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LovePrints What will they say about you?

Love in action. Action in love.

Love Out Loud.

What will be said about you when you are not able to listen? What will be told as a truth when you are not around to agree or disagree? Does it matter?

I speak of love out loud. The concept is simply the act of choosing to celebrate love of someone, love of a condition, love of an environment, or love of a moment. It is the raising of glasses, cheering in unison, the united action of hands together for a cause, the lifting of people to a better place, and the standing for something good, together.

That last like speaks volumes. It simply shows the value of a thing, the power of that thing, and the reason why that thing matters. It is the reason why, the reason how, and the goal defined and achieved. It is the beauty witnessed, the glory known, and the chorus of YES!

What we hope is said about us before, now, and then is that we achieved. We hope that it is said that our curiosities were pursued, they became questions, which became, tests and experiments, which became answers, which became knowledge.

We hope that our situations met doubts which met opportunities, which became labor and onto effort and successes. We hope that hunger became desire, which became motivation, which became ambition, which turned to drive. Drive fell in love with repetition, which took residence in winning.

We hope that lesson after lesson after lesson, became victory after win, after glorious win. We hope that it matters not what the trial was, we were asked for the truth and told it, no matter the feelings of those hearing it who wanted an untruth to be told. We hope that each truth is told, and that it is good enough for everyone, especially ourselves.

When we are done, and voices are raised to speak on our time and lives togethers, We hope to be the energy in a room full of more answers than questions, more knowledge than doubt, more achievements that failures, and more love than fear.

Let that be the story that is told about us. LOVE. Let it be said that in all of the winning an successes, and actions, that they all were LOVE. LOVE based, LOVE experienced, and LOVE knowing.

Go on the daily to tell your story. Speak on the love in it, out loud. Stand to joyfully shout about it. And then remain standing to receive the love in numbers coming back to you. You deserve its. It deserves you.

We deserve them both.

In love,

Coach DP.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints – Start with a smile

Love Out Loud.

Love in Action. Action in Love.

One act at a time.

In some cases, one smile at time. One smile.

Each smile is an act of love. Every single one. It is an act of love out loud. It is never selfish. It is never for the person giving it. It is always for the person receiving it. It is all about the person on the other end. It is all about the smile received.

A smile is the acknowledgement of another, each other, and us. It is the statement of looking for one another, searching for one another, and finding one another. A smile is a statement of who you are, who we are, and a strengthening of the connection that we all want and need.

As a educator, it is the YES to the lesson and the learning. It is the signal that you see and are seen. It is the alarm for something good, the telling of the truth, and the exclamation point to why we do what we do.

As a parent, a smile is the security blanket, the temperature taker, the meal planner, and the nurse. It answers questions, tells the truth, and seals the deal. A smile is a question, answer, and verification. It tells us everything.

As a coach, it is the opening mission statement, the practice plan, and the locker room captain. A smile says that we are ready, we are prepared, and we can do anything, together. A smile is the sign on your face that we belong, we deserve, and we earned this. A smile is the sign of improvement, vision, and growth. A smile says that I care, I am here, and that we are still connected to one another. A smile is the win, out loud.

As a man, its is the key to the door, the introduction to the masses, and the nodding to the next thing. It is the acceptance of the journey, the confirmation of success, and the celebration itself. The smile is medicine, therapy, exercise, and the fruit of our labor. It is the mixer, the appetizer, and the dessert. It is the final ovation, and the reason why.

The smile is powerful. Some might say that it is undefeated. It can change conditions, circumstances, environments, and lives. If you so choose, it can change us all.

Go. Action in love. Love in action. Love out loud.


Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints- If its love thing, DO THAT!

Love in Action. Action in love.

Love. Out. Loud.

Love without action does not accomplish much of anything other than a feeling. Action without love does not accomplish much good. Together, they can accomplish almost anything.

The very next thing. The next person, the next intersection in life, the next situation that you come across, the next need you face. Do something with love as its engine, wheels, reason, purpose or goal. Do that. The very next thing.

If it is an opportunity to better, do that.

If it is an opportunity to improve, do that.

If it is an opportunity to help, do that.

If it allows for growth, do that.

If it brings a smile, do that.

If it includes a hug, do that.

If it invokes a wonderful memory, do that.

If it is a placement holder for a happy place, do that.

If it says to the world that things will be okay, do that.

If it speaks of love, do that.

If it heals, do that.

If it lifts, do that.

If it adds to, do that.

If it says and, do that.

If it lessens a burden, do that.

If it is love out loud, do that.

If it is an action in love, do that.

If it is love in action, do that.

If it leads to greater, do that.

If it screams YES, do that.

If it gives a hand, do that.

If it is love, do that.

If it is love, do that.

If it is love, do that,

One act at a time. One person at a time.

Action in love. Love in action.

Go. Do that.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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Bryce Harper and his MOM tribute. Lovely.

I was a fan of Mister Harper’s from the first day that I saw him swing a bat. Over the days, as I learned more about the young man, I became a bigger fan of WHO he is than WHAT he is. He is a man of character, drive, ambition, and standard. He is a man of love. Love of a game, himself, his community, and his family. The man in the game is bigger than the man playing the game. That, is key. That, is the thing. That, is everything. Bravo, Mister Harper. Bravo Mom Harper. Bravo.


LovePrints is all about LEARNING AND LOVING THROUGH SPORTS. Here is a perfect showcase.




Posted in Good Sports, Weekly LovePrints

LovePrints – Wakefield Warriors Head Basketball Coach Tony Bentley

The baby faced assassin. He appears to be the neighborhood dad, the guy next door, and the guy you want to know. And then he starts coaching, and you realize that he is authentic in his ways, and you begin to lean in. You begin to look closer, and it becomes clearer. He is that dude. He is that guy. You would trust him with your name and your kids because he has learned to trust them with his. His value system is noticeable in that he gives proper weight to his name and yours. He understands that they both matter, and that he must be trustworthy to gain their trust, and yours. And he does.

Coach Bentley is the product of a loving family, a tight knit community, and a sports circle of successful friends and associates who all have enough trust in him that they are not only connected, but they stay connected because something good is going on around him. Something good is coming because of him. Something good is coming from him. And he makes you care. You want to be around when those good things happen. You must. And, they never leave his circle. They are loyal. He is loyal.

Arlington County is a unique place. Diverse and unified, while still functioning within separate and different communities. Coach Bentley is a product of South Arlington’s Green Valley (Nauck if you must), and North Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School. And somehow, he has taken those two different worlds and created a culture at a Wakefield High School Basketball Program that includes anyone willing to trust in him, and him in them. Anyone willing to care enough about their name and his to do their best, for one another. For the school, program, community, family, and self. The program is special. The community is special. The result is special. It starts with its leaders. Coach Bentley is a leader.

Coach Bentley is humble. He will say (rightfully so) that he is blessed with great kids, great support from his wife, his family, his school, his community, and his amazing, experienced staff. All true. But there are coaches who also get those things and do not have the impact that Tony does. Tony is the energy source that moves the program. And its through him that the program gets light. It starts with him.

I call him the baby faced assassin. He smiles as he prowls the basketball sidelines. He smiles because he knows that he has honored this thing the right way. And in that, something good is coming. Something good is why he does it. And in that, he knows that he can smile. All of those in his circle have already won. Family. Community. School. Program. Friends. They have all won.


Posted in Coaching, Edcuators, Good Sports, Weekly LovePrints
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Coach Will Hawes is love and faith in action. LovePrints everywhere.


Today I’m grateful for this man.. most people call him “Coach”, but Will Hawes is so much more then that. He has been so much to so many people. To me he’s been a friend and a mentor. We’ve had some incredible talks about his life experiences, his walk with God and I’ve picked his brain when I needed advice about something. We met when we both worked at LCA. He was a teacher, coach and mentor. Like me, he was also a host parent to many kids over the years. His heart was to pour into their lives and show them God’s love. One particular young man from Germany completely did a 180 largely because of the love, commitment and time Will spent pouring into his life. Will often wasn’t given the opportunity to run with the ideas he had and I don’t feel he was really fully given the chance to do what his heart wanted to do, which was take kids under his wing and love and mentor them. But he’s gone on to continue and further his God given gift of teaching, mentoring, preaching and unconditional love to touch the lives of those he comes in contact with. I’m proud and honored to have worked with him for the same cause. And although I don’t see he and his wife Kathryn much anymore, I’ll always consider them dear friends and I have no doubt that wherever he is or whatever he’s doing, Will is pouring into the lives of kids and doing what he knows how to do. Love God and love people. I’m thankful for you my friend. Thank you for being down in the trenches with me and doing it with such joy and passion. -Linda Gross
This letter was shared with me, so I am sharing it with you. Here is why:
When you measure a man, start where you will, and end up where you will, but get to the heart. In the case of Will Hawes, no matter where you start or finish, inside or out, into the heart and outward, he is LARGE. Almost superhuman. And the energy that hits you from him, even from a distance, is all consuming. He is part Giant, part elf, and all purpose. He possesses a spirit that is only out-shined by his his over sized shadow, which is there as a signal of attention before he gets there, and a reminder of his path crossing yours afterwards. And no matter what the path led, it would be forever changed and bettered by your crossing his.
An athlete of talent, drive, and IQ to match his imposing height and mass. A wrecking ball of manhood, and the ability to set a foundation with it for all of those in his orbit to base their direction and purpose with. To call him a gentle giant might be a disservice to his ability to wreak havoc on nonsense and malaise. He is all love, and often, love is loud. It is often forceful. It is often driven and direct. And in that, is brilliance. The kind of brilliance that changes paths and direction, that changes ways and meanings, that changes lives and living.
As a leader of young people, he goes first. He has gone first. And that is leadership. That is command. That is needed. He makes it easy for those in his charge to trust. He makes it easy for them to believe. He makes it easy for them to be authentic. Most importantly, he makes it easier for them to love and be loved. He cheers truth and character. He understands flaws and mistakes, but redirects and leads anew, and that is from his heart.

He loves. He cares. He matters. And, he is authentic. As a coach, he is in it for the right reasons. He loves. He cares. He matters. He is authentic.

My brother. My Brother’s Keeper. My man. My dude. My partner in love crimes. His LovePrints are covering the world in love. And he is covered in them.
Thank you Linda. Thank you Coach.
We need and love you both!
Posted in Coaching, Edcuators, Good Sports, Parents, Testimonials and Stories, Weekly LovePrints
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Fairfax Football Academy Coach Barry Thompson has left LovePrints everywhere.

One. Just one special one. Barry Thompson, Founder of Fairfax Football Academy is a special one.
If we get lucky, as coaches, players, teachers, mentors, students, parents, or fans, we run across one special one. Just one. Of any of them.
I luckily have happened to have crossed paths with several of each in my life. Incredibly fortunate. And in most cases, they are far to humble to speak of or for themselves, so I ill use this vehicle to speak on them, of them, and about them. It is not that people do not speak about them, it is HOW they speak about them that I wish to change. I will start this one with someone that I am close to, and someone that I admire deeply. As I explain who he is, I will explain those traits about him that make him special. Special to me, to others, to anyone. Barry Thompson of Fairfax Football Academy is a unicorn in a dancing grizzly bears clothing.
I first met him in Arlington, Virginia back in 1975. We were both attending Swanson Jr. High School, and he was already an elite student and athlete. He also was already forming as a leader of his peers and community. He ran track, was a roller skating phenom, a black quarterback, and a wrestler. And what anyone that ever met him can tell you that he sparkles. We met again at Washington-Lee High School in the same country, and his trajectory continued as a human and as an athlete. On a team with future Division 1 and NFL players among them, he was still a leader of stars. A “do it the right way”, “is that your best effort”, “now that we are done working, lets smile” kind of guy. Those traits took him to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, a factory of amazing leaders itself.
His story goes deeper off the field, than on. Yes, he was a high school quarterback who was athletic enough to switch positions to play defensive back in college. No small statement there at all. And another key to his uniqueness and his ability to analyze, adapt, and succeed. And those things serve him well today, as a honorable son, a loving husband, a doting father, and a shining light to young people all over the country.
Life put us on each other’s paths again some 25 years after high school. A random encounter at a youth league event put us face to face, and back in time. The quarterback in his huddle, calling his wide receiver to attention and tasking the troops with the next goal. And off we went, to rally some younger troops in a new place and a different times. But the same ole QB, same leadership and wisdom. And, the IT thing. The subtle character and trust factor that makes you want to GO! The thing that makes you want to work, improve, and try to be better. He is truly unique in his energy to assist, lead, and love.
He is blessed and gifted with a partner in life of epic standard. She too, a beacon of light, good, and beauty. Strong, resilient, and purposeful, she is the backbone to the family and community, and the two of them have raised two of the most incredibly beautiful humans anyone can imagine or hope for. Two life stars who will grow to change the world for the better, and that is why they are here. To be the standard makers and North Stars. I applaud them as loudly and proudly as I can, no matter where they are or what they are doing. It’s like standing on a beach as the sun rises. The beauty is astonishing, and the possibilities are endless.
I know a lot of great people. I know a lot of great coaches. Barry is the type of person/coach that everyone should know. He is a walking, talking, good filled LOVEPRINT.



Posted in Coaching, Edcuators, Giving Back, Good Sports, Weekly LovePrints
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Florida State University wide receiver Travis Rudolph reminds us that no one should eat alone

Travis Rudolph, a star wide receiver for Florida State University’s football team, gave us all a reminder of why we are here, and what the best in us can do. Connection. Rudolph, who was one of several Seminoles players to visit a middle school, noticed a young man sitting and having lunch all by himself. Rudolph decided to do what we all should do, he went over to introduce himself to the young man, and have lunch with him. As it turns out, the young man’s mother saw them together and took a picture, which has gone viral. What jumps out to me is that this is so rare that we notice it. It should be the norm. It should be the thing. Be present. Be connected. Be there for each other.

As a coach, I ask my players to be aware of the fact that they are not anonymous. People see them. And with that thing, they need to be worthy of being known. Use if for something good, so that you can do something good with it. Be love out loud. Hold a door. Assist in whatever task you can be helpful in. Do more than you have to, more often than you have to, for whomever you can. Make the next thing that you cross paths with better than when you found it. Leave your space better than it was, leave with more friends than you came with, and exit with more love than you arrived with.

Thank you, Mr. Rudolph. We needed the reminder of how powerful we can be. How loving we can be. The task is now ours to move on. I see you.

Posted in Good Sports, Students, Weekly LovePrints

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”

This idea spawned another: “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry – because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness – without the deleterious effects of drugs?”

“We didn’t say to them, you’re coming in for treatment. We said, we’ll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts.” The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids’ brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.

The results of these surveys were alarming. Nationally, almost 25 per cent were smoking every day, over 40 per cent had got drunk in the past month. But when the team drilled right down into the data, they could identify precisely which schools had the worst problems – and which had the least. Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn’t. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organised activities – especially sport – three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings

Posted in Programs, Students, Weekly LovePrints

Gratitude. A daily LovePrints idea in a short film.

Gratitude is a daily LovePrints idea to being grateful and thankful for the gift each day is that love requires being present, and the ability to be in awe of the things around you. Each day is a gift, so be thankful and appreciative of it. Gratitude requires honoring each thing by actually being present in it. Not one day that passes is empty, and with that is a series of wonderful, beautiful, authentic things. Those things are unique to that day, that moment, that company, and that place in the world and in your heart. No day is the same, no matter the recurring moments in them. Same place, different reaction to it. Same person, different energy around them. And in those days, in those moments, if we are present and treat them as the unique things that they are, joy can be renewed. Moments become refreshed, and revisited with new eyes, new energy, new knowledge. Enjoy the day by being available to being awed, wowed by your place in it, your effect on it, and your growth from it. Be surprised by your ability to be changed, your ability to move the environment, and your size within it. Allow yourself to ask small questions that lead to bigger answers. Allow yourself to actually see where you are, to know why you are, and to ask, what is next for me, this, and us.


I hope that you were present. I hope that you saw the video, heard the words, and felt its purpose. I hope that you read this, word for word, and felt their purpose. I hope that you came to this page with love in your heart, and leave it with more love covering you than you came with. Take with you this LovePrint, and go share yours with anyone and everyone who you cross paths with today. Be present enough to know that love matters, and love wins. Go. Love.

Posted in Coaching, Giving Back, Good Sports, Weekly LovePrints

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