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Holiday Sale! LovePrints Merchandise! One week only!

https://estore.acreativeresource.com/loveprintsstore/

 

Welcome to the LovePrints Store with LovePrints branded merchandise to be used for teacher/coach appreciation, thank you’s, sports teams, family reunions, team bonding, school groups, and more! You can browse and order merchandise featuring the new logo.

LovePrints(TM), the logo, is  the positive engine to make Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Leaders, Mentors, Coaches, and young people aware of the power their love has on their community, team, school, home, family, church, and environment. Wearing or using LovePrints branded apparel and accessories allows you to Love Out Loud and be a part of this engine, while letting others know you provide a safe place for them to connect with a kindred soul.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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Sometimes, the ball field is a classroom. Who are we?

As coaches, we get these young people for hours a day, 6 days a week. We should know them. We have to know them. More importantly, we have to get them to know themselves. And their teammates. So, on some days, we should put the basketballs, baseballs, footballs, and equipment away to learn. On some days, the classroom is where you get better. On some days, the locker room is where you get better. On those days, we learn.

Today’s subject? History. They are all a part of our history. 15 young people.  20 young people. 50 young people. Their families are tied together in this American thing, this melting pot of travelers, wanderers, outcasts, survivors and winners. This pool of survivors, strangers, families, and royalty.

How do I know this? They told me. They told me and others about their ancestor’s journeys. They were all journeys. All from somewhere else. Actually, several somewhere else’s. They talked of The Mayflower, Ellis Island, Korea, Cuba, Italy, Germany, Ireland, England, Argentina, Gullah Island, France, Columbia, Mexico, Scotland, Africa, China, Vietnam, and more. We talked about Castro, Sickle Cell, every great war, every great migration, and several trips by boat. We talked about love stories and sad stories, success stories and failures.

We talked about geography and geology. We talked about each other and ourselves. And we talked about heroes. And warriors. And politics. And again, love. Being loved enough to have ancestors dream of a better life, fight for a better life, create a better life, and survive. Being loved by family enough to change countries, continents, and even names. And being loved by a country that was flawed and changed for the better.  A country that welcomed the unwanted, and hugged the unlovable. A country that is supposed to be about the circle of mutts, mongrels and regal. A country that gave them a chance to build a home for these young people of all colors, creeds and religions to sit in a circle, laughing, sharing, and loving each other.

They will make that same country better. Today, they learned why they are here, how they got here, and why it is important. They will now pay more attention to the history being taught. It’s their story. It’s their history. And their future. What a great day of learning.

The easiest way to connect is sharing.  A team that will study together, ask questions together, learn answers together, will win together. Shared IQ and Intelligence. Each one is smarter with another. Quite often, the ball court is a classroom. Connections don’t just happen. They happen by choice. They happen by planning. They happen when people care. Care enough to ask, care enough to listen, care enough to tell, and care enough to share.

When this is done, we know more. Knowing more means caring more. Caring more means sharing more. When we know who we are, who we all are, we are better for it.

That is true, on the field of play and off. That’s what learning and loving through sports is all about.

LovePrints.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. A grandmother’s love. Great women raise great people.

Great women raise great men.

A loveprint has staying power. It travels well. It has depth and value. It exists in parts of the soul that is deeper than memories, and, is able to appear and re-appear at the most perfect of times. It is the healer of pain, the remover of scars, and the new layer of skin that allows us to move on, forward and up.

I have detailed my search for facts, my want of details, and a more complete knowledge of self. As the search moves forward and up in several directions, what I am finding out is that no matter what facts are added, no matter what memories are ahead, the loveprints that cover me and walk with me are clear to me. The value of love shared with me can not really be measured, so I want to use this vehicle to tell the stories, share the stories, and maybe someone will decide to look within themselves and find some love on them and in them that might have been forgotten. Maybe, someone will read this and have it reach a loveprint of their own. It might even move them to reach out to a loved one with appreciation and thanks.

Big love can come in small packages. I have often said that I refuse to live in fear. That is because I have learned that most things feared have some power and value to you if you stand firmly and look closely at it. The fear that I once had is now respect. The one person that I feared in the world became the person that I respect the most. She was big in persona, and she was the most formidable force that I have ever witnessed on this earth. She could make miracles happen, she could make me taller, she could change any room that she walked in, and if you asked my siblings and relatives, she could walk on water. Her smile was the ultimate compliment, standard, and authority. It had the power to erase doubt, add happiness, and confirm goodness.

My grandmother, Hattie Sue Harris, shared the same birthday with me, and it was a common point of discussion for us. When I was having one of my better days, I was her 51st birthday present. When I was resisting her love, I was her aging her faster than she wanted. She was the family matriarch, and with   people in the family, she was the tip top of all things. My grandfather would not waver to many, but he had a clear understanding of who really was in charge. She was powerful, forceful, strong, and stable. She was constant and consistent. She was the pillar. And I never knew that she was short until much later in life.

She was Big Mama, the ultimate woman, the superhero, the therapist, and soother of souls, and the worlds best cook. She was everything. I think all of us kids knew this back then, even if we never said it to one another in words. We knew the sets of rules. Behavior and our grandmothers house, and our behavior anywhere else (which included the knowledge that any such behavior would get back to her, so you better watch your step at her house or anywhere else!).

Her house was the center of the family universe. It was always full of life and love, and was the usual meeting place for family branches from all over. Any given weekend, there would be relatives from DC< Maryland, New Jersey, Philly, etc.  gathered there. I know I am describing many G-Ma’s, Mimi’s, Nana’s, etc. , and that is my point. I did not recognize then that I was included in the blessing. I did not realize that this was why she was there. This was a greater good. Not everyone had a version of this. Many did not have her excellence as a standard.

The house smelled like love. It sounded like love. I knew what love was. THIS WAS IT. I knew that I would be love, and loved there. I had a big family and extended family. It was joyful. There were young people playing outside (we would NEVER play inside) the grown ups were inside or at the picnic table out back. There was my great uncle spinning the hits from in my mind, the greatest collection of music in the entire world. We kids knew the day was turning up when he began doing his little dance in the basement. (A collection that was hands off!)

When I said the house smelled like love, love smells like hours of preparation, care, and joy. It came from a kitchen where cakes, pies, the worlds best fried chicken, greens, ham, fish, and more were always ready for anyone who dared announce their hunger. There was a grill outside just in case my uncle decided to fire it up and crush some burgers and hot dogs in between hands of cards. And let me tell you, these card games were epic. Marathons of talking smack, laughing at one another, and reestablishing a pecking order just beneath Hattie Sue. She was always the tops.

The house was always immaculate. From the yard to the steps and everywhere inside. Even as she cooked, it was in order. Each room had its own energy, and each one demanded respect. Sundays were filled with gospel on the stereo, and words of wisdom and love from Hattie Sue. She could put words together, let me tell you. I do not remember her ever cursing, but she did not have to. To this day, I can see the look in her eyes, the curling of the lips, and a stare that said PLEASE CONSIDER YOUR NEXT WORDS AND ACTION YOUNG MAN! It was the moment that I feared. I did not ever want to return to it. I did not want to be around it. So, I tasked myself to never repeat whatever behavior would bring it.

I got to live with her for a bit in my teens. My school bus stop was right across from her house, and it worked. As one of eight kids, any time I could get one on one attention and lover, I took it. She settled me down, lifted me up, built up my spirit and my soul, and made me better. Every day. Every single day. She gave me chores, she gave me smiles, and she gave me goals. She gave me a way. She gave me an example. She gave me a North Star. She was the way.

She gave us a home. We all had houses, but she was HOME. I pay attention to what people run to and away from. She was the magnetic force for good. She was the lead dancer, even when she was sitting down. Her ability to demand that you show her your best still walks with me. Her decision to smile at you was epic. Her desire for goodness for us all was her force each day. She gave of herself because she knew that she had much to give. More importantly, she gave herself. She gave you time. She gave you wisdom. She gave you nutrition. She gave you Hattie.

I never feared again. Not anyone. She taught me that love is often tough, it is often loud, it is often challenging. I learned that love is not determined by the size of the person, but the depth of their intent. She gave me rules to love by, steps to take, and a way to be better at all of it. She taught me that faith is the voice of love, and that it is the voice in your head that guides you to do right. She taught me that anyone that cooks for you, cares. That you should focus on doing good, often. She taught me that short in size didn’t matter nearly as much as the size of heart. She loved me enough to tell me what I needed to know instead of what I wanted to hear. She told me the truth.

She walks and talks with me daily. I hear her voice. I hear her laughter. I see her smile. I remember that look. I will never forget her love.

Thank you for being the example of love in action, and action in love.

I thought of you today, I love you out loud. I need to write this now so that it is in the air forever.

You deserve that.

Thank you.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. There can only be one “Pops”. A Thanksgiving thank you.

There can only be one “Pop”.

Some of you know that I am in the process of finding out who my DNA family is, and it has been such an emotionally exhausting task that I decided to journal as progress happens. Along the way, certain parts of my history are brought to the front of my memories, to the front of my heart. I will soon know for a fact who my father is, what my name should have been, where my forefathers came from, and what names do they possess. In no way is this journey meant to disrespect anyone, as it is a fact-finding journey, and facts matter.

To say that I do not know who this person is may be confusing. There are people who loved me then and now who earned their place in my heart and memories. There are those who came and went, and those who stayed. The is but one “Pops”. No one will ever take his place or fill his shoes. In the season and spirit of thanks, I am choosing to simple pay tribute properly.

What do you say to a person who came into your life and changed it for the better?

Thank you.

A LovePrint is love in action. An action in love. It is the covering of those your care about in so much love that nothing else can stick. It is the canvasing of people in your circle of so much adoration that they take it into their world and do the same thing. One act at a time, in love.

Roland Thomas Morgan came into my life around the age of 11 or so for me. I remember not being overly impressed initially, but I had no reason to not give him a chance. I asked my favorite question:

” Who are you?”

He told me that I should introduce myself first before asking such a thing, and that led to a conversation of two bullheads, one age 11, and the other, a grown man. What happened was a mutual respect club of two, as he promised to be decent, and I promised to do the same, We would agree on was that we both wanted my mother happy, and after was agreed upon, we would be able to reach agreement on most other things.

My mother raised me and taught me how to be a good person. Pops taught me how to be a man. I can only speak for myself on this, and recognize that he had his flaws and imperfections. What I can say is this, he lifted me up in ways that still stick with me to this day. He challenged me, he inspired me, he gave me directions, a helping hand, and love.

He was my personal driver, from school, from practice, from games, and from work. In those minutes and hours, he showed me the world. He fed my dreams, he plotted my successes, he gave me the soundtrack to my youth, and he gave me a reason to believe in the good in people. He changed my taste in food, he introduced me to style, embraced our differences, and told me stories about the war. He explained life before integration, set boundaries for life after, and prepared me for whatever was coming next.

He took my curiosity of sports and fed it like I needed it to survive. My love for boxing was passed from his lips to my soul with stories of Jack Johnson, Cassius Clay, Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, Rocky Marciano, Jake LaMotta, and his favorite, Joe Louis. If you ever wanted to see a smile that could light up the sky, ask Pop about Joe Louis. The pitch of his voice would raise from the deep bass as he described meeting Louis after he fought Schmeling the second fight. He would laugh in this disco club style bass speaker pound when talking about the differences between Ted Williams and Willie Mays. The Splendid Splinter was his guy. He would chuckle whenever he asked me to lock Williams swing and run to first base.

He is responsible for my love of music. He would drive us around DC, Maryland, and Virginia with a car full of 8 tracks that included Barry White, Eddie Kendricks, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. But his guy was Teddy Pendergrass. My goodness! He would let me choose the artist, and then spent time telling me where they were from, why that mattered, why it sounded the way that it did, and I can’t hear those artists today without smiling and hearing him sing above their music. He drove me to the Cater Barron Theatre to listen to the Dells, Impressions, and the Staples sing during a sound check before their show that night.

He thought he could dance. He really did. He was the prototype of the old black guy trying to dance to this new fangled hippity hoppity music in the early 80’s. but finally came around when he could recite the chorus to Rappers Delight. He also introduced me to Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and this new cat named Richard Pryor, who had albums that I could only listen to when no one else was home.

He used to take me shopping for clothes because THE LADIES LOVE A MAN IN TIGHT CLOTHES! I knew that not all men were created equally whenever he rocked his open chest shirts. Everything looked good on the man.

He taught me to know my way around the kitchen and laundry room. NO WOMAN WANTS A MAN WHO WEARS DIRTY CLOTHES. And, making his bed should be a mans first task in his day. He handled clothes inspections each morning before school, that line from the iron should make the crease sharp on the jeans. Anything else is unacceptable.

He would give my team uniforms the once over as well. Making sure that I had the right black polish or spray paint for the Black Knights Football helmet painting on the back porch the Friday nights before Saturday games. Clean those cleats as well! Make sure that the converse leather was clean. And straight into the laundry post game. He made sure they were set out the night before school. No last-minute chaos, young man.

He would ask me to breakdance. He wanted to understand. He wanted to understand the need for a beer bong. He would sneak to watch me play, masking fear that I somehow wasn’t proud of him, or that he wouldn’t fit in with the majority of white parents at games. But he was ALWAYS there. He knew about injuries before I could tell him. He would always look for my homework. I WAS WIRED TO USE MY BRAIN AND NOT LABOR.

He could build anything by hand. I was horribly disappointing at it. He still patiently worked with me. He got me a paper route that turned into three. He got me a summer job clearing rooftops and houses, which to this day is the hardest thing I have ever done. I couldn’t wait for two a day practices to start so that I wouldn’t have to kill myself with him on these roofs.

He would check in at work. Always. And he never offered advice openly. He managed to weave the conversation to lesson points without ever letting on that he was teaching me. And, he was happy to help.

He was the voice in my ear on dates, and he was undefeated in picking out keepers. He spotted Beckie early, and even gave her the nickname Bex. I still use it today, some 35 years later. If I dated you more than once, he cosigned you. If not, well, he didn’t. He was protective in the best way possible. He wanted the best for me.

He is also the reason I do not like guns. I never felt threatened, but he had one in the house for work, and I hated it. He was loved Johnny Walker Black, and Johnny Walker Red for the holidays. He never got me to meet him halfway with pig’s feet, chitterlings, or pickled eggs. He took me to Baltimore to see the Orioles after the Senators left town, and to see the Colts and Always Hurt Burt Jones! He did all of this because he wanted to, not because he had to. He did all of this when the person who could have, didn’t.

He did all of this until the day he died. He never wavered in his love for me, or those I loved. He never once said that I couldn’t. I never forget the day that he threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to a fight since I had been spending those hours in the basement lifting those weights. He said I was ready. I was. I remember coming home from doing my first television show. The big 6’3, 240lb man cried. He said I impressed him. He said I was ready for the world.

He also cried the day I came home from Charlotte. He had gotten satellite tv so that he could watch his boy talk football in Carolina. He said that he knew that I talked funny for a reason! He had taped the shows and given them all to his friends to watch. And we celebrated in a way that many of you have shared with us. A shot of Johnny Walker Black.

It is with tears on my face that I type this. He deserves these tears. No matter what I find out from DNA, there will only be one and only POPS.

What do you say to someone who came into your life and made it better?

What do you say to someone who covered you in LovePrints?

Thanks, Pop.

Thanks.

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. When you grow up with your hero.

Great families make great people. Great people make great families.

I have no shame in celebrating the good people in the world. It is easy to give compliments when they are the truth. When those people are constant and consistent, they deserve their story to be told. When they grow up in the same house, it makes it all that much more special.

My older brother (he smiles when I remind him that he will always be older) claimed the hero spot in my life at an early age. I watched him play football and run track as a young man, and then got to wait anxiously at home for him to return with his stories of the country. He introduced me to different ways to train, eat, pray, and win. He was everything that I wanted to be, and he shared the path. He was generous in sharing the importance of faith and education, integrity and character. And, I was in awe of how much awe he inspired in others.

I do not know who your heroes are, but I can tell you that I was blessed with a brother who was worthy of the title, and the responsibility. I carried the moniker “Little Bob” until I was old enough to make my own name matter. I appreciate having such a high standard to live up to, and with.

Well done, old man. Well done.

Getting to know: Robert E. Smith with Child Shield

Title: Executive with the local franchise of Child Shield USA, a company that offers family-focused services designed to keep children safe

Born: 1955, grew up in Arlington County

Education: Bachelor of arts in political science communications, 1977, David Lipscomb College in Nashville. (“I ran track for three years while in college and was named first team or second team All-American each year. At the end of my freshman year, I was invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team.”)

Career: Retired in 2010 from Philip Morris USA/Altria Group after 30 years. Positions held include warehouse supervisor, group supervisor in the warehouse, HIPAA privacy administrator and manager in the medical department.

In which part of the metro area do you live: Henrico County

Best business decision: “To always do that which is right, to treat others the way I want to be treated, and to put others first before self. I also learned that it is always best to be completely honest. That way, people know that you always tell the truth, which means they know they can believe what you have told them. Credibility is very important.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “When I was young, while running a race I was so far ahead of my competitors that I looked back to see where they were. Well, I fell and ended up rolling across the finish line. I did not win the race. I came in third place. I learned, don’t focus on what is behind you, keep your eyes on the goal, which is before you.

First job after college: “I sold life insurance.”

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “Work harder and smarter in elementary, middle and high school. The more you learn early in life helps you to be able to learn even more as you progress through life, and that applies to school, college, the work world and everyday life.”

Book that inspired you the most: “The book that has inspired me the most is ‘The Bible.’ God, who is our creator, has told us everything we need to know to be happy in this life and happy forever.

Favorite/least favorite subject in school: “Geometry, because I knew that I personally would never use it. My favorite subject in college was history, because I learned about the past and learned from the past.”

http://www.richmond.com/business/local/getting-to-know-robert-e-smith-with-child-shield/article_e611e6b4-edeb-57f1-9f74-5bb43ab7bfc4.html

 

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LovePrints. Thank you. YOU!

Great sports are great people. Great people are great sports.

Thank you makes it all better.

The idea of LovePrints is the covering of the planet in love. One person at a time. One act at a time. Love in action. Action in love. Love out loud. A constant message is loving and learning through sports. The games we play are a mirror to life away from the field, away from the court, away from the water, away from the net, away from the sticks, and away from the whistle. If we get this right, we can make them all better. We must.

It all starts at home. The parents and the family. The nuts and bolts to it all. The games do not matter without the core values of family. Love should start at home, be carried into the community, into the schools, into the places of faith, into the events, and into relationships. Teams are an accumulation of parents and families united, connected, and missioned. They mirror the people who work to get them in place, and if actioned in love, make a proud statement of who they all are. The parents and family should be the standard for love so that the athletes know what love is, know how to identify it and seek it out. It also gives them protection from the other thing. To the parents who work, cheer, show up, support, rally, lift, and love, THANK YOU.

It is passed on in love to the schools, communities, and teams. If done properly, there is a coach there in place who respects the love mission, and adds more love. The coach is there to cosign the family’s love, and enhance it, shine a light on it, and help it shine more brightly. The coach is there to cover the team in so much love that the players lift the family, lift up the school, lift up the team, and lift up the players themselves. The players should be so covered in love that nothing else can stick. The coach can do that, should do that, and must do that. As the love is shared, victories are won. Losses are learning experiences, and accomplishments are given value. Purpose is recognized. To all the coaches who put in the work, lift, elevate, effort, achieve, and love, THANK YOU.

The athletes must love what they do, why they do it, and how they do it. If love is the why, the how and what become irrelevant. Love of self, love of others, and love of the game can move the family and community forward and up. That should be the basis for all actions in the game. Does it take you forward, and up. That is where love is. Forward and up. If the athlete is loved at home, loved in the community, loved as a teammate, it is much easier for them to love themselves. Again, if they are so covered in love, nothing else can stick. Nothing else will stick. Nothing else will matter. To all of the athletes out there who love, and are loved, THANK YOU.

Community has the ability to make the athlete, the family, the team, and the planet a more loving place. It can make love the why, it can make love the how, it can make love the what, and it can make love the who. If the community is a place of love, love occupies the vacuum, and nothing else can. Community is the vacuum, and if we spend each day, each opportunity, loving, nothing else will stick. We may not be able to make the other thing exist, but we can make love the louder thing, the prouder thing, the more constant thing. We can make love the objective, and in that, we can direct love to and for everyone, including ourselves. To each of us in the community who love, purposefully, constantly, loudly, and continually, THANK YOU.

If you officiate the games, cheer at the games, clean up after the games, set up before the games, take care of the players during the games, work during the game, secure the games, announce the games, cover the games, watch the games, financially support the games, wear the colors at the game, nurse them back to health after the game, feed them for the games, direct traffic at the games, or simply applaud the games themselves, THANK YOU.

If no one has said thank you, I just did.

If you have not said thank you, do so now.

I say this…LOVE IN ACTION. ACTION IN LOVE. LOVE OUT LOUD.

GO!

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. Why? Because, LOVE.

I am often asked why? Why?
LovePrints, this, love out loud, that. Action in love. Love in Action.
Why?

Because!

Look around us. Look around you. We are not louder than the hate, fear, malice, whatever. We aren’t. We could be. We should be.

The mission would be to cover our world in love. So much so, that nothing else can stick. Is that where we are? Is that what we are doing?

I will try again today. I will try to get one more person to smile. One more person to shine. One more person to love. One more person.

I am firmly in a love place. I will be loud in love. I will be active in love. I will be loved if offered.

Love lives here.
Love is welcomed here.
If you want some, come get some.
If you have some, leave some.
Then, go.
Love.

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LovePrints. If you love the game, action in love.

If you love the sport, treat it right.

Love it out loud.

Love. The bible defines it as such:

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love. Webster’s defines it as such:

Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

 

Affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. 

 

Warm. Attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.

 

The object of attachment, devotion, or admiration.

 

Unselfish loyal and benevolent.

As coaches, players, and parents, and fans, we all speak of love for the games. Love. If in speaking of the games, we remember this, we will all speak more love into the game. If we do so together, out loud, the games will always be elevated.

As coaches, if we are patient, kind, unselfish, warm, devoted, and protective, we are truly acting in love of the game and the people in it. Coaches who understand the real reason they are in this charge can do amazing good in their position. It is a labor of love indeed, and if the love is the first thing and the last thing, good will come from it. Good will come with it. Leave the anger outside the game. Coach the evil away. Delight in the good in it. Let good persevere. Let the truth be said. Let the truth be known.

If we honor the trust put in the position, the lives that will be bettered from them, and the love that will be shared and spread can only make the game more than it was. Patience is in the teaching of skills, the improvement of person, and the lifting of spirits after a stumble. Kindness is in the understanding that trials come with battles, and there is a need for compassion and consideration when they do. Warmth is the invitation to truth, and enhances the connection between coach and community, coach and parent, coach and athlete. Devotion is the simplest idea of doing what is right before, during, and after the game itself. Preparation, planning, commitment, and path are all tied to this one thing. Love the game enough to prepare for it, even when time is short, energy is low, and the negative is loud. Be protective of the game itself, but be protective of your players more than that. Never choose the game over the young person. Protect their bodies, their spirit, their future, their hearts, and their lives. Do so loudly, constantly, and consistently. Be protective of the truth. Be protective of why we are all in this. Love. Love in action. Action in love.

As parents, the task of handing your most prized possessions over to anyone is daunting. Hold love as the mirror and measuring stick to everything in and about the game. Make sure that everyone in the game is being loving. Hold the mirror to yourselves as you watch, cheer, and enjoy. Make sure that your words and actions say one thing. Love. Make sure that the athlete is loving themselves as they play, and that everyone else is as well. Hold your athlete to standards of love, and demand that they are patient, kind, warm devoted, and protective. Keep their character and integrity in the front of all things, and make sure that they know that you are watching and loving. Help them prepare for the games, help them be devoted to the task, and keep them on the path to admirable and strength. That is your task. That is love.

Athletes like to say that Ball Is Life. I amend that. Love is Life. If you live for the game, you better love it, and you better love it properly. Love the game enough to honor it. Love the game enough to prepare for it in its greatest form, and yours. Love the game enough to make it better when you are done with it, and more importantly, it with you. The ball stops bouncing for us all one day, and we should all strive to say that when that day comes, we gave it everything, especially love. Be patient, athletes all. The game is everywhere, and everything. It can take you good places, or bad. It can make you better, or worse. It can make you stronger, or weaker. It can make you loving, or hateful. If you love it, it will love you back. The game can only love you as you love it. This statement is undefeated. Give to it what you want from it. Do so with patience as the game does not give you anything right away. It demands that you take time, grow, fall, get up, fail, succeed, and repeat. Those athletes that love it enough to patiently continue the process, reap the benefit of the process. Devotion is trusting the process. Love is in the fall. Love is in the sweat. Love is in the effort. Love is in the sacrifice. Love is in the repetition. Love is in the constant. Love is in the game, the practice, the preparation, and the victory. Love is the ultimate victory.

Love the game. The game wants to love you. Let it.

Go.

Love.

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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.

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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.

Smile.

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