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Sports is an exceptional teacher. It can give life lessons, provide access to the world, and bring good people together to do good things. It can be the vehicle for love of the games, the people, and the planet.
This video is two Washington-Lee Generals, talking about why and how sports can be used to improve lives, improve families, and improve communities. From the student-athlete, the scholar-athlete, and why coaches and parents do what they do for them, LovePrints conversations hopes to add to what you know, express how you feel, and ask questions about the games we play.
Barry Thompson is the founder of the Fairfax Football Academy, in Fairfax, Virginia. He coaches currently at Flint Hill School in Virginia, as has coached some of the countries best athletes. For more information, visit www.fairfaxfootballacademy.com.
Great communities make great people. Great people make great communities.
Action in love. Love in action.
It is that time of year again. Students, student-athletes, parents, teachers, and coaches are all wondering how to handle the academic workload. How to manage time. How to make sure that the people in our lives meet whatever standards that have been set. How to ensure peaceful and joyful growth. How to love in a loving way. How to love in traffic and chaos. How to love out loud.
The great divide in academic success comes at the intersection of make an excuse or make a way. The sign by the side of the road “that I do not have the time.” On the other side of the street is a sign that says “168.” One is an excuse. One is the right way.
I do not have the time usually means that a person simple can not figure out how to manage their time. Prioritizing is simple once the direction and goal are known. Detours are less likely when the destination is agreed upon.
In the other direction is the 168. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Successful people and unsuccessful people both have the same 168 hours per week to accomplish the same things. Successful people use the 168 to set priorities, determine paths, choose focuses, define purposes, and to stay on course to whatever it is that is being pursued.
Misdirected, disconnected, and unfocused people allow time to pass without using their 168 purposefully. The time is wasted and spent, leaving a vacuum of missed opportunities. In retrospect, there are short and direct roads to success to look down. In hindsight, there were clear roads to success in the rearview mirror.
Forward, there are ways to help our young people manage time. There are ways to help them stay on the right path, the easier journey, and the successful way.
If you want control of your 168, plan ahead. Know where your time bank account is being spent. Know what expectations are required of you by teachers, parents, and coaches. Consider sleep, meals, school, faith, family, and chores. Be aware of time spent on social media, watching television, listening to music, talking or looking at your phone, and workouts. Consider your practice time if you are a student athlete, and the time for study halls, homework, film study. Talk to your teachers in advance, let them know your plan for success, and use the connection to make sure that you stay ahead of responsibilities, assignments, quizzes, and tests. Use your time on school buses or car rides home for studying if you are not driving. Use the wait time for practices to begin for studying. Use the wait time after practice for studying. Confirm and reconfirm your projects due dates, and use your time in class for the reason you are there. To learn. Take notes, and share the notes with your teacher to make sure that you did not miss anything. It helps make the teacher better to know that their intended message was heard, received, and learned.
Know your young persons 168. It is hard to help them if you do not know where time is spent and how. You can not know these things if you do not ask. Ask about time on social media, time talking to potential dates, time texting, surfing the net, and listening to music. Know their assignments due, their work turned in, and what is coming due next. Know the teachers and coaches, and stay connected to them for the mutual benefit of your young person. Do not be afraid to ask or demand for headphones to be off when you are checking in on them. Shared information and IQ keeps the connection strong. Its much easier to help when connected. You know when your child goes left or right off the path if you stay connected to them. Set aside time to check in each week with your child. Ask about assignments turned in, assignments due, and what they are learning. Set aside 5 minutes to look over those notes that were taken. It speaks volume on what is going on. Feel free to ask the teacher to sign them and send home for review. The additional boundary of them knowing that you care and will confirm removes a lot of going off the path.
Offer the students access to you for checking notes, communicating with parents, and working with coaches. Truth is, coaches have some additional time and leverage with the student athlete. They have time and reason to check status and standing. The more connected the teacher-parent-coach-student are, the easier it is to be aware of status and standing. This removes the 23rd hour of panic, stress, chaos, and drama of not knowing that something is due, something is wrong, something is missing, something was missed, or something was not turned in. A few moments at the beginning or ending of each week can save the teacher from drama. Use it. Everyone wins.
You have the student-athlete’s attention and time. You have access to the student athlete 5-6 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 20 hours a week. Remember, the first thing remains first. Academics. If a student-athlete is struggling academically, the practice can not take precedent over the academics. Use that time to get caught up or ahead. Sometimes, the practice facility needs to be the classroom. Also, there are usually 10-90 teammates who are taking the classes as well. Often, the same classes. Take advantage of the team’s shared IQ. There are other teammates who took notes, got assignments, are working on projects as well. Let the team help the team. We rise together, so let them study together for the greater good of the teammate if needed. Ask for direct help from the teachers. Get weekly updates, or daily ones if possible. Get weekly communications from the parents as well. SHARED IQ. The more we know, the more we share, the more we agree on, the more we do together, the more success we have together. Teams that study together, and learn together, win together.
For some of you, this is already being done. Bravo, and thank you. If you are not, there is hope. The 168 is there for you to use. It has value, and makes sense. Use your 168. It is a plan for success.
Great parents make great decisions. Great decisions make great parents.
The new school year is here, and with the new year is an opportunity to assist our young people in making this a successful one. Yes, success is relative to the goal, and I will offer a few suggestions here to help determine the goal, achieve the goal, and allow for a more connected, agreeable year academically for everyone.
Sit with your young people and determine what the goals are academically for the year. Some mistakes are made in making the grades the goal, but grades are the result, not the goal. Grades are the result of goals, planning, and effort. Grades are the result of goals made, committed to, and followed through.
Goal-Introductions between parent and teachers
Let the teachers know who you are, how to reach you, when to reach you, and give them the freedom to do what they do best for your young person. It can be a letter, call, email, text or face to face. This is a statement of commitment to your young person, and the teacher. One more post in the fence. One more boundary. One more connection.
Goal-Introduce yourself to your young person. Again.
I know, I know. Your kids know you. And, you know them. Take a few moments to remind them that you are there, you care, they matter, and that you love them enough to get on the same page with them before the chaos can exist. Let them know what you went through, reassure them of their ability to do well, and then agree on how you will approach the coming school year and all of its issues and concerns. Talk to them about homework, social media, friends, siblings, and bullying. Yes, talk to them about not being a bully, not allowing bullying, and what to do if bullied. Talk to them about classroom behavior, hallway behavior, and even locker room behavior. Talk to them about dealing with teachers, administrators, and other parents. Talk to them about safety concerns, how to deal with emergencies, and defining what an emergency really is. Where to go, who to call, what number to call, what to do if you can not be reached, and how to get back and forth from school.
This is a hole that needs to be quickly and proactively filled. Do this immediately. Figure out how you will know homework assignments given. Determine a plan for scheduling big projects being handled, a plan for following up with each other when assigned, when worked on, when work is done, and how it went. Make a point to check in weekly with the student and the teacher. This prevents 23rd hour scrambling to get projects done, getting projects handed in, or even running last minute for items needed, researching done, or dropping off at school on the designated due date. Make a plan for the daily assignments due today, tomorrow, and this week. Settle into a pattern of following up and knowing current standing with each class. NO surprises if we are always aware and connected.
Goal- Time management
Each student has 168 hours to get done whatever is scheduled for them. Each student has the same 168 hours. The 4.0 + gpa student has the same 168 as the 1.5 – gpa student. It is what they do with that 168 that determines that gpa number. Having a study plan will make it easier to succeed, and will help the student, teacher, parent, and coach understand where time is spent, where to find more time, and what areas require more time. The greatest excuse for academic failure is “I do not have enough time”. The truth is simply “What are you doing with your time?” Manage your time, schedule your time, check in, and stay connected to where your time is spent. Spend it wisely, and be aware of it.
Love daily. Love often. Love loudly. Love unconditionally. Love to boundary if needed, love to guide in advance, and love to make sure that they know that they matter. While you are at it, love the teachers too. They deserve it, and will appreciate it.
If you need a study plan, there is a plan on www.loveprints.us under 168 plan. It details the weekly check in and connections between student, teacher, parents, and coaches. It is a complete plan for time management, updates, and forward goal setting.
Great parents make great decisions. Great decisions make great parents.
I hope this helps. Good luck in your decisions.