Monthly Archives: July 2017

Friday July 28, 2017 LovePrints! Cover your world in love!

It will be my 55th birthday, and some of you know that the past year has been eventful. Among the personal health scares, family losses, ridiculous blessings, victories, and love, LOVEPRINTS was born and launched. Each day of the past 356 have been a constant and consistent reminder to love more, fear less, and to love out loud. The mission to cover the world, our world, your world, in love, has been a daily task. July 28th will be a day of unified love. And, LovePrints.

 

It does not require that you be anywhere other than where you are. It does not require that you send me a gift.

I simply ask that you love out loud today. One at a time. Each one, loving one.

One action in love. One love in action.

 

You have over two weeks from today to join in and participate.

Here’s how:

If you have some LovePrints apparel, wear it and share it.

If you do not have any, make some, wear it, and share it.

If you want some official bracelets, stickers, shirts, hats, or other, go to the website and buy some, wear it, and share it.

 

You can buy for yourself, your family, your friends, your loved ones, or strangers. Do it. And then share it.

You can choose anyone at all to cover in love. Just share it.

You can use this day to mend scars, build a bridge, resolve a problem, or to make new friends.

You can simply tell someone that you care, and this will be there when you aren’t able to be there.

You can send a smile, offer a hug, or shake hands.

Remember, a LovePrint is a hand and a heart working together.

A hand working without love may not create something good.

A heard with no hands may not accomplish much.

Together, they can accomplish anything.

 

My hope is that we can spend one day caring and sharing. One day of letting people know that they matter, we care, and here is a reminder.

My hope is that we can move closer to the better in us, of us. One act of love at a time. One love in action at a time.

You can do more than once, more than one day, or share as many as possible.

Remember, cover the world in love. 

We deserve it.

 

That would make this the best birthday ever.

DP

Loveprints

Posted in Giving Back
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Loving and Learning through sports. Legendary LovePrints of Coach Red Jenkins

Great people make great coaches. Great coaches make great people.
Great coaches make great athletes. Great athletes make great coaches.
Legend.
An extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.
Any and all of those things apply to Paul “Red” Jenkins. I wont talk about the reason why a lot of people think of Coach Jenkins. I will start with what I think of when I think of this legend. 
 
Brilliant. 
That light that shines brighter, that smile than shines bigger, that laugh that booms louder, and the wisdom. That brilliant Red Jenkins wisdom. If you have spent one moment in a one on one conversation with the man, you understand that you can not leave it the same as before you had it. You can not feel smarter, taller, better. Coach Jenkins has the ability to make giants smaller, children taller, and adults childlike in their joy. He has the gift of being able to inform you without making you feel uninformed, and that you are now smarter than you really are. And better. You feel better. 
 
Not all humans have the ability to be legend and worth of it. Not all humans want it. I am pretty sure that he will disagree with my saying it, but that it ok. He knows exactly why it needs to be said. LovePrints is loving and learning through sports, and I can not think of any coach who exemplifies this more than Coach Jenkins. While he has a lineage of famous players who played for him, and successful seasons of winning behind him, it is the love that his players and students speak about when Coach Jenkins name is brought up. There is a glow that takes over, and it is from deep within. Anyone who knows how few coaches and teachers are authentically remembered, Red does not have that problem. He is remembered deeply, and freshly. And he is worthy. 
 
I first heard about Coach Jenkins as a very young man. I heard these tales of greatness about the Drill Sargent of a leader in Fairfax, Virginia. His drills were epic, his voice was familiar, and his ability to win was never questioned. His teams were well coached, well disciplined, and really tough to beat. His players became coaches, his opponents became fans, and everyone understood why this was the case. He was worthy. 
 
Later in life, as sports took me out of the area, I would often find love prints of Coach Jenkins out in the larger world. Some former player of his in Atlanta, some coaching buddy of his in Charlotte, some opponent of his teams in Utah, and a coaching protege in Houston. I would hear him in the voice of radio in DC, I would hear about his victories in California, and I would see him in Basketball documentaries on television. He was everywhere. His LovePrints were everywhere. 
 
My coaching life too me to the HOUSE THAT RED BUILT. WT Woodson High School in Virginia. The gymnasium carries his name. The banners carry his legend. And the community calls his name. 20 plus district titles, 600 plus wins, and enough love to fill Main Street. Honor, after honor, after honor. A basketball tournament in his name. And it may not be enough. 

Coach DP and Red Jenkins 2015

 
Funny thing he would be an amazing baseball or football coach too. He is that kind of leader of young people. No matter what charge given, he would be perfectly out front and leading. He is an encyclopedia of local and national folk tales and facts. He can spin a story like no one else, and in each one is a lesson. In each one is a purpose. And in each one, there is a little bit of glory. A little bit of greatness. A little bit of Red. 
 
Coach Jenkins does not need for me to write about him. Not as a man, or a coach. I needed to. He has shared so much of himself to so many. I want to give some of it back to him. He deserves it. I am a better man because of him. I am a better coach because of him. I am a better human because of him. If you have ever met the man, you are as well. If you ever played for the coach, you are as well. If you ever loved the human, you are as well. 
 
We used to meet on Tuesdays and have coffee. As a lifetime talker, I was always impressed by those who got me to lean in, shut up, and listen. Coach Jenkins did that. And every Tuesday, I would shut up, lean in, and listen. And, I would love. Today, I love out loud. 
Thank you for your LovePrints Coach.
 
From all of us. 
Thank you for you. 
Posted in Edcuators
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LovePrints go a long way. Ed Hunter and the Hunter Family

Thank you is such a simple thing to say. It always means more than the two words themselves. Always.
Great people make great families. Great Families make great people.
One of the reasons why I started LovePrints was to be able to say THANK YOU to people for who they are, what they have done, and what they are doing. These are people who did something along the way to form my life as it is. Some did these things on purpose, out loud, and directly. Some did so in my sight line and path, and in the shared path, became a part of my journey. I have said repeatedly that I am covered in LovePrints, and I will continue to share the good people who did this.
As most of you know, I am proud of my beginnings. I was raised by a community of family, friends, teachers, and coaches who barked when needed, smiled often, guided with firm yet gentle hands, and gave me a well lit path to walk on. Some did so without realizing that they had an army of young people following them. Or maybe they knew, and simply made it look like they didn’t. What I can tell you is that the neighborhoods that I was raised and ran in were diverse, colorful, and loving. They were also full of people who taught by doing, who were constantly present, and cared enough to tell you what you needed to know rather than what you wanted to hear.
I talk a lot about the Black Knights community, the family and families, the brothers and sisters, and the teammates. The Black and Gold always managed to make the world seem large and comfortable at the same time. The names meant something because of the people that carried and honored them. And the families extended beyond the games, the fundraisers, and the colors. They extended into homes, playgrounds, parks, and fields. Among the names, Hunter was one that shines for me, and there are several reasons. The Hunters were a family. They were friends. They were my home away from home, and a landmark to my life. The beauty of this is that there are several families that could and will be talked about. Today, I want to focus on this family.
From first to the last, this family was always present. No matter if i was playing games, watching games, coaching games, or working games, they were present. From mom to daughter to brother, in family and friendship, always present. To provide light, direction, and advice. From keeping score, drinks for the teams, snacks for the coaches, and a pat on the back no matter how those games went. Always present.
At the top of this family is Ed Hunter. Coach. Dad. Pops. Sir. Always present. Always a transport. Always a wave from the corner house. Always a boundary. Always there to keep the lights on. Always there to give structure. Always there to give advice. Always there to growl if he saw something beneath you. Always there to smile if you were being a better version of yourself. Always there. Always.
The same can be said for the family, as could be said for many of the Black Knight families. But Ed, Karen, Eric, and Stacey are a great example of LovePrints. Theirs are all over Arlington County, and beyond. I would be failing if I did not use this space to tell them so. Ed, you made the county home for many. You made it better. I am saying thank you for a lot of us. You deserve it. Thank you Hunters, one and all.
Posted in Parents
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Lets make July 28, 2017 a day of love!

Friday July 28, 2017

 

It will be my 55th birthday, and some of you know that the past year has been eventful. Among the personal health scares, family losses, ridiculous blessings, victories, and love, LOVEPRINTS was born and launched. Each day of the past 356 have been a constant and consistent reminder to love more, fear less, and to love out loud. The mission to cover the world, our world, your world, in love, has been a daily task. July 28th will be a day of unified love. And, LovePrints.

 

It does not require that you be anywhere other than where you are. It does not require that you send me a gift.

I simply ask that you love out loud today. One at a time. Each one, loving one.

One action in love. One love in action.

 

You have over two weeks from today to join in and participate.

Here’s how:

If you have some LovePrints apparel, wear it and share it.

If you do not have any, make some, wear it, and share it.

If you want some official bracelets, stickers, shirts, hats, or other, go to the website and buy some, wear it, and share it.

 

You can buy for yourself, your family, your friends, your loved ones, or strangers. Do it. And then share it.

You can choose anyone at all to cover in love. Just share it.

You can use this day to mend scars, build a bridge, resolve a problem, or to make new friends.

You can simply tell someone that you care, and this will be there when you aren’t able to be there.

You can send a smile, offer a hug, or shake hands.

Remember, a LovePrint is a hand and a heart working together.

A hand working without love may not create something good.

A heard with no hands may not accomplish much.

Together, they can accomplish anything.

 

My hope is that we can spend one day caring and sharing. One day of letting people know that they matter, we care, and here is a reminder.

My hope is that we can move closer to the better in us, of us. One act of love at a time. One love in action at a time.

You can do more than once, more than one day, or share as many as possible.

Remember, cover the world in love. 

We deserve it.

 

That would make this the best birthday ever.

DP

Loveprints

Posted in Giving Back
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Coach Will Hawes. Faith and Love in action. LovePrints everywhere.

Posted in Giving Back
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LovePrints-Lyle Milham

Great people make great coaches. Great coaches make great people.
Let us never underestimate the power of great sports parents, especially when they cross over into coaching with the sole purpose of helping everyone grow. It does not happen all of the time, so when someone puts aside the idea of their kid being first and priority, you lean in. And when they get a group of parents and young people to lean in, something wonderful happens.
Such was the case in Riverton, Utah back in the early 2000’s. I went to a little league practice with my adopted family and the son that was playing on the team, and I took perch on top of a small hill so that I had a distant few of the goings on. (Yes, I also intended to not be the butting in guy that I have so much distaste for!). I sat up in the Utah summer sun, roasted a bit, and was called to lean in as I saw the coach really making a point to laugh with his players during a water break. I had seen the uncertainty of the team, really young kids who may or may not had totally committed to the idea of playing football in this heat, wearing all of the pads and uniforms and getting hotter, or the running into one another at the fastest pace they could muster. Among the kids were some stars, some studs, and a lot of question marks. I watched and clapped in my head at their successes, clasped my fingers together and prayed at their falling down, and cheering when the coach got one of the questions to become an answer. I saw some things that I could add, but resisted. Temporarily.
I watched another days work, sat through practice and eyeballed from my spot atop the hill, only to be called down by a player with tears. He did not want to hit. He just did not. So, I found my way to him and whispered “It’s going to be okay.” He looked at me with the oddest of looks and asked how did I know. I simply said “I’ve been there. I was you a long time ago. He laughed at the big black guy telling the white kid from Utah that they were the same. I laughed too. I walked him over to the coach and handed him off after introducing myself to them both. We started talking about the practice, and then the drills, and then…oh no…im butting in. Doggone it. Im butting in. Well, at least Im not coaching.
The coach and I talked a bit more, and as I stood there a football whizzed near, and old habits die hard, I caught it. I had their attention. Another kid asks if I coach. (Do not say yes DP. Do not say yes. )
“Yes.”
The next thing you know, its days letter and I am in the drills with the coach and the kids, beginning years of laughs, car rides, bus rides, hugs, over night sleepovers, ballgames, snow games, wins, championships, and love. That coach became one of my best friends, confidants, and sounding boards. He led this team, program, and community to some great moments, and I can easily say that I am a better coach from having stood next to him on the sidelines in Utah. No matter little league or high school, the conversations were the same. They were about how to raise these young men, how to address their needs, and how to make the parents proud of us all. They were about being decent on the field and off, about taking care of each other, and themselves. And, about winning.
I won when I met Coach Lyle Milham. We certainly won a lot together. His LovePrints are all over the state of Utah.
Well done buddy!
Posted in Coaching
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What student-athletes can do with their free summer time.

“What should they be doing with their time during the summer?”
That is a common question. What workouts should they be doing?  What camps are the best camps for players to get better? Which camps are the best ones to be seen by college coaches?
All great questions by parents. The answers vary depending on the players skill level and body of work. It also depends on their plans for after high school or college. (Yes, they should have one!) What is missed is the first part of being a student athlete. The student. The part that constantly keeps athletes from playing at the next level or at the level in which they feel they belong talent wise. Not all of them have Division 1 talent. Not all of them have Division 1 size, speed, or agility. All of them need to have Division 1 study habits and academic habits.
Why not spend some of the summer time to get ahead academically? Why not work on the main reason you go to school? It is now July, and every parent and student has a great idea of their academic strengths, weaknesses, and classes to come in the fall. Why not prepare? Why not get ahead?
If the athlete is weak at some part of his athletic game, they will spend every free hour of the day shooting hoops, throwing or catching passes, or in the batting cage to improve their chances to succeed come next season. Need to improve at free throws? Spend more time on them in the off season! Trouble kitting the curve ball? Spend more time on it in the off season! Difficulty with the corner kick? Off season will fix it? Need to run faster or get stronger? Off season baby!
The same thing applies to academics. You have from June until August to improve. Why not use this time to get better at the subjects that cause you stress and drama? Parents have no problems forking up checks to have junior work out with the local dad camp, but wont apply that same logic to academics, which should be the natural focus and priority. I understand applying your free summer time to the games you love, but doesn’t it make sense to apply some of that free time to the courses that are firmly ahead in the student athletes path?
Just a thought. Maybe that GPA could use some summer reps as well.
Go. Be Epic.
Posted in Students
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Thank you, to all of the Coach Barry “Bear” Laravie’s

Good Sunday afternoon.
Labels. Look beyond them. Look past them. Find the person. Be present.
As a young man, I was a member of the greatest example of a youth organization ever. The Black Knights. Nope, not black as in black people. Team color. The mighty and powerful BLACK & GOLD of the Arlington County Black Knights. What made this organization so great? The people. The amazing people. The loving, inspirational, well meaning, label free people. The coaches were diverse in a time where diverse was not the norm. In the 60’s and 70’s in South Arlington. (Shout out to Lower Arlington !) Imagine in a time of labels and boundaries, this organization managed to cross boundaries, to cross communities, and created an environment where amazing families could coexist and prosper. They loved. It was wonderful. Coaches of every color, every religion, leading players from different schools and backgrounds. These coaches were policemen, teachers, firemen, lawyers, doctors, and more. They were taxis for players without rides, meal buyers, doctors, and psychologists for us kids. Team moms treating all of their sons the same, loving them with care and guidance. All of the sisters of the community standing cheering loud and proud. Every sport was a part of the joy, and every game was a carnival event with energy and fun. You may not have been aware of why it was special, you just knew that it was. These people, no matter where they are now, still smile and glow when the Mighty Knights are mentioned.
I say that to say this. One year, I was late registering to play football. I had resigned that I was not going to play that year. I was approached by a police officer as I played touch football out front of my house. I had not done anything wrong, but I went up to the car to see what I had done. The officer reached out his hand and said “you are pretty fast, why arent you at football practice?” I told him why, and he said that he was a football coach for the Fraternal Order of Police, and he needed some players my age. I was not aware of the FOP, and I had not considered that there was any football outside of the Black & Gold, so I had no idea what to say. He asked my name and number, and said that he would call me. He did. That night. He asked if I knew any other players, and said that he would be there tomorrow to pick me up for weigh in, and we would go from there.
We were the FOP Eagles. A rag tag group of athletes who had somehow fallen through the cracks. Some decent players. A big armed QB, a power runner, some angry linebackers, and myself. We did okay. I think we were .500, which was a testament to our coach. His name was Barry Laravie. Bear. Coach Bear. A mountain of a man, and a local policeman. He had the bark and stature of a giant. Even then he seemed 7 foot tall. But Bear showed up. He picked us all up, he dropped us all off. He bought us cleats and t shirts in case we did not have the money. He bought burgers to practice to make sure that we ate. He gave all of the extra burgers to the last kid he dropped off. That was usually me.
Those rides home were amazing. He did not use his police car. He used his own. He took the risk of being a white man driving through black neighborhoods, often at night. But what made his effort more amazing was the conversations. He and every other coach who chose to drive us black kids home, God Bless them. It wasnt easy or comfortable. But he did it. And he shared. He shared secrets of how tough it was to do the job, how amazing it was to do the job, and how proud he was of doing the job. He also told me who to look out for, and who to stay away from. He pointed out good people and bad. He also pointed out good policemen and bad. He warned me about staying out of certain areas, to stay away from certain signs that I would not be safe or welcomed. But what he showed me most, was love. He cared. I remember asking why he did it, and his answer was “…because you let me. You didnt have to talk to me or come play for me, but you did. I appreciated it so much because once you were on board, it was easier to get other players.” He asked why I said yes, and the answer was that white officers do not normally pull up and smile at us, so it felt safe. He smiled. I smiled.
I say this now, and to be clear, I owe a lot to Coach Bear. I owe a lot to his band of police brothers who took care of us. I owe them for giving me info on survival, and on care.
He and I both could have labelled the other and lost out. We managed to say yes. It worked out. He and I both fully understood that this was not always the intent, purpose, circumstances, or outcome of such meetings between police and black males. But for this one fork in the road in time, it worked. For all of the times that it didnt, I am glad that it did.
Thank you Coach Bear. Thank you for all of the other Coach Bear’s in the world.
The power of a good officer of the law is known. The power of the other is as well.
Be a Coach Bear wont you?
And by the way… Go Black Knights Go FOP Eagles!
Posted in Giving Back
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