I now pronounce it officially summer
I have been busy helping Orion chase the Pleiades out of the evening sky so that summer can officially arrive. Technically it begins tomorrow, June 21, but for me, once school is out and it warms up, I count it as summer. I hope yours is going well so far.
You know from my last post that I went to the high school graduations of two of my five grandchildren in May: Madison Nelis from the Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati (she is the older daughter of my daughter, Jamie) and Ty Burson from Granville Christian Academy in Granville (he is the middle son of my son, Jay). Both are great kids whose future is great if they work hard to pursue their dreams.
Right after that I headed to St. Louis for my 5th Nike trip of the year. This was the Elite 100 Academy; about 100 highly talented young players ranging from 14 to 18 years old. The academy is held at St. Louis University, which has a beautiful campus.
These select athletes spend four intensive days immersed in basketball skills and competition and working with coaches in a 5:1 ratio. They also participate in a leadership training program that includes team building, life resilience, interviewing skills and the college admission process.
It’s a high-quality operation and very well-organized, like all the Nike events that I’ve been part of.
Plant your seeds
Even though these players have a very high level of athleticism they still lack good fundamental skills.
Several of the coaches in St. Louis commented on this. They also expressed frustration that the players had a hard time listening or concentrating for very long. I’m sure that sounds familiar to all of you who work with young people.
I told those coaches to look at this as a challenge. Three days is not long enough to make fundamental changes in the players, nor will any of the youngsters have a magical metamorphosis over the course of the days. Instead, I told the coaches, their coaching responsibility during the program was to plant the seeds for change.
I reminded them of the legendary Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman), who planted apple seeds all over the state of Ohio, but very seldom saw the fruit of the trees he planted.
Plant your seeds and trust in the future good.
Break the sound barrier
Three days after I got home from St. Louis, the real head coach and I gave a webinar in partnership with 94Fifty. We repeated our master clinic, Personalize the Princeton, (from last fall) to a new, wider audience. In preparing for it, we went back to the comments from previous participants and used those comments to make the presentation even better than it had been before. We followed a simple challenge: Do the best you can and then make it better.
Everyone wants to break the sound barriers in life. When you do this, no matter where you are, no matter how old you are, no matter what your reunion class is, you will know that the best still lies ahead.
How do you do this?
First, you must recognize that most of life’s sound barriers are self-imposed.
Next, you can break your own sound barriers in a variety of ways – improving physically through a good diet and exercise, improving emotionally by not putting too much pressure on winning or losing, or improving mentally by reading, studying and always setting new goals.
If you keep at it, and don’t try to do everything at once, you will eventually hear
Another sound barrier broken! Yippee!
Our junkets continue
This week Jennifer and I head to New York City (her former home) for a little “sound-breaking” entertainment, followed by another week with Nike at the Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy and, in Washington, DC, the Kevin Durant Skills Academy.
Work hard and pursue your dreams.
Enjoy the moments as they fly by.
Plant a few seeds.
What sound barrier can you break this summer? I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them in the “Leave a Reply” comments box below (scroll down).
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Special note: My friend/colleague, Dr. Bil Kerrigan, Distinguished Professor of History at Muskingum University, recently published a book about Johnny Appleseed. If you’d like to know more, click here.
Photos: Pleiades © Blue Moon-fotolia.com; St Louis University by Jim Burson; Johnny Appleseed © peresanz-fotolia.com