For a Kid Success Stems From Perseverance But Adult Support is Key Also

Not making a team can be devastating to a kid. I say this because the memory of not making a team is still fresh in my mind – more than forty years after it happened. As a freshman in high school, I tried out for the cheerleading squad. When I didn’t make the cut, I was crushed. At the age of fourteen, I felt like it was the end of the world and my heart was broken.

While it may be a stretch to say that my most profound life lessons have come from cheerleading, it isn’t altogether inaccurate, either. By being a cheerleader – or, more specifically, by first not being a cheerleader – I made fundamental discoveries about perseverance, determination, goal-setting and diligence.

I was very fortunate because I had parents who really supported me. They acknowledged my disappointment and assured me that this experience presented an opportunity for me to build character and learn valuable life lessons. Initially, their perspective didn’t make me feel any better. In the moment,still reeling from the disappointment of not making the cheerleading squad, the idea of building character had no appeal whatsoever, nor did it give me any comfort.

But my parents had planted a seed.To my surprise, the next morning, I woke with a newfound sense of determination. I would embark upon a very focused training program, beginning that very same day as soon as I got home from school. My parents gave me unwavering encouragement and I trained every single day for the next year!

My daily practice routine started out by mustering up a lot of discipline, and I often had to push myself much harder than I wanted to. An entire year of daily practice seemed like an eternity, and I wondered at first if it would even be worth the struggle. However, as each day passed, I became more and more energized by my vision of becoming a cheerleader.I grew to believe I would see it through. My vision was so compelling that I actually looked forward to my daily training.And it paid off. The next year, I was awarded a spot on the cheerleadingsquad.

Today, I still draw on that experience when I run into obstacles. I recall how vision, commitment and determination were the key ingredients in reaching my goal. But I remember another critical factor as well: the contributions of my parents. My mother helped me stick to a training schedule. My father provided encouragement and assurance that I was doing the right thing by putting everything I had into achieving my goal.

Unfortunately, it is all too clear that many children growing up today do not have a family like mine: two present parents to make them feel good about who they are and what they are doing. And that’s why it’s so important for other adults in their lives to step in and take on this role from time to time. Kids have the potential to learn from success and failure alike, but only if someone older and wiser is there to guide them through the disappointment of not getting what they want. When coaches encourage the underdogs or follow up with the kids who don’t quite make the team, it can make all the difference in the world as far as who tries out again – and succeeds – next time around.

Perseverance works – but so does a helping hand. I encourage coaches and all adults who work with children and youth to remember just how important their influence is, and to remember that kids who fail at one attempt are often just a step or two away from success – if someone reaches out to help them get there.

Here are some tips that might help your student athletes and children reach their goals:

1. Have a clear and compelling vision (goal)

Kids often have a vision or goal of something they really want but may dismiss it as unreachable. All our most important goals first show up as illogical and force us to stretch beyond our comfort zone. We need to encourage our kids to trust their vision. Get them to talk about it. Engage with them so they know you care about them

2. Have enormous desire to realize your vision (goal)

We want to help kids develop the wisdom to understand how crucial it is to make their desire to reach their goal much bigger than the obstacles they will face. Empower them by asking questions such as: Why is this important to you? What about this goal interests you? When you reach this goal, how will you feel about yourself? How will this make you grow? Who will you become when you reach this goal? Guide them, encourage them, challenge them, and most of all believe in them more than they believe in themselves.

3. Be committed to your vision (goal)

Help kids set up the will to succeed. Acknowledge their commitment. If they lose steam, hold their vision up to them as a motivator. Encourage, encourage and encourage some more!

4. Call in support

One of the biggest mistakes we make as adults is thinking we can do it all alone. No one can have success alone. It is impossible. Help kids grasp this at a young age. It will have a huge and very positive impact on their entire life. Teach them how to ask for help. Teach them how to enroll others in reaching their goals.

The common thread that runs through the most successful people in humankind is that they all had a fabulous support team.

5. Develop a plan and be open to tweak it if necessary

Teach kids the importance of structure by creating a plan. It is natural for kids (and adults) to resist structure because they fear they will lose freedom. Show them evidence that structure will give them more freedom and will help them soar. The plan will guide them like a road map and make it easier to reach their desired destination.

As Richard Bach said, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work at it, however.”

 

These Three Keys – Benjamin Watson

Written by Benjamin Watson

Taken from TheBenjaminWatson.com

Take a look at training camp at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia though Benjamin’s eyes in his latest blog post, These Three Keys.

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Benjamin WatsonThis training camp has been like none other I’ve ever been apart of. In my 11-year career this is the first time I’ve had to go away from my team facilities for training camp. Leaving my family for three weeks has been hard on all of us, but spending camp in West Virginia at the Greenbrier Resort has been quite an experience. Although NFL Training Camp doesn’t lend itself to leisure, the 10,000-acre resort has myriad activities to offer, from world-class spa treatments to off-roading, if and when we do get time off. When you add in the PGA tour and the fact that 26 presidents have stayed at the resort it’s easy to see the national appeal. What started as retreat for therapeutic pain management, through the healing powers of the local sulfur springs, has blossomed into what is now coined “Americas Resort.” The recent success and growth of the Greenbrier can be attributed in large part to West Virginia native, billionaire James C. Justice II, who purchased the hotel out of bankruptcy in 2009.  As if resuscitating the ailing resort to health wasn’t enough, he put the cherry on top by bringing the first ever NFL training camp to the region.

Larger than life, in stature and personality, the 6’7” 350 pound Justice addressed the team halfway through camp.   As he lumbered up to the front of the room, wearing a green golf shirt (of course) and plaid sport coat, we weren’t quite sure what he would say and if it would resonate with us as men competing for a spot on an NFL roster.  With all due respect, what does a billionaire CEO of over 40 companies know about the grind of training camp? Dwarfing the podium in the front of the room, Mr. Justice started off with a joke to break the ice, then delivered three essential keys for healthy and successful organizations.  They are as follows.

1. “The owners have to care for the employees and the employees must know this and in turn care for the owner.  Like wise the employees must care for and love each other.”  We all do our jobs better when we feel appreciated. Owners/Coaches set the appreciation thermostat in the workplace.  Employees/Players will be more inclined to care for each other as well as management when they know their superiors care about them.

2. “To get better we must admit when we do wrong and truly own up to it and change our actions.  Its not enough to just say, “I’m sorry.”  Trust in the workplace is built when there is a change.” Like a crack in a windshield, an unresolved breach of trust can fester until it divides a team in two.  Good teams are able to identify mistakes, receive correction and change behavior without offense. Moreover, good teams have players who WANT to correct their own mistakes so the team can function at the highest level.

3. Lastly he gave a baseball analogy. “Suppose you’re an outfielder”, he said. “Your team is ahead by 1 run. The count is 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th.  If you are hoping the batter does not hit the ball your way, you will never amount to anything. You MUST WANT the ball.”  He assured us, “We all are afraid at times. But you must believe you can make the play.”

I think I speak for the entire team, when I say his words were exactly what we needed to hear, individually and collectively. The identity, camaraderie, character and trust that will sustain a team through a season are forged during the dog days of training camp. These keys are what keep teams healthy and functioning at the highest level. And while these proven keys will propel businesses and teams to success, on a more significant level, they will also transform families into the foundational yet world-changing units they were created to be.  When I think about my life as a Christian, and my role as a husband and father, Mr. Justice’s words are, in many ways, a blueprint for success. Lets take a look at these three keys of love, trust, and courage from another perspective.

1.  I John 4:19,20 says, “We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.” God created us and loves us.  He shows us His love by meeting our needs, forgiving us, sustaining us, protecting us, disciplining us, fellowshipping with us, and redeeming us through His Son. Our proper response is to love him back. We do that by worshipping him, obeying him, trusting him, acknowledging him, listening to him, and telling others about him.  The ultimate proof of our love for him, though, is our love for our fellow man.

Ephesians 5 says it like this. Christ loves the church (his followers) and gave himself up for it. Likewise, husbands, sacrificially love your wives, continually striving to cultivate her spiritual and physical well being. Fathers, as head of your household, it is your primary duty to love your wife. Why? Because the “owner” (GOD) of the business in which you are employed (Life) loves you! And when your little employees see your love for their mother, they will follow suit and love each other as well.

2. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

Through my life, I’ve learned that honesty is greater than the facade of perfection (most of the time the hard way!). Confession is the catalyst for healing in relationships while denial creates distance.  This can be said of our relationship with our heavenly father, our spouse, our children or our close friends.  Fathers, you are the chief disciplinarian in the home. No I’m not saying you are the only one who should spank Junior or send him to timeout, but the buck stops with you.  That role is a double-sided coin though.  You also should be ready and willing to admit, when you screw up.  When you respond in anger, or do things you shouldn’t, you are provided with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate repentance and discuss our need for Gods grace and forgiveness.  The family will follow your lead and the atmosphere will be one of trust and growth instead of hypocrisy and pride.

3.  I admire the prophet Isaiah’s response to God’s call for action.  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). I wish I could say I respond the same way when God asks me to do something, but fear and hesitation always seem to be lurking.

Sometimes we elevate the men and women in scripture to super human status. Through the power of God they did some amazing things, but many of them were terrified at the tasks they were asked to perform. Everyone wasn’t as eager to go and answer the call as Isaiah was.  Moses was worried about his speech impediment and if the people would believe God had sent him (Exodus 3).  Gideon doubted God could use him to save the Israelites until God proved it to him not once, but twice! (Judges 6)  Jonah was so afraid to go to Nineveh that he went the other direction and subsequently was swallowed by a big fish…BUT God still used him.  In fact God did great things through all these men when, in spite of their fear, they obeyed God.  Then and only then did they “make the play.”  Then and only then did they display true courage.

We all have fear and doubt. We doubt if we can be loving fathers, faithful husbands, or committed Christians (remember Peter?). The truth is, YOU can’t do any of these things alone. BUT because Christ has changed who you are on the inside, you CAN make the play in your marriage, as a dad, and in your Christian life. His spirit is within us giving us all we need do what everyone (including us) thinks we cant. (2 Peter 1:3)  He has made us courageous.  Remember Satan is the father of lies and he would love nothing more than to fill us with unfounded disbelief and worry, keeping us from what God has for us. Is there something God is urging you to do, or someone you know you should spend time with? Are your relationships out of balance? Are you afraid to share your faith? Are you walking down the wide road because you’re afraid of the commitment and rejection the narrow road may bring?  Have you shied away from your role? Are you afraid to be vulnerable before Him? Or maybe you’re afraid of being like the men in the Bible who courageously stepped up to the plate and chased God with reckless abandon.

As a football team, I hope we incorporate Mr. Justice’s keys for success into our DNA and that they propel us to new heights this season. As men, I hope we use these three keys to unlock the closed doors in our lives that separate us from our ultimate goal: becoming more like Him.

 

Reporting Good News Would Raise Public’s Impression of Media and Create a Society with More Hope

By Chrissy Carew

The New York Yankees have been quite successful with HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), which just completed its sixth consecutive season. Each day, the Yankees reach out to an individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support, surprising honorees with a day celebrating their accomplishments. HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.

HOPE Week deservedly so, receives ample media coverage. However, would these great stories ever see the light of day if the Yankees were not involved?  Unfortunately, I do not believe that’s the case and it speaks volumes about where we are as a society. Negative news is what produces ratings, sparks dialogue and keeps the 24-hour news cycle churning.

This is to me, one of the major reasons why the recent Gallup poll shows that Americans’ faith in each of three major news media platforms — television news, newspapers, and news on the Internet is at a record low.

Recently I took a walk through the center of the town I grew up in, Concord, MA, a very small, quaint, and historical New England town. I began people watching. At first I saw a few smiling faces and that perked me up. However, it wasn’t long before I began to notice that a large majority of the people, were walking around with their heads down, had a scowl on their face, were expressionless and in some instances looked defeated.  It made me feel very sad. I then got frustrated and that brought up the rebel within. I started blaming the media.

It’s easy to blame the media. However, can we truly fault them when it seems that we as a society clamor for such negative news? After all, don’t we get pleasure watching the escapades of reality television personalities, or run to the checkout counter to grab a copy of a popular tabloid to learn the latest celebrity gossip?

If we didn’t care, ratings would drop and some of this sensationalism might end. However, as a body the majority of stories and news the media report are negative. And I have seen countless opportunities for them to share more positive news.

I am going to share a personal experience I had with the media that was very discouraging.

May was Mental Health Awareness month. I work with Keith O’Neil, a former NFL player and member of the 2007 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts, who suffers from bipolar disorder. Keith’s heartbreaking experience with bipolar disorder was featured as the cover story in the spring issue of bp (Bipolar) magazine. He wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until after he played in the NFL.  Because of this, Keith wants to save children and adults the suffering he went through by sharing his story.

I expected many outlets to pick up Keith’s story because I was certain he would inspire people who have bipolar disorder, and ultimately get more people diagnosed and treated that are not aware they have it.

The response from the media was, “He isn’t well known enough.”

I was stunned. I said, “Do you realize how many people his story would help?” I thought to myself, I bet my last dollar that if Keith got into trouble they would report on that.

We as a society need to expect more of ourselves and others. We need a world where we lift each other up and bring out the best in each other.  Our kids are craving this and they will not survive without it. It is time to create a loving, peaceful and positive revolution.  I’m in! Are you?

We have to ask ourselves, “If we demanded better stories, would these news outlets oblige?”

The American public deserves a chance to learn about positive role model stories that can provide inspiration to our children, like the efforts of the Yankees with HOPE Week, or in the case of Keith O’Neil, save the lives of others.

People with hope thrive, while people without hope die. I may not be here 20 years from now but if I am, I am going to visit Concord center again. And, if we shift our focus from negativity to hope, I am certain I will see a lot of smiling faces walking down the street. What do you think?

Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Coach
Founder and Head Coach
Insightful Player, LLC
Approved partner of the NFL Players Association
Office: 603-897-0610
Mobile: 603-321-1862
Email: CoachCarew@InsightfulPlayer.com

 

The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Ceritified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. He is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.

Giants’ Two Time Super Bowl Champion Perry Williams Named to Insightful Player Team for His Work Empowering Youth

Nashua, NH (August 11, 2014) – Former New York Giants cornerback and two-time Super Bowl winner Perry Williams has been named to the Insightful Player team because of his positive influence as a role model for youth.

Insightful Player®, a bold movement of hope that features inspiring stories and programs about great NFL role models to inspire youth features Williams’s story on the Insightful Player website: http://www.theinsightfulplayer.com/2014/08/11/perry-williams/

An Insightful Player® is a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children. Williams joins a roster of Insightful Players which includes: Doug Baldwin (Seahawks), Matthew Slater (Patriots), Jerricho Cotchery (Steelers), Benjamin Watson (Saints), Jason Campbell (Bengals), Roger Staubach (Cowboys), Devin McCourty (Patriots), Jason McCourty (Titans) and Usama Young (Raiders), among others. There are currently 4​8​ members on the Insightful Player team with more NFL players joining each week.

Insightful Player is an approved partner of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).

“I am overjoyed to be able to add someone with the character, passion and dedication that Perry Williams exhibits as a member of the Insightful Player team.” said Chrissy Carew, founder of Insightful Player. “His personal mission to touch and transform the lives of young people through his work as a curriculum developer, camp director, motivational speaker and college instructor and as the spokesperson for Beyond the Laces, is transforming the lives of every child receiving his message.”

“In a day-and-age when most don’t recognize the value in putting an athlete’s expression of faith in print, Chrissy Carew—”Coach” Carew—demonstrates a courage that sets her above!” noted Williams.

“Her Insightful Player provides an honest view of the professional football player. This allows athletes of-faith to share who they really are. In this way we are better able to connect with our youth and positively impact them for their own hopeful future. Chrissy’s past success in accomplishing this is a demonstration of her excellent ability, wisdom, and heartfelt desire to improve our world.

“And, as we both share the same time-honored values, it is a joy to be part of Coach Carew‘s Insightful Player team. Together, we will reach the next generation to help improve youthful lives now, so they too, in turn, can “pay-it-forward” and make a difference, when they are successful adults. Thank you for including me in this most noble effort!”

To read Perry’s story visit, http://www.theinsightfulplayer.com/2014/08/11/perry-williams/

The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Ceritified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. He is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.

Matthew Slater New England Patriots Special Teams Captain Joins the Insightful Player® team

Nashua, NH, July 28, 2014 – New England Patriots team captain Matthew Slater is the newest member of the Insightful Player team. A seven-year NFL veteran, Slater was selected to the Insightful Player team for his profound sense of spirituality, his love of family, his leadership skills, and his eagerness to reach out to the community.

Insightful Player®, a bold movement of hope that features inspiring stories, and programs about great NFL role models to inspire youth is now featuring Slater’s story on the Insightful Player website.

An Insightful Player® is a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children. Slater joins a roster of Insightful Players which includes: Doug Baldwin (Seahawks), Jason Campbell (Browns), Benjamin Watson (Saints), Jerricho Cotchery (Panthers), Steve Grogan (Patriots), Steve Nelson (Patriots), Andre Tippet (Patriots), Roger Staubach (Cowboys), Devin McCourty (Patriots), Jason McCourty (Titans), Kyle Arrington (Patriots) and Usama Young (Raiders), among others. There are currently 48 members on the Insightful Player team with more players joining each week.

Insightful Player is an approved partner of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).

“Matthew Slater has been guided by his faith throughout his life and has always been motivated more by love and devotion to God and his family than by a wish for athletic glory or the adulation that comes with it. He is a very kind and humble man who has tremendous passion, for contributing to others. He brings out the best in everyone, and he leaves a permanent impression on your heart. Matthew is a caring leader, wonderful role model and a valued member of the Insightful Player team,” said Coach Carew, founder of Insightful Player.

Matthew said, “Insightful Player is great to get out a positive message that has substance and impact on the lives of young people and older people as well. I am encouraged that we have platforms like this to reach people in a positive way.”
To read Matthew’s story visit, http://www.theinsightfulplayer.com/2014/04/02/matthew-slater/

The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Ceritified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. He is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.