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LovePrints Smiles Project

LovePrints is the simple idea of adding love whenever and wherever we can. To love out loud. In adding love, we cover those we care in love so that nothing else can stick Each action of love, all love in action.

As a coach, I asked my teams to reach down into their hearts and generate smiles in the places they live. The teams would purposefully go into the schools, neighborhoods, classrooms, hallways, and their own homes with the simple idea of creating smiles wherever they were. Whether it was holding a door open for someone, taking care of an errand for someone else, a kind word for a teammate or even a stranger, these players would generate smiles each day. Some would take over a chore at home that someone else would normally do, or they would learn to do something that someone normally would do for them. They would assist the teachers, help out the custodial staff, or they would go and cheer for a team that they normally wouldn’t support. Each player would write a letter to someone they cared about, and they would share this with their teammates.

For my birthday this year, I do not want gifts. What I am asking is that you simply add love. SHARE YOUR SMILE!

For one day, simply take a picture of you with your Sunday’s best smile, and share it. Post it. Text it. Make it your profile picture, or simply make a post on social media with your smile and the words #smilesproject or #addlove or #loveprints . It wont cost a thing, and wont take up much time. I am smiling at the idea of all the smiles. That is what smiles do. That is what smiles are for. To be shared.

Remember that action without love does not accomplish anything good, and love without action does not accomplish enough, but together, they can accomplish anything.

Feel free to share this. Every birthday party needs more smiles. I hope that the day is filled with love and in that, smiles. Here’s to your smile, and mine.

 

 

Posted in Giving Back
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LovePrints. 30 Days of Love Out Loud

Each year, I am asked what I want for my birthday. As I head towards another trip around the sun, I have found that the answer is simple. The one thing anyone wants more of is love. Love around me. Love by me. Love in its purest form. Love in its grandest form. LOVE.

In order to ask for love, I must be willing to act in it first. I must be willing to call for it with my own. I can offer love in silence, but since love is good, it is to be shared. I want to give love, receive love, and be love.

For the next 30 days, I will act in love. Only in love. I will be the example of love in action. Putting it in the air will help hold me to it. If you want to join me, please do. I wont dare ask for 30 days of you. I will ask for one day. One day. 24 hours. One day of choosing love over everything else. Love of others, and of ourselves. If you choose to add love, please share it. Let love be LOUD for one day. Maybe in that day, we can only hear and see the best in us. Love is the best in us.

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

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. From bat boys to men.

 

LovePrints. From bat boys to men.

When done properly, LovePrints is a mutual exchange of the good in us to another. It is a conscious choice to be active for the better in us. When done properly, everyone is forward on their path, and they are headed up from where they are. In this case, I got to witness the growth of a former bat boy, to an amazing young man.

As a coach and as a man, I wish that I could be everywhere at once. Its just not possible. I have young people all over the globe who are having special events and ceremonies. In spirit, I am at each one, cheering at the top of my lungs. I stand for them in celebration, and I rejoice in their successes. I really wish that I could be at them all. They are all wonderful stories. I thought I would share this one.

I did get to attend one such graduation, and as they are all special, I find myself reflecting once they are over. This family is special. The Walsh family is spectacular in how openly loving they are. Intelligent, brilliant in spirit, worldly, and still familiar. They are joyful and good. Special is the word that most often comes to mind.

I met the young Master Walsh as a bat boy for a high school team in Virginia. When he came to introduce himself to me, he had this smile on his face that let me know that everything I had read about him in the letter of reference was true. He was bright, athletic, and he loved the game of baseball. An odd thing happens when adults are around those type of young people. The adult grows. I had simple tasks for myself as a coach, and the top of them is to keep the young peoples smiles bright. Don’t screw it up. Add to. Love him. Pretty simple.

He was my worker bee. He was on top of the drills, he participated in the practices, he was a wonderful addition during games, and he paid attention to what I said and did. For a coach, the part about paying attention is big. I need to make sure that my actions are good for him. Do they make him better? Do they help him? Is it good?

I never got to coach him as a varsity player. We both moved from Virginia to Texas, and as fate would have it, the same community. He attended a public school while I coached at a private one, but we stayed in touch. I got to hear about his task of making new friends in a college sized public school, his decisions on playing ball or singing, his eyes toward college and everything that came to mind.

He had an issue with his transfer from Virginia, and the 4.0 GPA system in Virginia created problems in the 5.0 Texas GPA system, so he had some serious work to do to reach academics levels to go where he wanted for college. We talked about the process and his struggles, which to me were landmarks and successes. He would come and walk with me. Those walks let me know that no matter what was put in front of him, his family had prepared him for it. He was going to be fine. He was going to be exceptional. He already was.

I was invited to attend his graduation with his family, and I felt extremely proud watching the evening move along. My bat boy had become a man. He had found a way to excel. He had found a way to shine. Let me tell you this, in a night of stars, his shine was as bright as any other. I got to listen to his family, and I certainly have a great understanding of how this happens. Great families make great people. Great people make great families. This is true for the Walsh family.

Congratulations, to you and your graduates, no matter where they are graduating from. Well done., parents. Well done, students. Well done, teachers. Well done, coaches.

Congratulations, Mr. Walsh. The University of Texas will be better because you will be there. They can’t be ready for you, because you are ready for them. Go and be epic. I will be here, cheering.

Just don’t lock your keys in the car. Mom can’t be there in ten minutes.

Thank you for your LovePrints. I expect to see them all over Austin, Texas.

Posted in Testimonials and Stories
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Loveprints. Love is the answer. Go. Love.

Love in action. Action in love. One act at a time. One person at a time.

What is the answer? What will make things better? What will pull us together?

Love.

As a coach, as a man, as a speaker, as a mentor, I get to make things better than I found them. I am tasked with standing as the lead energy source in a classroom, a locker room, an auditorium, or a boardroom. I get to set the standard for words in the air, actions of the masses, directions for the day, and for the orders in play. That is a daunting task no matter who you are or what you do. I don’t mind. I look forward to it. I am given a microphone so that whatever I say is amplified. It needs to fill the room. My voice must fill the room. I know what is needed in each of those rooms.

Love.

Every family, every business, every boss, every student, every athlete, and every listener that I speak to is its own community. Its their own vacuum. What I put into the vacuum will occupy it, and if done well, will take it over. I  must be careful what energy and message I put into the air. It is powerful. It will gain life and multiply. I must choose one thing as the ultimate thing in my words. What else would I put in the air than this?

Love.

I understand that whatever I put into the room will not only occupy the room, but it will cover the people in the room. Whatever it is will leave the room and be taken into other rooms, buildings, and beings. What I release into the room will cover the closest ones, the next ones, and so on. I can choose wisely what I cover the closest one with, because I know it will reach others. That is its purpose. I can choose fear. I can choose hate. I choose not to choose either. I choose love.

How does fear and hate take over a company? A relationship? A team? A community? A school? A home? It requires air and action to do so. It requires acceptance as a norm. It requires repetitive noise. It requires acknowledgement by several connected, empowered people as an option.

How does love take ownership over a person? A relationship? A house? A community? A company? A team? A school? It requires air and action to do so. It requires acceptance as the norm. It requires repetitive noise. It requires acknowledgement by several connected, empowered people as the only option.

Look at us all. What is the norm? What is the accepted and required habit? What have we deemed the only option? There should only be one answer.

Love.

I choose to stand in love. I choose to action in love. I choose to love out loud. I choose to do so daily. When chaos happens, slow down, and love. When fear or hate shows up in a hurry, slow it down, and love. When a crossroad is met, act in the direction of love. When there is a question of what to do, how to do it, why we do it, the answer is the same.

Go with love.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. Why do we coach?

Why do we coach?

In every coaching interview that I have ever given or been on, the question has come up in some way or another. Why do you coach? There have been as many answers as interviews, and while some good answers are given, some bad ones are given as well. There might not be a perfect answer, but the coach should have some idea of why they want the job. They should have some idea of why they will succeed at the job. If they don’t know why they want to job, it is unlikely that they know how to be successful at it.

I can’t speak for all coaches. I won’t speak for all coaches. I know why I coach, and there are several reasons. There are some jobs that have winning games as the focus, and there are some that place character as the priority. Some coaching positions are at schools or with teams that don’t care about academics, and some that are faith based. There is a constant for me. I only seek coaching jobs where the focus is known and honored. This is important.

Coaching is love. Coaching is caring. Coaching is teaching. Coaching is support. Coaching is being present. Coaching is being prepared. For me, the first thing is important thing I need to know is why. Why do you need me? Why should I coach with/for you? Why?

I coach out of service. It is an easier space to work in if service is the top priority. I can’t coach and think of myself first. I need to be excited about building something. I need to feel like I am not really working. I need to feel like I’m adding. I need to feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. I need to know that todays work is a part of the greater process, and that my input is a part of a greater plan. I need to consider those young people I am coaching more than I consider myself. I need to think of them first. Always.

The ability to see the greater version of people is a gift. I can see past flaws and weaknesses. Those are correctable. Those are temporary. It is a blessing to be able to see a diamond when it’s just coal. The diamond is simply waiting for a change of environment to recreate itself in its greater form. It requires pressure and friction, and it requires someone to dust it off and place it in a perfect setting to shine.

I learned long ago that when I coach from this place, everything else that can be a focus is easy. When I remember them first, I take care of the small details. I prepare better. I plan better. I adjust better. I correct better. I teach better. I applaud louder. I love stronger.

When a coaching position opens, ask what the job is. Is it winning? Ask questions. What is winning? What is acceptable standards for winning? What is success? What is the task each day?

I coach to serve. I coach to teach. I coach to remove mistakes. I coach to strengthen. I coach to learn. I coach to share. I coach to win. I coach to love.

The question is, why do you coach?

Posted in Coaching
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LovePrints. One act at a time. Leave more love than was there before you got there.

 

If I was going to measure my time on this planet, I would hope to be measured by the amount of love I left while I was here. Did I leave each thing more covered in love than I found it? Did I attempt to action in love? Did I make things better? Was I present in my interactions? Did I leave a lasting print of love on the people I meet? Did I love?

The questions are simple. You know the answer when asked. The speaking engagements that I have been honored to speak at have all been opportunities to love more, in word and in action, than ever before. These events put me in a circle of people who may or may not know me. It is my task to add smiles, add hugs, and ultimately, add love. It is my job to close the space in the room. I find that it is easier to do so if I am adding love to that space. It is a labor of love. It is amazing to get into a space and attempt to fill that space with more love, no matter who the people are.. It can be exhausting sharing the energy of any mass of people, but when the energy is love, it is the greatest form of energy. It is the best form of energy. It fills the room the most authentically. It also lasts longer. Love travels well.

Speeches are love out loud. Each time I grab a microphone or take a stage, I feel like I have a responsibility to add happiness. To add love. Each event is an action in love. Each one is love in action. I may not reach everyone, but the ones that I do reach are left better than I found them. That is what love is for.

These photos are from the Unity Day event at the Altria Theater in Richmond. I was invited to give the keynote speech to a room of a thousand people, and I must say that I received more smiles and hugs after the event than any other event I have ever spoken at (because I had access to the people afterwards). It is powerful to put love into the air and watch it take over a space and the people in it. I understand the chemical reaction that performers get in front of a crowd of people. It is a rush, and it changes you for the better.

To have that chemical be love based is the highest level of happiness. A room filled with love and good is a vacuum of that same love. I look forward to the next room filled with love. There is no space that love cannot fill. I will be there, adding love. I hope to see you there!

Thank you, Virginia Department of Transportation for allowing me to add love to your employee’s day. They certainly added love to my day.

Posted in Giving Back
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LovePrints. My LovePrints are for everyone.

 

LovePrints.

An act of love. Love in action. Action in love.

This is my declaration. I do this not to be better than anyone else. I do this to be better than I was. I do this to be the best version of me forward. You are welcomed to join me in covering us all in love.

One act at a time, one person at a time. Each action a purposeful gift of self and love.

My LovePrints are for everyone. My LovePrints are for anyone. My LovePrints are for you. No one is excluded. No one is disconnected. No one is exempt. You are all included. You are all invited.

My LovePrints are for everyone. Republicans. Democrats. Independents and Progressives. They are for Christians and Islamic, Mormon and Jewish, Buddhists and Atheists. My LovePrints are for New York fans, Washington fans, Houston fans, and even Dallas fans.  My LovePrints are for BYU and Utah, Army and Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corp. My LovePrints are for USC and UCLA, Florida and Florida State, Kentucky and Louisville. Caps fans, Penguins fans, Red Wings fans, and Flyers fans. They are for boxing fans and UFC fans too. They are for Man U fans, and they are for Liverpool fans as well.

My LovePrints are for LeBron fans, Jordan fans, Russell fans, and Kobe fans. They are for Brady people, and for Montana people, Jim Brown people or Emmitt Smith people. They are for Babe Ruth people, and for Willie Mays people. My LovePrints are for Ali people, Tyson people. Louis people, and Marciano people. My LovePrints are for Ric Flair people, Bruno Sammartino people, The Rock people, and Dusty Rhodes people.

My LovePrints are for hip hop people, classic rock people, heavy metal people, classical music people, and reggae people. They are for Richard Pryor people, Robin Williams people, Lenny Bruce people, Joan Rivers people, and Dave Chappelle people. My LovePrints are for horror movie people, Romantic Comedy people, Documentary people, and Indie film people. My LovePrints are for Weird Al people, Emo Phillips people, Judy Tenuta people, and Lisa Lampanelli people. My LovePrints are for Obama fans, Trump fans, Hilary fans, and Reagan fans.

My LovePrints are for people who watch Empire, and those who watch Power. They are for those who love Star Trek, and those who love Lord of the Rings. They are for people who love The Wizard of Oz, and those who love The Wiz. They are for people who watch American Idol, and those who never have. They are for those tattooed, and those who are not. They are for vegans, and they are for Keto meal fans. They are for marijuana smokers and they are for cigarette smokers too. They are for Budweiswer drinkers, and Guinness drinkers too. My LovePrints are for In and Out experts, and they are for Whataburger fans. They are for Taylor Swift fans, Kayne West fans, and Dixie Chicks fanatics.

My LovePrints are for Duke people, UNLV people, Syracuse people, and Georgetown people. Ivy league and HBCU. SEC and ACC. Big Ten and Pac 12. Yankees and Red Sox. Cats and Dogs,  Blue Collar and White Collar. Fox News and CNN. MTV and VH1. Rich and Poor. Gay and Straight. Tall and Short. Black and White. Male and Female, and everything not listed. Everyone here, and everyone not here.

This is my declaration. This is my invitation. If you witness me not honoring this, tell me. If my words do not match this, tell me. If my actions do not match this, tell me. I will honor this. That is my promise. That is my word. My actions will be connected to my words.

Feel free to join me. Feel free to share.

If you are reading this, consider yourself loved. Consider yourself love, and loved.

Go. Cover the planet in love.

Posted in Giving Back
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LovePrints. My family. My life. My smile.

 

LovePrints.

Leaving behind good. Actively enhancing the future. Leaving your good in others.

I never knew that I had “the look”. I did not understand my hands. I took my smile for granted. I never thought about dancing. I never chased a baseball. If fell naturally to me. I certainly had no idea why.

I have looked in the mirror every day of my life and never understood what I was seeing. Its like looking at a work of art as paint is added, rather than seeing the finished art in its glory. I did not understand the colors. I lived them, but I did not know why they were chosen. I noticed when the colors were splashed about. I was there for the mistakes, and present when great strokes met the canvas. I never understood the artist. I had no idea what his life was about. I did not know if he painted in the city, the country, or on a mountain top. I did not know his love, or his pain. I did not know what he looked like. I simply knew there was an artist with a work in progress. I did not know what the end piece would look like, but I knew that It would make more sense if I knew who he was.

I recently found the face of the artist. I can look into his eyes and see what he was working from. I can see some of his other masterful work, and I can understand his successes and failures. I can now see more of what he saw. I never will get to ask him what he saw or how he felt. I can imagine more clearly now. I recognize that now because I have his eyes.

I can now look at his work more completely. I can not change the strokes to canvas, but I can understand them. I can see his hands, and they are so much like mine. I can see the strength in them, and the gentle touch. I can see his hand movements and placement, and they are familiar. I can stare at his hands as I have often stared at mine. They are mine. They are my daughters. They are my grandsons. They are ours.

I will never see him move. That is a loss that may be a deep as any. I will never get to know his laugh, nor will I get to see his smile up close. But, I have the mirror, and that seems to explain a lot. I can imagine his movements through his other art, and it makes me smile just typing this. I got to hear stories of how the family moves, and it makes perfect sense. Naturally, they move like I do.

The smile in the mirror is important. He gave it to all his children. It is unique. It has power. It has light. It has purpose. I see it in their faces, and I see it in the mirror. I see comfort, balance, and confidence. I know the smile. I know the grin. Something good is coming.

I never chased baseball. I never pursued it. It just was in me. It called. It often shouted. It gave. It taught. It celebrated. It cheered. It never failed me. I never chased a baseball. It fell naturally to me. I understand that now. I was meant to catch it.

I stop in front of the mirror now. The art that I have seen before has more meaning, more value. The mirror has not changed. The information has. I know the artist. I know his work. I know why.

Now, I know why.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. My name. My father. My family. My life.

 

Loveprints.

Leaving more love behind than existed before you. Covering someone in love. Creating a thing of love for others. Being the add to for any situation. Cause elevation by your actions.

My name. My father. My family. My life.

That took a lot to type. This takes a lot to type. My eyes water at the very thought of typing this. Sharing this is mandatory, but difficult. It is a conversation about something so great and grand that I can’t possible capture its questions and answers in one sitting. I can’t possible tell the story of this and get to the truths and non-truths, so I am going to try and keep this simple. I am going to try and keep this plain. First of all, thank you to my wife. She made this happen. Thank you, ancestry and its investigators. Thank you, family.

My name is Pearson. It was given to me by my mother. Wrap your brain around that. A name was given to me. I accepted it as truth. I accepted it as everything. I would take this truth into the world as an absolute. I would be called by it for all of my days, and almost importantly, I answered to it. I would carry the Pearson name around as an introduction detail, a statement of who I was, a description of my history, and the crown of my actions on this planet. Pearson. It speaks volumes. It tells of origin and age, it tells of belonging and possession, it tells of all people that share that name.

What if I was wrong? What if my mother was wrong? What if I was given a name that did not belong to me? What if that name was a lie? What if that name simply wasn’t true? What if the name wasn’t mine?

What happened is a common tale in this land or ours. A name is given and accepted. None of us were around to choose our name. None of us had a say so. We were stuck with what was given. In some parts of our country, history has dictated that those names can never be right. They can never be true. They are given names rather than the actual name of your people. Your actual people. Those you share DNA with. Those who come from where you come from. Those who come from who you come from. Some of us have no way of knowing our name. This country made sure of that.

What if the truth is never told? What if secrets took priority over truth? What if science was ignored until it can’t be ignored any longer?

My father. He should give me his name. My mother should make sure of that. He should make sure of that. He made me. He chose for me to be here. None of us chose to be here. Someone else did that for us. I was not around to know why he didn’t. I was not around to know why he didn’t. I can be upset. I can be mad. I can be bitter. I choose to be present. I am here.

My family. They re a gift. They are a blessing. More common strands of life, more common strands of experiences and shared moments. More common strands of love wrapped up in love tied up with love. None of us chose one another. We just exist for each other whether we know it or not.

My life. Each day is an opportunity. Each day has knowledge. Each day has lessons. Each day feeds me. Each day informs, forms, and recreates me. Each thing purposeful. Each thing a victory. I am a puzzle of 365 pieces, 55 years long, each one its own picture but a part of a whole bigger picture.

I have spent time recently trying to answer questions that I did not know need answering. I have found out that I was missing people who I never knew existed. I have recognized holes in me that I had no idea existed that already had perfect pieces to put in place. I had love to give and get while believing that I had given and gotten all of the love I could possible manage. My heart has been filled my blood and love, even after I thought I had lived with a heart full of blood and love all along. I have found faces that match mine, smiles that match mine, hearts that beat like mine, and lives that were perfectly imperfect like mine. I have found souls like mine, and more importantly, love like mine.

I have been given more people to love. I have been given more people to love me. I have connected dots that were invisible to me, dots that evaded me, dots that were my dots, waiting to be seen, waiting to be connected. I have been blessed with good, beautiful people.

I recognized that my name is whatever I decide to answer to. I realized that my father created me. I accept that my life is so much better than I could ever dream, even when it was always better than I could ever dream. I am standing proudly in my space. I am loved. I am love. That’s who I am.

I have several families. Some chosen. Some by experience. Some by DNA. All by love. What an amazing world we live in.

I went to sleep one day with 3 brothers and 4 sisters. I woke up with more of each. I could not be any prouder. I now know why my name is, what my name is, who my father is, and what my life means.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to sit here and applaud the universe. I am going to thank God. I am going to praise this life of mine. I am going to celebrate this added love in my life. I am going to celebrate each day with them.

Call me whatever name you want. They call me family. They call me brother, uncle, and cousin. I will answer because its true, and its love.

Covered in love. That’s a LovePrint.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. USA Football. Love, one play, one rep, at a time.

 

Action in love. Love in action.

A Saturday morning in San Antonio, Texas. Hundreds of young athletes, hundreds of parents, and a few dozen coaches, all giving up a weekend morning for something or someone they love. All connected by a game, all connected by ambition, and all connected by the colors. Red, white, and blue. All for the game we love. Football. USA Football.

The young people love the game so much that they gave up a free weekend to give themselves a chance to be better at it. They put down their cell phones, disconnected from social media, and they turned off their televisions for a chance to participate in a game that adds character, strength, inclusion, and love. Love of self, others, and something bigger than themselves. Love of a game that can take them places they have never even dreamed of. For colors that when at their best, loves them back.

The young people trusted the process, engaged with their new brothers, competed at a higher level, and gave themselves a mirror to measure themselves in. They were joined by parents who work hard to provide these opportunities, provide the gear to train in, the transportation and meals, plus the encouragement needed. These parents sit in the Texas sun, strain their eyes searching for their young ones, and cheer like crazy before, during, and after the plays are made. And, when they are not made.

The coaches give up time from their own families to add to, help with, and teach these young people. They love the game enough to add to its possibilities, and to pass on their knowledge to others. These coaches understand that the game deserves love, respect, and a showcase, so they provide it all in their own individual and collective labors of love.

USA Football has done an exceptional job in organizing these camps and games. They have included international development deals with other countries, who have all embraced this American game and added their own love to it. From all parts of the USA, families choose to find and make time to include themselves in this game, this process, this adventure. Many college and NFL players have come through this program, and have shown that when the stars and stripes are earned, they are worn with pride and honor. Earn your stars is more than football. It is a wonderful bit of direction, a call to arms, and a celebration of who we are, and who we want to be.

I love looking in the eyes of these young football players. That glow, that sparkle in their eyes come from deep down within them. It is about the country, the game, and themselves. They know that the honor can’t be given, it must be earned. When you earn your stars, you also earn a bit more pride in yourself. That is a powerful thing.

Here’s to USA Football. Earn your stars.

Posted in Giving Back
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