solid pattern of saving money for emergencies, retirement, homes, cars and all the other stuff you want in life.  Do not wait until you are fifty and decide it is time to invest in your future. Manage your money with discipline and dedication to long term goals and you will have a great life after 40-50.   

Lastly, have fun in your twenties, but do so with intention.  You are not invincible as many think they are at that age.  Love people, work hard, play hard and have faith that life will be mostly good.  Push through the tough times and know that “no-one”, absolutely “no-one” owes you nothing.  You will get out of life what you put into it! 

God Bless! Coach B

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Dump Them Now- Five Signs To Avoid In A New Relationship

Today I am writing about toxic relationships and how they can destroy families, friendships, marriages and cause chaos.  I have been fortunate in my life to find a loving and wonderful wife that seeks a great relationship with me.  We get along mostly, disagree at times, but in the end we are together and strong.  I see this in many of my friends and family as well.  Positive, supporting and loving relationships that are far from perfect, but in the scheme of things are solid.  Then comes the reason I am writing this today as I see so many toxic relationships, people unhappy, angry, upset and constantly fighting.

These are very unhealthy and will eventually destroy the relationship, create hostility and resentment which leads to divorce, breaking up or worse (possible abuse).  I put together a quick list of five warning signs you should avoid once you see them come to light.  As soon as one of these pops up, you best get out now or eventually face chaos, fighting, anger and possible depression.  I have seen many people try to “change” someone, but lets be real.  People will only change if they want to so sitting in wait hoping he or she will change more often than none leads to disappointment and wasted time and effort.  

1- Impulsive behavior- If you recognize that the person is very impulsive emotionally, has an addiction or gets angry very fast get out now.  If they live impulsively in life, how can live wisely in a relationship with you or others.  These people may lack integrity, commitment and jump from relationship to relationship. Do they have the ability to show self control when taking care of family, kids and responsibilities. If they are a heavy drinker, tend to take themselves over others then get out now.

2- History of Bad Relationships- These people have been in destructive relationships and have lots of emotional baggage they have not gotten past.  They will find things you do to be annoying and it will trigger memories eventually creating chaos, confusion, lack of confidence and commitment issues. They will put words into your mouth and spin things as they see them.  They will dislike previous spouses, friends or relatives over the hurt that they likely had something to do with.  Bitter, selfish and hateful. 

3- Only Gets excited when you do something nice for them- These are gold diggers, looking to advance in life and are conceited.  They can be selfish, self-loathing and want it all without putting in the effort.  These people eventually mooch enough or do not support in the relationship that leads to a breakup or argument.  They should want to be with you because of who you are and not because of what you have.  Once they are done with you they may move on or get someone on the side to satisfy their needs to have money and stuff.

4- Immediately Jump Into Bed on First Date- These people are driven by sin of the flesh and a desire to conquer.  They have self-esteem issues or are conceited and not concerned about the emotional impact it may have on the partner. They are as the old song says “Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places” and may have a long list of sexual history you should avoid.  Instant attraction is a human nature but the lack of self control on a first date or two could be a sign to get out now.  If they are tempting you sexually before getting to know you, then they are about the flesh and not the heart. 

5- They play head games with you- This is a sign that they do not know how to be in a productive relationship.  They confuse you with nice Oneday, grumpy the next.  Today things are good, tomorrow is a a bad day and you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride all the time.  This is chaotic, unhealthy and not productive.  They keep you guessing and play games.  Show a lack of interest and emotion and keep you off balance.  They have bad intentions and are selfish and playing games.

To recap just remember that a person that has good intentions will show it early.  They will be committed, honest, kind and supportive.  Set your standards high and avoid any of the above like a plague.  Eventually they will end up with someone just like them in a toxic relationship and ride that roller coaster if anger, resentment, self-loathing, fear, lack of confidence and destructive behavior.  Two bible verses below for you to read.  The first describes a healthy relationship and the second describes a destructive one.  This is all you need to judge on going forward.  If you are blessed to be in a healthy relationship then Thank God for that and pray for growth.  If you are in a destructive relationship then ask God for help, seek his guidance about it.

What kind of love are you seeking in a partner?

Does the person you are with display nay of the list above?

If you are in a destructive relationship can you walk away, are you strong enough?

1st Corinthians 13: 4-7, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.

Galatians 5: 19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”

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Cleansing Activity- Closing the Doors of Our Past

**Please Read All of this top to bottom and try what I have given you.  I promise it will help you (if you are open to cleansing) and really focus on it.  I would appreciate any feedback on the process and any comments that you would like to leave for me and my readers**.  

Today I am giving you a relaxation activity designed to help you cleanse your mind, body and soul of open wounds from our past. These inhibitors of your future are sitting behind open doors constantly reminding you of your past, pestering you about your current situation and holding you back from a bright future.  These doors are open and flowing negative energy into your life and are holding you back from being the wonderful person God created you to be.  To get rid of these bad memories, negative thoughts, relationship issues, anger, fear, envy, self-loathing, pride fullness, disappointments and anything else standing in your future you must put them behind you.  

Most of these events, emotions, and internalized feelings are the result of us being careless, making bad decisions, using poor judgment or just being human and learning as we grow.  Others are the result of people that have hurt, harmed or disappointed us in relationships, jobs, marriages, and so much other day to day activity we do. Both of these types of inhibitors can hold us back and destroy our current outlook on life and future growth.  The level at which these things have occurred is different as well, so your thought process about the emotional baggage you carry will be your own and will be as big as you allow it to be. 

I have been going through a cleansing lately of my mind, body and soul and in that process I have battled through the things that were holding me back from a better and brighter future.  I realized there was a bunch of open doors that I needed to slam the door closed on to move forward and cleanse myself of them.  In the process I was able to visualize the open doors that I wanted to stay open as well.  Doors exuding confidence, positive vibes, energy and good emotion.  Doors that have great memories that I want to remain in my mind, body and soul.  I will explain the process to begin this cleansing and allow you to go and do it.  Please try it, give it a great effort and do as I write and see how it works.  I would love feedback and pray that it helps you relax, close some wounds and begin the healing process.

1- Go to a quiet space, cut the lights off, turn off all TV’s, music, fans or anything making noise. 

2- Close your eyes, sit or lie down and clear you mind of any thoughts. This may take a little while to accomplish.  You can control your mind with practice.

3- Imagine yourself just so relaxed you cannot feel your legs or arms.  Get a complete chill going on before starting. This is very important!

4- Once you are completely chilled, tell yourself that you are there to relax, reboot, cleanse the past and seek the future.  Say it to yourself as many times as needed.  You are in control of your body, mind and soul at this point.

5- Now imagine yourself in a hotel and you step off the elevator and see a hallway with hundreds of doors open.  These are the good memories, bad memories and things we want to either save or slam the door on.

6- Once you visualize this begin to walk down the hallway.  As you do on your right are doors open that have great memories.  These may be family, pets, friends, trips, Holidays, and any other pleasant memory you cherish.  We do not close these doors because these are healthy for us and we want to take them with us in our future.

7- On your left are bad memories, thoughts, fears, anger, resentment, relationship issues, bad decisions, poor judgements and all the things inhibiting you and holding you back.  We will begin to slam the doors on the left side as we go down the hall.

8- Begin the process staying relaxed as you take your walk down memory lane.  Visualize the good, smile at it and leave it open.  Visualize the bad, smile at it and slam the door leaving it behind you.

9-  Do this until you feel like you have completed your cleansing journey in the hotel hallway.  Go slowly and take your time.  One set of door at a time.  Do not move forward until you close those doors of the past.  The goal is to leave it behind you and not allow it to carry forward.

10- At the end of the hallway is a beautiful light, one that is beautiful with whatever colors you want it to contain.  That is the ultimate goal, walk that memory hallway and reach the end to see that wonderful exit sign light.  It is a cleansing light that exudes from Gods grace, mercy and love.  Once you see that light, just keep your eyes closed, breath slowly in and out and just chill and enjoy the inner peace you have achieved in the process.  

11- Once you feel like you have accomplished your cleansing, open that door and step forward in life taking the positive with you and leaving all the baggage behind.  At this point God is with you and has helped you get rid of the negatives and keep the positives.

I suggest that you pray to God for cleansing, guidance and grace as you begin the process of slamming the doors on your past to open new doors to a new bright and wonderful future.  Do these activities as needed to help you reach you inner being, grow spiritually and change your life and those around you.  You can visualize any place that you like, walking through a forest, hearing a river pass by, flying in a plane or whatever it is that gets you in your zone to cleanse, heal and move forward.

God Bless! Coach B

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Dogs and Cats Go to Heaven

Recently I had a friend ask me if I thought that dogs and cats went to heaven.  Before I could answer the question another man sitting near told her that the bible makes no mention of animals going to heaven. My personal opinion is that dogs and cats have souls and they are special in Gods eyes as animals are mentioned all throughout the bible.  If you do some research you will find a very long list of animals if listed A-Z are too numerous for me to put on this posting.  I will highlight several of them and where they are located in the bible if you would like to reference and read about it.

We love our critters, dogs, cats, hamsters, cows, pigs, and all those other things people call pets.  I have never had anything other than dogs, a few cats, some fish and a hamster or two.   My favorite are dogs, yes I am a dog lover and we currently have three grand dogs that we enjoy greatly.  We all come to love them and enjoy spending time watching them gallop, play, fight, roll around with each other and just show us love.  Animals are so loyal to us and are connected to us.  My oldest daughter Taylor has a little dog named Finley and he really has become my dog.  He follows me everywhere I go and will not let me out of his sight at anytime.  

When I had my heart issues back in September and again in November Finley attached to me and became so protective of me it is not even funny.  This little dog is my buddy, my bestie, my little man that takes care of me.  I joke at my daughter about it saying that he really is my dog and not here’s.  My wife and I had a little dog name Macy for ten years and I have previously written about her.  We had to let her go back in August of 2019 and amazingly she has been around us some since her untimely passing.  If you want to know more about that go and check for the story called Bringing Macy Home.  It is a heart warming story about a families love of their pets and the impact such a small little critter can have on a life.

Back to the question the lady asked me about dogs and heaven.  Her family pet is getting very old and is struggling a bit with things and she feels like it will not be long before they have to let her go also.  Losing a pet is very hard as you are attached to them, connected to them spiritually.  I know when Macy passed I could see her eyes and knew there was a little soul in that small body.  A little soul that was so loving, caring and kind.  She was loyal and was like my current buddy Finley.  She went everywhere I went and would not leave me alone. 

I saw a skit by the famous singer, songwriter and comedian Mark Lowery recently and he was talking about Dogs going to heaven.  He was making some great jokes and also gave a very good story about dogs and all the animals listed in the bible.  His point was surely God takes those precious souls to heaven just like he does man.  Maybe not from a perspective of saving souls, but as a tag along for us when we earn our wings.  I know my little buddy Macy is with my mom in heaven, she loved my mom and dad so much and loved visiting them.  With all this said, I told the young lady that asked me to read the bible and think about it and form her own opinion and not let someone else tell her what the bible means or does not mean.

The man didn’t appear to take it very good, but at that point the lady was not looking for someone to burst her bubble, instead she was looking for someone to be kind, compassionate and caring.  She was going to have to tell her two small children soon if dogs go to heaven.  I referred her to Ecclesiastes 3: 19-21 where it states  “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return”. That seems to me to be evidence that God takes our dogs and cats to heaven.  

In Genesis 9: 9-10 it states, ““Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth”.

So my answer to the young lady is God made everything, God owns everything, God is the beginning and ending. He is the Alpha and Omega, he giveth and he taketh away.  I know in my heart my dogs from my youth bullet, sparky, pookie, bandit, winky, and most recently my little baby girl Macy will Oneday be seeing me in Glory.  I am grateful for my Dogs, Cats, and other critters that have blessed me and my family.  My final advice to her was all the memories you make with those precious pets and family remain in your heart and give you hope of a future with them again.  

God Bless you and your pets!

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Parents and Teachers Guide- Surviving and Thriving in Covid Times

Today I am writing about remote learning and giving some basic ideas and tips on how as parents we can not only survive but thrive during this Covid 19 mess.  As a career teacher it has been a daily learning experience for myself and my students.  It is up and down roller coaster ride of positives, negatives and in between.  With the various stages of Covid, spikes, slow downs and the gaps in between kids have learned 100% online, hybrid learning, and some even in class fulltime.  It is frustrating as a teacher and parent as it has added even more stress, anxiety, and tasks to our daily schedules that are already jam packed.

I did some research and put together a simple list of things that have worked for me as a teacher and have helped the students and parents I teach to do a good job of maintaining grades, assignments, and online schedules.  It has been very challenging and is not the best option for most kids, but it is what it is for now.  As parents and teachers our options are limited to whether we are at home or in the schools because those decisions are generally made by school boards, health departments, governors and others we have little to no control of.  I decided a while back that I would do as I always do and work hard to be the best teacher I could and adapt to the current way things are going and trending.  

Below is a list of things that can be done to help manage some of the stress, anxiety and demand of parenting, teaching, helping, working, and all the other stuff not listed.  As a parent it is tough to have to do this right now, but as parents we owe it to our children to do our very best for them during tough times to show them that standing tall, working hard, staying focused and having faith in ourselves will in the end win out over all.  It will make us better parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, family members and grow our skill set of adapting to change.

1- Create a designated learning space- Do your best to find a learning space for you and the student that is comfortable, well lite and safe.  Our students more so than ever need a good space that allows them to learn, focus, complete work and participate in class. Students do not need to be laying in bed while completing work or attending class.  That can lead to them falling asleep or becoming too relaxed in the learning process.  Know that the teacher is online and cannot see what the student is doing (especially if they have their microphone or camera muted).  So having a space that helps the student learn is key.

2- Set a Routine- Make a schedule and stick to it.  Monitor the situation to make sure the student is attending class and participating just like they would be in regular school.  Give them some time to be kids, teenagers and relax also as part of that schedule.  Teachers would be there making sure they are in class on time, attending to work assignments and as parents we need to do that also.  We cannot assume or just take the students word for it.  

3- Go Over Your Expectations as well as those of the teachers- Email, text, call or zoom meet with the teacher to check on their expectations, what they want from the students, schedules, assignment dates, etc.  This is important as communication between parents and school staff are huge and a student can get lost in the shuffle if this is not taking place.  

4- Encourage Participation and Monitor it- Make sure you child is checking email, grades, assignments, websites and other school related task daily.  Do not assume the kids are doing as they are supposed to. Teenagers will go to other sites, play online games or sleep during class.  They have a a daily routine at school of doing these things and it should be a standard at home as well.

5- Lastly, recognize that we are in a different setting and time right now.  Griping, fussing, venting, and complaining in front of your student is not productive and will not help them stay focused and on task.  Hold yourself accountable and your student accountable to grow, manage life and work through this pandemic until it clears up and the powers that be decided to go back to some normalcy.

Never assume that your student or teacher are 100% in sync with one another.  If the teacher is not doing their job contact them or the the school.  If the student is doing the same, then make sure as a parent you are on top of them.  It is not a students job that is staying home due to Covid to baby sit siblings while you work, work a fulltime job or just not participate at all.  Not all students have internet or as tech savvy as you may think they are.  If you do not have internet or a computer then reach out to the school and ask for help.  They may have options for you such as internet hotspots, loaner laptops and other programs. 

Be encouraged, lift up your students, guide them, mentor them, hold them accountable and most importantly do not take their childhood or teen years away by giving them additional responsibility such as baby sitting, working or chores that they normally would not do.  Regular duties are fine, but giving them additional is a recipe for disaster.  Monitor, Monitor and Monitor some more to make sure they are completing assignments, testing and working like they would in school.  

For my teachers, these are just a few of the ideas I have used to maintain a high percentage of attendance, assignments completion and activity in classes online. 

– Collect parent emails, phone numbers and other contact information.  

– Email the students and parents daily and weekly with updates, assignments and schedules.  

– Invite and encourage the parents to attend classes (as long as they respectfully) stay quiet in the process.  

– Have a parent orientation before the changes go into effect.  Have a google or zoom time parents can log into and speak with you as needed.  I have a designated time two days a week for about a half hour for parents to log in and speak to me.  

– Stay on top of things, keep your grades updated, check attendance and work hard and smart.

– Take time for yourself, if you are not careful you will find yourself sitting at the computer for 10-12 hours.  You must have “you” and “family” time.

– Lastly, remember that as allowed by your administrator, district or state guidelines, have grace before grades.  Show empathy to your students and parents.  Adjust, adapt and overcome the challenges and be that teacher you want to be.  Take care of your kiddos, love them, teach them, mentor them and everything will work out in the end.  

Expectations, Commitment, Excellence, and Discipline are required during not only Covid times but all the time for students, parents and teachers to be more successful in class, life and work!

Coach B

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Women Have Super Powers

Today I am writing about woman and their super powers.  I am writing this in honor of my wonderful talented and beautiful wife Cindy and daughters Taylor and Brooke.  Women are super at being assertive, empathetic, powerful, fabulous, beautiful, caring, loving, inspired, hard working, dedicated, disciplined, healing, forgiving, courageous, adaptable and so many other traits us men need in our lives.  I can only speak for myself when I say, I would be lost without my wife and daughters.  They are the rocks in my house and keep me from doing stupid guy stuff all the time.  

Women have super powers that are hard to explain at times.  These super powers come out at a moments notice and just amaze people.  I know my wife and daughters have them so I came up with a list of the different role model super women action figures to highlight just how great women can be and are in our lives.  Women are special, unique and should be treated as such.  I must admit that I am still learning about women and how to push the right buttons, say the right things and all that other stuff we get confused about guys.  So guys hang in there, try not to be so guy like and figure out the super powers the women in your life have.  

Wonder Woman- Strong, Mighty, and can get the truth out of you with her truth lasso.  Try to lie to a woman and you will be busted so fast.  They have the ability to get the truth out of you and figure things out.  They appear to be immortal and can live through the toughest of times and face down super villain’s in life.  

Cat Woman- Cunning and sly at times.  She is sneaky tough and can bring those claws out quickly when needed to defend herself or others.  She has nine lives and is a survivor.  She can bounce back so fast from injuries and falls.  Mess with a moms babies and the claws will come out and it is on. She is independent, strong willed and can appear out of nowhere suddenly.  

Black Widow- She is an overall badass butt kicker.  Smart, beautiful and a mastermind at manipulation when needed.  She takes charge when and is a leader at keeping the boys straight and on task.  She knows when to fight and when to back off but will handle her business with the best of them.  Much like my wife has to do with me!

Super Girl- Is an excellent person, she can balance the job and other family responsibilities.  She cares for her friends and gives up her time and energy for the betterment of society. She has super hearing and guys, we all know women have super hearing.  They can hear you say something under your breath from two rooms and 50 feet away.  She tries to stop bad people with kindness, but if tested can take you down fast.

Captain Marvel- Agile, fast, and a quick thinker that fights for justice and can sense danger way before it happens.  Moms are great at sensing danger, especially when it comes to their daughters or sons dating someone they don’t like.  

Jessica Jones- Excellent private eye that can get things done.  She does not play with people and is a hard charger.  She is results oriented and does not have time to play games with people.  She is a survivor of domestic abuse and is a spokesperson for domestic abuse and its plague in marriages and relationships.  She is an overcomer and a role model for those facing tough times.  

Harley Quinn- Tough, a bit on the wild side and will kick some butt real quick when it comes down to it.  She is a protector of the common person like a mom is and can also shift over to the bad side if needed.  Immune from toxins (like moms have to be when everyone in the family has the flu or is sick).  She tends to like bad boys (joker) and rocks those tats, crazy hair and makeup like no other.  I assume she was a good softball player, because she swings a mean bat.  

Elastic Girl- Flexible, adaptable, agile, smart and witty.  She can mold herself into many things, is extremely flexible and quick to solve problems.  She stands by her man Mr. Incredible and keeps him and his bumbling ways out of trouble lots of times.  She is a great mom that protects her kids, but allows them to grow and make mistakes.  

The Wasp- She is great with technology, super smart, and can punch your lights out real fast if you mess with her.  She is loyal, caring and beautiful.  A moral voice that can calm, sooth and lead people to better decisions and results. She can change sizes like a woman on a constant diet and is the daughter of a super smart dad and mom.  She loves her family and honors her parents legacy.  

Thunder- The ever so tough daughter of Black Lightning, she is a fierce fighter for what is right.  She will take a stand against tyranny and protect her family.  She is loyal and scarifies her body to protect her mom, dad and sister.  She is athletic and packs a strong punch so watch out guys.  She is a role model for taking a stand and being independent and strong in life.  Hard headed at times, she gets into trouble by not listening to her parents advice like she should.  

Bionic Woman- She may be my favorite of all time.  Some younger folks may not know who she is, but let me tell you she was not to be messed with.  She is super strong, a fighter that overcame major health issues and injuries.  She has super hearing, super strength and is gorgeous to top it off.  She worked hard, played hard and fought hard along side her love interest The Six Million Dollar man.  

Okoye-  A constant companion and protector of Black Panther.  Her super powers are intelligence, tactical thinking, strategy and toughness.  She is super loyal, kicks butt and never backs down when it comes to protecting her own.  She is different and that makes her unique and a super hero for women all over the world.  She rocks the uniform and that bald head look, proving that beauty is not only skin deep.

Black Canary- She is a great person, super sweet personality and mostly quiet. She has the ability to yell at people with super sonic levels. She can shatter your eardrums and you do not want to make her mad and feel her wrath.  Mess with her and you will feel her wrath and it is loud and constant.  

Storm- She is a queen, a fighter and not to be taken lightly.  She is a role model for diversity and young girls.  She rocks that X-Men suit nicely and can shoot use energy to mess you up.  She is a teacher, leader and protector of young people.  

Jean Grey- Smart, powerful and beautiful.  She is strong willed, sacrificial, super tough and very complex for guys to figure out (especially Wolverine).  Her mental powers are amazing and if tested she can do some pretty amazing stuff and overcome adversity with a fierce attitude.

She-Hulk- Is the ultimate expression of female power. She is a career minded super smart attorney that can turn into a hulking super queen that can mess you up fast.  She lives life to its fullest and has a great sense of humor (much like dead pool).  

Thank God for woman in our lives.  Gentleman lets honor, care for and treat our ladies as queens in our households.  Enjoy and share please!

Coach B

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You Don’t Have to See It, To Believe It

Today I was thinking about some recent changes in my life that are spiritual, mental and emotional.  These changes are all positive and something that cannot be seen by the eye.  Sure, people may be able to sense or see a difference in a persons attitude or behavior.  However, changes like these are internal and occur within ourselves in the heart, mind and soul.  These are not tangible things one can touch and therefore hard to describe to people at times.  

I have had a spiritual awakening of sorts is the best way to describe what is occurring within me and to me.  As a good friend described her similar changes to me as “Shedding my old skin”.  That made perfect sense to me and got me to thinking about belief and how it guides our lives, actions, behaviors and reactions to events. I started thinking about Christmas and the gifts we all receive during the Holidays and celebrations.  

I am not talking about the gifts under the tree as those are tangible things we can see, feel, touch and use.  I am actually talking about the gifts we get from God, family, friends and others that are spiritual, emotional and heart warming.  These gifts are soul changing and help us to go back to the reality of what Christmas is really about.  Growing up I remember all those Christmas mornings where my mom put out Santa Claus for my brothers and I.  My girls growing up always had Santa Claus of some type, even when we were not so blessed with money, we made sure Santa came to our house.

One of my daughters (now grown) asked me one Christmas late into her teens “daddy, what happens if we start “not” believing in Santa anymore”.  I knew what she was asking as I once was a teenager and knew the real deal about Santa.  I answered her the same way my mom once did, which was, “honey when you stop believing in Santa, he will probably stop coming”.  This takes me back to my title for the day which is You Don’t Have to See It, To Believe It.  I spoke about my recent spiritual awakening that is taking place because of certain events in my life. It is spiritual gift that God had given me that I was unaware of until recently.  

This gift is hard to describe to people and one that I may not share with just anyone, as I could see friends, family and strangers looking at me like I have lost my mind.  Which goes back to fear of believing in something that I know is real, but I cannot see it, show it or hardly explain it.  God is real folks and he sent Jesus to the earth to save us which was the ultimate gift we could all receive. 

It did not cost us a dime, not one red cent.  But it does require us to believe that it is real and was a true miracle.  I hear people say, I do not know if I believe in all that stuff about Jesus, the bible and God.  I would now say to them, just because you cannot see it, touch it or physically handle it does not mean it is not true.  

The bible tells us that gifts from God are special, we are special and they are meant to grow us closer to God.  These gifts are spiritual, mental and at times physical.  James 1:17, states that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”.  John 3:16, states that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”

These are examples of Gods gifts to us,  with John 3:16 being one of the most popular bible verses of all time.  These are gifts that cannot be seen, but felt inside our hearts, minds and souls.  These are gifts we believe in that guide us spiritually, emotionally and give us a moral compass to be the best person we can.  

If seeing is believing then I have seen plenty in my life to know that belief comes with faith.  Faith comes with courage and courage comes with being willing to believe without seeing. Believing without seeing, knowing without touching, feeling without fear and walking with God without questioning his loyalty and gifts in our lives. This Christmas take a look at where you are on seeing vs. believing.  Know that God gave us all a rare and special gift in Jesus Christ  and continues to do so daily spiritually, mentally, and physically.  

1- Just because you cannot see it, does that mean you cannot believe it?

2- Is your believer out of whack? Does it need a reboot, a rework or a rebuild?

3- What are some steps you can take to reset your belief, get rid of your past and start to believe in a bright and prosperous future for you and your family.  

God Bless You and Yours.  May your Christmas be filled with grace, mercy, forgiveness, fun, fellowship and most importantly Christ love!  Amen

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Christmas Tree Ornaments

This weekend my wife and I went to Myrtle Beach to buy an ornament at our favorite Christmas store.  The store is at Barefoot Landing as is called the Christmas Mouse.  It has every kind of decoration and ornament a person would want.  About every kind of interest from traditional, country, city, sports, hobbies and about anything one would want.  We have been going to this store for twenty years or more to get ornaments for our family tree.  Ornaments are a tradition in our family and we have filled the family tree up with them at this point.

The store brings back memories of traveling to the beach with my family, mom and dad and friends.  We always find time to go by the Christmas Mouse and grab some ornaments.  The store smells so good with all the wonderful greenery, candles, and traditional Christmas smells that reminds us that the Holiday is upon us.  Even if you go in the summer time when most people head to the beach, it makes you feel Christmas in July and those special memories we all make this time of year.  The wife and I grabbed an unusual amount of ornaments and gifts this time, as it had been several years since we came down to the beach.

We have filled up our family eight foot tree with all the ornaments from our family, my parents, her parents and others that we collected.  My daughters even in their mid 20’s still love to decorate the tree and argue over where to place certain special ornaments on the front of the tree.  As you can see ornaments are very special to me and bring back a flood of memories from my childhood growing up with my brothers, parents and family.  If you have never collected or spent time with ornaments, may I suggest you begin a new family tradition and begin to build your tree.  

We have ornaments that are priceless to us, ornaments that are so special because they were either hand made by our girls at school or church or came from our parents and grandparents.  These ornaments have a powerful spirit about them, they show the light of love, faith and the reason we should all celebrate Christmas.  The traditional reason has become gifting one another, following traditions and history.  But the real reason we celebrate Christmas was the ultimate gift from God.  He gave us Jesus Christ as a gift, a gift that is above all and one that is free for us to accept.

Just as ornaments are special to us, so is our relationship with God, his son Jesus and the spirit of Christmas.  Do something special this year and give someone you love ornaments as a reminder of your love for them.  It will be something special that will never go unforgotten and can be passed down to their kids.  I wish everyone reading this a very merry Christmas and a wonderfully happy new year filled with love, patience, grace and mercy.  Let us all show the kindness and messages of Christmas Ornaments this season to those we know, strangers and all others.  

God Bless!  Coach B

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Conflict Resolution vs. Conflict Escalation

This week I have been working with my students in class on social emotional skills to help them grow their ability to get along better with peers at school, online and at home.  As a veteran teacher I have seen my fair share of conflicts between students, staff and their peers.  Most of the conflicts are honestly teenage drama that revolves around he said, she said stuff.  In today’s world of the instant messaging on the thousands of applications things can escalate quickly. 

It is not just teenagers though, I see here and there husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and friends going back and forth arguing their points or posting stuff in an attempt to start trouble or fuel the fire.  By the way, my students refer to Facebook as the application for (older people).  I guess I am old because I have a Facebook page. Anyways, back to the drama and how to resolve it.  My students have found out that as soon as they tell me what is happening, the first thing I ask them is did you see it, hear it, feel it or witness anything about it.  If not, then it did not happen and it is time to move on. 

That works sometimes, but often they just cannot let it go because they are lacking the social-emotional skills to work through the conflict, find a common ground or just move on.  Adults alike often struggle with social-emotional skills as well when they are facing tough situations in life.  I actually saw an event yesterday at school during cross country practice as I was directing the team in some running drills that drove home the point that conflict resolution skills are lacking for many people.

We are on the track running some warmup laps and hear a car hit the brakes real fast stopping right in the middle of the road near the track.  A man jumps out the window as the female driver is trying to roll it up on him to trap him in the car. He falls out of the window onto the ground, gets up and his pants fall to his knees and he starts to run from the car while trying to pull his pants up from the knees. 

He falls down on the curb and as he is getting up, the female puts the car in reverse and slams on the gas driving backwards about twenty feet wide open.  He gets to his feet and hollers at her to chill out and she throws the car in forward and proceeds to try to run over him.  At this point my kids are just memorized by the craziness going on up on the road.  

The guy takes off running across our campus parking lot and the driver hits the gas and jumps a curb in her mid 2000’s white Pontiac four door tearing the bumper off and damaging the sidewalk and grass.  She jumps the curb goes down a small hill barely missing the stadium fence and the guy is running wide open and looking back to see where she is. 

She is driving like a maniac and screaming out the window explicative words that I cannot type on my blog.  He runs into a mans yard so she drives across the parking lot and into the mans yard almost hitting his truck in the process.  She slams on brakes, backs up and takes off after him as he is running behind the house and in the process she tore up his yard as well.  

At this point I have called 911 because we have kids on campus and this is taking place near the YMCA entrance also with lots of traffic coming in and out.  The guys keeps running and weaves in and out of several yards going behind houses as she pursues him wide open with no regard for anyone else or their property.  She was dead set on resolving the conflict by running over him and I do not know what he said to her, but man she was pissed off at him. 

The guy keeps running and she spends the next few minutes cruising back and forth, up and down the road screaming for him and telling him to come get in the car.  A few minutes later the police show up and she decides it was time to get gone, unfortunately running from the police didn’t end well for her as she got caught.

I tell this true story that just happened yesterday to say that this young lady and man obviously have some issues to work on after she gets out of jail for attempted murder or whatever the charges will be.  So now lets talk about how we can avoid conflict and work to resolve it if we run into issues with family, friends, co-workers and strangers.  I pulled some conflict resolution strategies from my recent presentation to my students and listed them below.  God wants us to resolve conflict by being kind, understanding and patient with others.  He does the same for us so we owe it to him to do the same.

Lets define conflict resolution first and then talk about easy steps to become better at resolving conflicts instead of escalating them by trying to run over everyone we disagree with.  To resolve something is to come to an agreement, to communicate a resolution or come to an impasse about a topic of discussion.  You may define it however you want, but we all need to learn to resolve and not escalate.

1- Do not become offended by what others say to you so easily.  Breathe and think about your response before getting all up in your feelings.

2- Do not attack using any sentence that begins with “you”.  This is placing blame on the other person and will escalate the situation quickly because they may become defensive at that point.

3- Tell the other person how you feel in a way that does not place blame or degrade them.

4- Allow the other person the opportunity to express their feelings, explain what happened or tell you their side of the story.  Remember, most of the drama in life comes from stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and anger issues.

5- When explaining your side, remain calm, cool and collected and use “I” statements which will show the person how you felt and not place blame with “you” comments.

6- Pay attention to all the non-verbal communication.  How is the person reacting to you, stay back and give them space in case they attack you.  Watch for emotions in their eyes and know when to stop talking.

7- Learn to walk away if you cannot agree or get your way.  We all have an opinion and that is what it is an opinion.  It is what you think, feel, see or hear, but may not be what they saw, thought or felt.

8- Do not make assumptions or assume the other person is trying to hurt you on purpose.  Do not let emotional baggage from your past destroy your future relationships.

9- Know when to apologize for your own behavior and forgive yourself or others when a conflict arises.

10- Choose your battles based on importance.  Is it really worth all the stress, drama, anxiety and conflict that is coming to pursue it.  If not, walk away, forgive and move on with life.

That woman is now in trouble with the law, facing charges of destruction of school property, attempted vehicular assaults’, resisting arrest and several other charges over what.  An argument about money, hurt feelings, relationships and some other minor thing that in the grand scheme of things means nothing in life.  It was certainly not worth the end result she got from it. 

So I will close by saying that the bible tells us in Ephesians 4: 31-32; “to Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”.  The example I gave was full of bitterness, anger, and slander.  By just getting away from one another, walking away or letting it go they could have been forgiving of one another.

James 1: 19-21, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”.

Lord, show us how to be patient, kind and forgiving when conflict arises in our relationships and life.  Help us to be resolute in these situations instead of angry, bitter and malcontent on hurting those that hurt us.  Amen

Five Ways To Experience Inner Peace

Today we talk about finding and maintaining inner peace. Inner peace is needed in a busy life full of family, work and recreational activities. This busy schedule we carry out day to day will eventually catch up with you and start to take away your inner peace. The stress of this day to day life often leads us to feeling tired, rundown, wore out and can impact out attitudes and relationships. Finding inner peace in what we do is a key to being happy and maintaining a healthy outlook on life.

The first tip to establish inner peace is to “not” focus on the things that you cannot control. How many of us focus on things we have no control over? These things build up over time creating stress and anxiety as we focus on the non-controllable in our lives.

The second tip is my favorite and that is to get away to a happy place routinely. My happy place is nature, parks, mountains, oceans, rivers, streams, creeks or any woods where I can just walk around and chill out. Find your happy place and visit it frequently so it can bring you back down to earth and relax you for just a little while.

The third tip is to be true to yourself. Know who you are, what you stand for and value in your life. Never ever give that up for others and be you all day everyday. Giving up a little bit of you to please others, make impressions and fit in actually takes more away than you get in return. Be you, do you and live your life.

The fourth tip is to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Take naps, breaks from work, walk at lunch or go to a gym and just do a quick workout. Read topics or books of interest or binge watch your favorite TV show from time to time. Stress will rear its ugly head and overcome us if we do not take good care of our physical and mental health.

Tip number five might be part of #4, but I consider it to be the most important part of managing your inner peace. Pray often and ask God for guidance in your life as you seek to calm the storms of life that we face daily. God is the best medicine for inner peace and will help you if you seek him and ask for his help. A good prayer can always set things in the right direction. Be consistent as you can with prayer and watch what happens.

John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

May the peace of God be with you today! May your inner peace be spectacular! May your inner peace be healthy and make you happy!

Life Lessons From Fishing With My Dad

Growing up my dad and brothers loved to go fishing. We would gather up a bunch of worms, get a few cans of corn, load up a bunch of fishing poles and go to a creek, a pond, the beach or anywhere we could wet a hook. We did it for sport and rarely ever had to keep anything we caught, we used the proper equipment to be able to catch and release. Just as many of my friends hunted with their dads, we instead choose to fish. We fished in the fall and spring mostly when the weather was good and it wasn’t so hot or cold.

One main life lesson I learned from my good old dad was patience. I remember going to a pond and my dad would bait his hook, cast the line in and just sit and wait. Sometimes for hours until something bit the line, took off and bent that pole. He might reel it in on occasion to check the bait and make sure it was still good since the little “bait stealers” which are small fish that just nip at the bait until it falls off would eventually leave you with an empty hook. My brothers and I would try every jig in the tackle box and change out rods every so often. We would walk around the pond trying to find that perfect fish or hole. Dad would just chill and sit there and wait.

Dad just sat there and waited for the right moment, the right fish and then he would secure it and reel it in. We would watch him catch fish and we just couldn’t keep up with him on how many we caught. Every now and then we would get lucky and out fish dad, but very rarely did that happen. You see my dad was a patient man that had a goal that was to relax, enjoy fishing and reap the benefits of catching the big ones. That is what we all want in life is to catch the big one right. I also think he just wanted to spend time with his boys and teach us life lessons along the way.

In the bible Luke talks about the fishermen that had toiled all night and had no luck. They were tired and weary and came to shore frustrated like my brothers and I would be after a long day at the lake. I do not know for sure, but my guess is that they put the nets in, pulled them out, moved around and repeated the process trying to secure that big fish. All to no avail and then Jesus tells them to go cast into deep water, have faith and wait.

They get a boat load of fish to feed everyone, so many that it started to tear the nets. This story from the bible is kind of how it was going with my dad. As I said my brothers and I would walk, cast, change baits, change poles, chase the fish we could see swimming and we would get a few here and there. My dad would cast his line into the deepest part of the pond, river or creek and wham a while later there was that big bass, trout or catfish on his pole. He showed that patience and faith in the process worked and that we do not have to chase everything in life, sometimes we have to let it come to us.

I am much more patient now as I had reached mid life and am so grateful for my dad and his example of being patient and waiting for something good to happen. Jesus taught us that also, cast your nets into the deep and wait for it. My dad was a great man that loved helping people and serving his community. He wanted to make fishers of men as Jesus instructed us to do in the bible. My dad had faith, patience and an understanding that we did not have as youngsters. He taught us to wait, sit tight and see what happened. I wish my dad was here to go fishing one more time, but I can take his example and spirit with me on my next trip to a pond, river, lake or creek. I can hope that I can be a fisher of men as well and help people to know that God is the ultimate cast, catch and big one we need to haul in!

Coach B

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