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LovePrints. Bullying, and how love can beat it.

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

The trending activity for our young people is not a good one. It is a fear and anger based action. It requires silence, inactivity, ignorance, and an obvious disconnect. It requires constantly choosing to not be present. It is an empty vacuum. It is a lack of light. It is a lack of vision. It is a lack of purpose. It is bullying.

I know that this is not new. I know that bullying is as old has nature itself. I do not care if you call it, the thinning of the herd, the thickening of skin, the toughening of the clan, or any of the other thing, it happened before this generation, and will sadly happen in the next. Some of it is code speak for conquer now, consider later. Some of it is based on the idea that the weaker need to move out of the way of the stronger, faster, richer, smarter, and often, meaner. It is mental laziness.

Here’s where I stand on this. As a parent, my forehead wrinkles up at any kid being bullied. If I was not present and my child is bullied, I would hope and pray that the young people involved have been covered in enough love to know that this is not love. It is my hope that at least one of them have some love to spare, some love to give, and some clue that whatever is going on is not a good thing. I hope that at least one other person present recognizes pain, seeks to end it, avoid it, or make it better. I hope. I pray.

As an adult, I stand up, stand in, and am heard. I simply do not have it in me to stand silently and watch pain happen. I also refuse to put another thing in with the pain. It does not matter if it is an animal in pain, a child in pain, a woman in pain, or a brother in pain. If I can do something to make the situation better, I should do so. I would do so. In the age of grabbing a camera and hitting record as the pain happens, I am still in the family of standing up, speaking out, and ending the pain. That is what I hope. I pray.

As a husband, I simply believe that my first task each day, and last task each day, is love. It is my mission and goal to keep the home pain free, especially by me. It is a daily choice to love out loud, action in love, and be love in action. That keeps it simple for me. A home should be pain free. It should be covered in love. When my wife leaves the house, she has enough love to carry her through her day until she returns home. She has enough love to add to any situation. When the day has drained her of love, LOVE LIVES HERE. That is what I hope. I pray.

As a coach, I am tasked with covering other people’s young ones in love. How awesome is that? Pretty amazing, right? That is why I coach. I get to love more, and if I do it right, loved more. When I see a player in pain, I cover them in love. When there is an act out in pain, I cover them in love. Every player that I have ever coach knows that I love them, and I hope that they love themselves as well. I make a point to have my players action in love away from the game. Away from the team. Away from their family. They should be covered in love, from within, and from those they share themselves with. I pray that they get so much love at home, at school, at practice and games, and in the neighborhood, they should have plenty to share with others. They should have enough to ease the pain of anyone around them. They should recognize love, and with that, are able to recognize the other when they see it, hear it, feel it. They should know that the right thing is to ease the other persons pain with an act of love. They should know that action can be a smile, a hug, and kind word, or just listening. I hope. I pray.

I mention home, school, and neighborhood because if a love vacuum exists in any of those places, it needs to be filled by love from somewhere. Whether it’s a teacher, a faith leader, a mentor, a neighbor, or a coach, that vacuum can be filled with love so that nothing else can occupy it. This is how bullying can be defeated.  Bullying can not live where love is. Love wins. Bullying is defeated.

Did I say defeated? That’s the coach in me. When confronted with an opponent, I plan to defeat it. I find its weakness, and capitalize. I try to understand its strength, and find a way to make that a weakness. I try to know why the opponent is being successful and strip them of it. That’s how my brain and heart works.

I know where bullying starts. It can be at home, where pain can be louder than love. It can be in the words and actions of the adults that live there. It can be on the school bus, at the school. In the hallways, in the classrooms, in the locker rooms, or in hallways where no one is watching. No one is there who can act in love. It can be on social media. It can be the words that they read by adults who say that its ok to berate, its ok to be mean, its ok to gang up by power in numbers. It can be in the private text messages, group chats, or face to face when no one else is around. It requires a disconnect. It requires darkness. It requires forgetting that love is why. Love has to be why.

What I know is that love and fear cannot occupy the same space. Where love is, fear can not be. Where love is, hate can not be. Fear is a lie, and a prison. The strength required to love is experiencing it, knowing what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like. We know what love is, and what it is not. Given a choice of love and the other, most, most, would choose to be love. If they are aware of it, how great it feels, how powerful it is, and how it multiplies, it will be the constant and consistent choice.

Coach Barry Thompson with quarterbacks

Mind your words, your actions, and your heart. Make sure that the message that you are handing to your young people is one of love. Allow young people to stay connected to you. If connected, when a young person goes off course, the connection pulls at you and says “I am going left, help me.” If connected, we know natural movements, good movements, and the other.

Be the place where love lives. Be constantly in action of love. Be constantly love in action. Cover your young people so much in love that nothing else can stick. That’s how we will make fewer bullies, young and old. Love. Out loud. I hope that we do. I pray.

 

Love out loud people.

Go.

Posted in Edcuators
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LovePrints – What are your Coaching/Teaching/Parenting Commandments?

Great coaches make great plans. Great plans make great coaches.

This may be the toughest question that I ask of you. It may require the most time thinking about it. It may also require that you ask yourself questions that you may not have the answers to.

Why? Who? How? What?

You may already have the answers.

If you do not have to answers, it is time. If you have the answers, it is time to share them.

Each day, coaches, teachers, parents, mentors and leaders face the masses. Those masses are looking for answers, direction, and leadership. If we stand before them under the assumption that we know what we are doing, that we know what we are going to ask them to do, we should already know.

Why are we there, standing in front of them?

Why were you chosen?

Who are you there for?

What is the goal?

How will we get there?

Where do we begin?

What are the boundaries?

Are there rules?

Are there different ways to get to the goal?

Is there existing proof of a right way?

Is there only one way?

What is daily success?

When is enough, enough?

What are the steps to success? How do we know?

On the path to success, the path to any goal, there must be a playbook, a plan, a purpose, and a way. Far too often, these things are not known, understood, or shared with the people who need them the most. The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. Your commandments are your points. They are your straight line.

Do you know your points? Do you know your goal? Do your players, students, and children know?

If you do not, they can’t either. If you know, and they don’t, you can not achieve them.

Let the discussion begin. Let the goals be known, clearly.

I hope that you understand that these are your LovePrints. These things are what they will take with you once the games and tests are over. I hope that you are giving them something worth following. I hope that you are directing them forward and up.

Posted in Edcuators
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Thank you, Teachers. LovePrints in action.

Great people make great teachers. Great teachers make great people.

Action in Love. Love in action. Thy name is…TEACHER!

That sentence could be completed if I said parent, coach, mentor, etc. Today is about the teachers.

Those paid servers. (service not wait). Those paid babysitters, psychologists, nurses, therapists, doctors, father and mother figures, hand holders, back patters, smile inducing, future seeing, greatness cheering, knowledge giving, ambition feeding, gift shopping do gooders. Those under paid, over worked, over looked, underappreciated, over taxed, underfunded, over booked, under heard, over criticized, under loved, over scrutinized, under supported, and over scheduled society builders.

Whew. I feel better.

Those things can be said about parents, coaches, mentors, etc. Today is about the teachers.

Love in action. Action in love.

Teachers must wear several hats on those educator heads of theirs. On any given day, at any given moment, for any given student in any given situation. They must see, identify, calculate, conclude, consider, reconsider, adjust, predict, acknowledge, confirm, and direct.

Teachers are asked to direct traffic, reroute roads from dark streets to light. They are required to know more than they share, share more than they have, and have what everyone needs at any given time. On each day, a different group of young people show up than the day before, more knowledgeable than they were, wanting more than they knew, expecting to be greater tomorrow after they are informed. Teachers are successful is raising the masses, raising the standard, and raising the consciousness of generations.

Action in love. Love in action.

Each year, a new group of young people are poured into new clothes and shipped off each day to the trusted hands, hearts, eyes, and minds of teachers across the land. Each year, new problems will arise, new home issues will arrive, and new angst will be delivered to their classroom doors. The teachers will be there, waiting and ready. They will have answers to questions, solutions to problems, advice for the needy and love for the lonely. They will have hugs, smiles, and wisdom. They will be love, and loved.

That’s who they are. Every year. Every class. Every day.

Some of you are teachers, parents, educators, coaches, and mentors as well. If you are several of these, go on, put your superhero cape on and wear it proudly. Let it speak for you. You deserve it.

In the meantime, I will speak of you. Out loud.

Go on teachers. Be epic. Be love out loud.

Posted in Edcuators
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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 – A life in the game. The game of life with Coach Angelo Hunt

Angelo Hunt

Action in Love. Love in action.  Do whatever it is that you do with an honest love of it, and great things happen. Pursue excellence with an understanding that while it may not be achieved, it must be pursued. And if you do those things, for those reasons, you will be able to do so with a big huge smile on your face, and with joy in your heart.

He is a product of love. An amazing family circle of bright lights and minds. Born from beautiful people, he has always shined. They always shined. And because they got your attention, they made sure that they gave you something to awed by. They always shined.

I met my brother in sports, coaching, and in life, when we were both young men. Same neighborhood. Same teams. Same joys. Each, and every sport, each, and every game, and each and everything that was tied to them. We played the games, learned the games, and then shared the experiences so that the next time we played them, we would be better. We shared it with each other, and anyone else who wanted to know. And, with anyone who wanted to get better as well.

As the years passed, we went our own ways, taking different paths in life, with successes and lessons all along the way. And with each lesson and win, more joy was available to be shared. As time went on, we reconnected to find out that the players had become teachers and coaches. That the games we played became the games we taught. And in that, more shared love of those games.

As a coach, teacher, leader, or mentor, we notice those who do so with a smile. Behind the smile is a comfort in what is being taught. Behind the smile is an assurance that this it is where you should be, and what you should be doing. It is knowing that it is a privilege, and honor, and a responsibility. And again, it is joy.

The smile is another weapon. It hides the drive, it masks the computer like brain of experiences and knowledge. It allows those that need an invitation forward to know that they are welcomed here, and an acknowledgement that there is a payoff to the work required to do whatever it is that is going to be demanded of you in your pursuit.

Behind the smile are all seeing eyes, paying attention to every detail. Those eyes tell a story, a different story, to each and any of his charges. The eyes scream YES to  the leader, GO to the tail, and LETS GO to the masses. The eyes beg for more, cry for joy, and seek out those in need on their journey. Those eyes hold the key to his players knowing that he is there for them, and they lock in until acknowledgement is received that the message is seen, and received.

I respect “ Brother ‘Lo” because I know his path, his purpose, and his heart. From one coach to another, it is wonderful to watch him do what he does because you know that he cares. His players matter. His goal is about them. And it is wonderful to watch.

His players are lucky to have him. His LovePrints are all over them as they walk forward in life. They know that they have someone in their corner, back against the wall or not. They know that they carry his name forward, and honor that in their actions. That is the sign of an amazing coach. They know.

And behind his smile, HE KNOWS.

Continue being the light, Sir!

Posted in Coaching, Edcuators, Good Sports
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Cathy Proctor Coffman- LovePrints in Action

Cathy Coffman

Love in Action. Action in love.

The eyes and the smile are windows to the soul. When you are in the presence of certain PEOPLE, certain COACHES, certain EDUCATORS, you recognize that you are looking at exceptional. You are looking at amazing. You are looking at love.

I met Coach Coffman as teenagers, and she was already ahead of the game because she already knew that she loved sports. She enjoyed being around them, in them, and adding to. She always knew how to add to. No matter what she was engaged in, she added to it. She always made it better.

There are two facets to this that stick out in my mind. She always had a smile when you needed it. Not the fake” I see you looking at me so I am smiling back at you smile”. No. This was always “I see you and want you to know that I see you” smile. It is powerful. It was always helpful, always on time, and always enough. It always made whatever was going on, better. As an athlete, she understood the energy of the games watched and being played, and always was present. And, aware. I can recall having a difficult game, with several things on my mind that certainly were keeping me from doing what I was there to do. And then, there was Cathy. Coaching from a distance with a look, a smile, a nod. It ALWAYS made it better. ALWAYS.

Secondly, there is THE LOOK. Coaches recognize other coaches looks. We KNOW what they are saying without hearing a word. And I would bet that Coach Coffman’s athletes, Teacher Coffman’s students, know exactly what look I am talking about. It is authentic and brilliant. It makes everything better. It makes everything good. It adds to.

I look through some photos of Coach Coffman, and I look into her eyes, AND theirs. I look at her smile, and theirs. In those things are stories being told, lessons being learned, and love.  And with that, there is this. I would give my child to her. If asked, I am sure that most parents would say that it would be perfectly fine with them if their young people emulated her, or wanted to be like her. That is a wonderful testament. And truth.

Her LovePrints all over her community, her school, her squads, and her amazing children’s lives. I have known of her ability to add to for a long time. I smile at the thought of her young people being blessed with her joy in their lives. I am smiling now at the blessing of her in my life. She has added to it. Again, and again, and again.

Thanks, Coach.

Thanks, my friend.

Posted in Coaching, Edcuators, Good Sports
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What is success? What is winning? Finding answers requires asking more questions.

If you are a parent, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, an educator, a student, or an athlete, there are words that are thrown around far too often and far too easily with no real definition of their meaning. Winning. Success. Teach. Learn. Each word conjures up some image in what we do that tells some that the word or idea has been achieved. Trophies. 100’s. A’s. Money. Smiles. Love. Whatever that image is for you, it may not be the image that someone else sees or agrees with. And that person may be the one who gets to decide if it is enough. That leads to confusion, doubt, stress, fear, and yes, LOSING. FAILURE. IGNORANCE. DOUBT.

What brings this to mind is a gathering of coaches, educators, students, teachers, parents, athletes, and supporters who all seemed to be on different pages when dealing with the meaning of the words WINNING, SUCCESS, TEACHING, LEARNING. Even within the same title (coach, for instance) the word winning has different meanings and priorities than one would think. Winning for some coaches is the pay day, or the title, or the game, or even the day the young person moves on happily and prepared for their next coach, game, or team. If there are two players out of a hundred who play at the next level in your program, does that mean the coach succeeded or failed 98 %? Did the athletes become more prepared to contribute to life in their community? Are they in good standing with themselves and others? Is there joy in the games played, or are the games masks for discontent and fear? Do the athletes know why they are playing? Do the coaches?

For parents, WINNING can not be the end goal. Or can it? Is winning of greater importance than love, or learning, or success? As a parent, the priority might be happiness of their child, the experience of their child, or it can be the journey in which the winning and losing takes them on.

For teachers, is the focus TEACHING, or is it loving? Is there a concrete measurement for the growth of the child under the teachers watch and guidance? Is success in teaching the number of A students, or is it the improvement of the former D AND F students into B and c students? Is it the positive impact on the community, or is it about the constant flow and exchange of knowledge and information? Is success in the act, or the result? Is winning in the process or the end?

For the athletes and students, it would be incredibly helpful to know what winning, succeeding, learning, and loving are truly about. It would make sense for them to know what the focus and priority is, and is not. It would be great to know that these things are relative, temporary, and simple when known. If 1% of athletes deem playing professionally, or in college,  as success, the definition of success and failure better be known in advance. If students do not achieve whatever academic goals they deem as such, they should also know the success in their pursuit.

For the educators, what is the measurement for success, winning, teaching, and learning? Is it the number of young people processed through the system, or the number of prepared for living as an adult young people who happily walk out of the schools doors into the world?

I ask questions in hopes of reaching the place in your brain that speaks directly. I ask questions in hopes of reaching the place in your heart that speaks honestly. I ask questions in hopes that someone dares answer the questions for the good of us all. We can not make things better if we do not know why we are doing what we are doing. For clarity sake, there is no wrong answer. Each thing clears a path to know why things are the way that they are. Hopefully, the answers make things better than before. That should be why we are here.

Here are the questions at hand”

What is the priority of education? scholastic sports ? athletics ?

What is the purpose of coaching? What is the greatest result that coaching can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any coach?

What is winning for the athlete? Who wins if the athlete wins? What is losing? Who loses if the athlete loses?

What is the purpose of teaching? What is the greatest result that teaching can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any teacher?

What is success for the student? Who succeeds if the student succeeds? What is failure? Who fails if the student fails?

What is the dream for parents? What is the greatest result that parents can achieve? Who is the greatest responsibility to for any parent? What is success for the.parent? Who wins if the parent wins? What is parental failure? Who fails if the parents fail?

I hope that we can begin to define the why and what of these questions so that we can get to the HOW?

Posted in Edcuators, Parents, Students
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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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