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LovePrints. Here’s to the healers. Thank you.

Here’s to the healers!

Thank you!

For understanding the simple idea that one hand is for giving and one is for receiving. To be of service, we must give of ourselves. If we care about others, we find out about the greater good in ourselves.

The caretakers of hearts. The lovers of health. The shepherds for good. The guards to happiness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

For sacrificing time with your own to help others. For allowing your heart to be stretched and pulled in several directions at once. For draining your emotional and energy bank, often at your own expense. For showing up at times and in places where the forgotten exist.

Thank you. For open arms. Open hands. Open wallets. Open ears. For giving time, action, money, and care. Thank you for listening. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for moving whatever is needed for whoever needs it. Thank you.

Thank you for answering the call, leading the response, and for loving others enough to help others out. Thank you for opening doors, lending hands, and for showing up. Thank you.

Thank you for being selfless, for knowing how to care, and for reminding us that we need to be here for each other. Thank you for helping others stand when they are too weak to do so on their own. Thank you for being supportive at times and places where extra support is needed. Thank you.

Thank you for being present, and for not ignoring someone else’s pain. Thank you for aiding, for curing, and for nurturing. Thank you for your touch, your words, and your actions.

Thank you for recognizing the painful way, for showing and teaching a better way, and for living the best way. Thank you for your love. That is what healing is.

LOVE.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. Thank you, coach!

Coaches.
(I am not excluding parents, mentors, leaders, teachers, or simply good humans.)
Coaches,
I talk about the good that coaches do so that they are reminded that what they do, matters. The important reason why you coach, matters. (Love) The important skills you share, matter.. The love that you give, matters. I talk about letters received, I talk about the texts answered.  tI talk about the emails delivered,. I talk about all of the phone calls made. I share the great stories so that coaches don’t forget that they are important to the players, families, and communities in which they coach. I share the successes because the falls and bruises can be loud and painful, so the successes have to be louder and more healing. I praise the choices made to add love to the lives of the people we lead. I celebrate the wins, give value to the lessons, and cheer your ability to show up, show out, and elevate.
If no one has said it today, let it be said now.
Well done, coach.
Well done.
Here’s to all of the success stories. Here’s to all of your lessons taught. Here’s to every time you clock in. Here’s to making the lives of those in your charge greater. Here’s to you. Here’s to them. Here’s to us.
Bravo.
Posted in Coaching
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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. Happy Fathers Day to all of the dads and coaches.

Father’s Day, 2018.

This year is different. I have more love this year than before. I have always had plenty of love on this day, but this year is different. I have a different name to think of. I have a different face to think of. I have a whole new family to think of. I should think of it all, differently.

I have always had fathers and father figures in my life. I have always had family to think of, consider, and love. I have always had an idea of what the day means to me. I now have more information than before. I have more people to love than ever before.

This day is a day of celebration. This is a day for raised glasses, reclined chairs, lit cigars, cold beverages, and food made and delivered with love. This is a day for control of the remote, a favorite worn out old shirt, or a brand new unwrapped tie. This is a day of words unspoken, hugs received, smiles all around, and love out loud.

This day is for the biological dads, the step dads, the uncles in name, and the unnamed and unknown. The secret dads, the private dads, and the dads who linger in the masses trying to steal a glance from afar. This day is for the baby daddies, the uncle daddies, the coach dads, and the neighborhood dads.  This day is for listening, teaching, providing, caring, redirecting, and loving.

I was never around the man I thought was my father. I believe that I can honestly say that I was around him three times that I can recall. I don’t love him any less, but I probably missed out on loving him much more. I hold no grudges. I have no regrets. I hold no grudges to the Walter’s or Jack’s of the world. They made their own choices. I made my own choices.

I have several dad figures who tried to add to my world. I should remember that this is a different time than before, and the world is different. I am who I am because of my choices and experiences. It is a great thing that I like who I am.

I have a step dad who dug his feet in, shared his heart, and fought the good fight for me. He stood next to me, he stood up for me, and he let go when he thought it was exactly what I needed at that time. He gave love, wisdom, several corny jokes, a handful of awful dances, and an amazing collection of him trying to sing. He donated his taste for Chivas Regal, his love of boxing, and his curiosity of why teams name themselves as they do. He loved me, which was all that anyone could ask. He loved me.

I now know exactly who my real father is. I could be sad that I wont ever get to meet him or shake his hand, or to exchange smiles with him. I can see him though, through my new-found family of amazing half brothers and sisters, beautiful nieces and handsome nephews, and an army of Garner men and women. I can see who he was, I can see who they are, and I can see myself in them. By knowing them, I can know him, and I can know myself.

This is a great year of life for me. The recent years have been world changing for me, and as the song says “change your obstacles into miracles” has been the constant mantra moving forward. I have been blessed with an amazing life family, an exceptional new family, and a loving marital family. And yes, I have you. I am constantly covered in love. I have had injuries and redirection. I have had pain and glory. I have had losses and victories. I am not unbeaten, but I am undefeated.

I hope that your day today is love filled. I pray that you have a loving memory of your father, your mate, your family, and your life. I will spend the day trying to honor some fathers I know. I did that today. I will do that tomorrow. I hope that they are proud.

Thank you,

Walter Pearson. Harold Eldridge, Sr. Roland Morgan. Robert Smith, Sr. James Garner.  Darrow Kirkpatrick. Mr. Harris. Mr. Keaton.

Thank you,

Roy Smith. Robert Smith. Harold Eldridge, Jr.

Thank you,

Roy Garner. Wendell Garner. Tommy Garner.

Thank you,

Mr. Miller. Mr. Ethridge. Mr. Cephas. Mr. Perry. Mr. Miller. Mr. Cooper. Mr. Harris. Mr. Harris.

Thank you,

Mr. Dunlap. Mr. Livingston. Mr. Mullen. Mr. Wilson. Mr. Terrell. Mr. Baker. Mr. Pulliam. Mr. James. Mr. Bellamy. Mr. Price.  Mr. Rosenthal. Mr. McGee. Mr. Butler. Mr. Williams. Mr.

Thank you,

Coach Laravie. Coach McKinney. Coach Holland. Coach Saunders. Coach Blackwell. Coach Reid. Coach Norwood. Coach Machen. Coach Garcia. Coach Houser. Coach Arbetman. Coach Noe. Coach Dwyer. Coach Ramsey. Coach Walker. Coach Cross. Coach Catoe. Coach Harrison. Coach Posati. Coach Cauthen. Coach Thompson. Coach Caffi. Coach Warren. Coach Craig. Coach Tabrizi. Coach Marshall. Coach Hoskins. Coach Johnson. Coach Hawes. Coach Larouche. Coach Crabb.. Coach Davila. Coach Carter. Coach Fields. Coach Gray. Coach Boudreaux. Coach Austin. Coach Milham. Coach Farrow. Coach Walker. Coach Bentley. Coach Willis. Coach Woods. Coach Pulliam. Coach Carrington. Coach Clements. Coach Glascock. Coach Hunter. Coach Smith. Coach Gold. Coach Jenkins. Coach Larkin. Coach Levin. Coach Leslie. Coach Matagi. Coach Gray. Coach Imbrescia. Coach Landrum. Coach Wykoff.

Thank you,

To all of my dads who love, and all of my dads who try to love. Thank you. To all of the dads who let me inside the gate, onto the front porch, in the front door, onto the couch, to the dinner table, to shoot hoops in the driveway, have something cold to drink or something hot to eat, and for loving me enough to tell me what I needed to know, even when it wasn’t always what I wanted to hear.  For loving me. For loving someone like me. For loving someone else’s kid who needed you.

Thank you.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. Parents should ask questions.

LovePrints is the collection on love on any one person, place, or thing. It is the accumulation of actions in love, and the resulting love from action. LovePrints is the presence of love in us, and the choice to share love with others.

Scholastic sports seasons end in June, and there is a short window before the begin in August. Some of you will meet new coaches, and some with revisit with coaches from the year before. There will be individual and team camps, solo workouts and group drills. There will be weight sessions, cardio evaluations, and film study. There is no off season. There is only improvement season.

As parents, there are questions. What I suggest is organizing your thoughts now so that when the time comes, you are prepared to ask the right questions to the right person at the right time. These are not all the questions, but they should help in determining what you need to ask your young persons coach.

Remember, each coach has a full schedule, and a voicemail and email box full of parents and players asking questions. A simple email suffices if you do not have a question the requires immediate answers. (No, what cleats should be purchased is not an immediate answer kind of deal) Also consider this: It may be your child’s dream to play in the league, but it is everyone’s dream to play in the league. The coach must answer to anywhere from 10 to 100 parents, and as you stand up for your child, there are 100 other parents standing up for theirs. Coaches love players with respectful parents. (MESSAGE!)

Here are some questions that may provide you with insight and information about the coach, the team, and the program.

Ask the coach who they are.

What does the coach need/want from you as parents?

What the most important thing?

What is the academic mission/plan?

What is the motto of the program?

Why do you coach?

How important is winning to the coach?

What is the protocol for injuries?

Who talks to the teachers and why?

Who is the trainer?

Can you have a list of the team rules?

These are just starter questions. Feel free to add your own. If you ask these questions, others will come to mind. If you don’t ask, you will find yourself asking these questions every day of the season. Ask away.

Posted in Parents
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LovePrints. When the mission is clear, the results are obvious.

 

LovePrints. The answer to why we do what we do. LovePrints. Leaving things better than we found them. The elevation of another. The forward movement of a potential. The upward possibility enabled by you. The hand, acting in love. The heart, active in why. The constant pursuit of the greater us. The greater you.

Year after year, I left parts of my heart and pieces of my body all over the country. Year after year, I was covered in love by the people I was supposed to be there to love. I gave so much and received so much more that I gave. I am a better man than I was because I asked, often demanded, that those around me tried to be better men. Better women. Better parents. Better coaches. Better humans.

Each year, my players would write letters. It was one of the tasks I gave them. Write more. Share yourself to the people who love you. Through those tasks, I often opened the door to athletes writing letters to me. Every now and then, they end up being about me.

If you ever want an honest mirror, ask young people who know you, about you. Be prepared for gut punches and head smacks. Every now and then a player puts pen to pad and speaks to move your heart. Here is one such letter from a former player and future world leader. I have to make sure that I am worthy of a young person’s words about me. I try to put my Loveprint on them. This one put Loveprints on me. If I only get one athlete to move in love, we win. If both the player and I are moved, we have achieved something special.

Posted in Testimonials and Stories
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LovePrints. “I “vs. “Us”. “Me” vs. “We”. We are the answer.

LovePrints is leaving love wherever we are. Making each thing better than we found it. One person at a time. One act at a time. Cover each thing in love, so that nothing else can stick.

“I “vs. “Us”. “Me” vs. “We”.

We have the greatest country on the planet. We built it to last. To do so, we must remember the “we” part. Th “us” part is incredibly important to our thriving and surviving. Together, we can solve any problem, we can fix any issues, and we can collectively thrive. Less me. More we. I am a part of us. We are better when we think of us rather than ourselves.

When school shootings happen, we zealots do harm, we ask what’s wrong with THEM. We should ask “what’s wrong with us?” That will get us closer to the truth. THEY only do what WE allow, teach, and celebrate. Let’s change the base element of the problems and how they are addressed. HE is one of US. We must remember this. It will help us heal.

When someone takes a weapon and does harm, it is not a THEY problem. When a child takes a gun in hand and injures someone, WE have failed. WE have an issue. WE need to fix it. WE need to accept responsibility. WE must remove blame and move to ownership. THEY are ours. WE need to do better.

If there is a problem in the community, its up to all of us to own it and handle it. Remove the finger pointing, eliminate the name calling, and let us all get to work to right the wrong. WE aren’t whole if one of us, some of us, aren’t connected, considered, and loved. The truth is, no community is whole if it does not consider its unhealthy and needy as a part of its function. No family can leave its children alone to raise themselves. Its not one THEM. Its on US.

No one in our house can be unloved. No one in our community should feel disconnected. No one in our schools should feel alone. No one in our circle should feel as if they are not one of us.  Not one of us should labor by themselves. We need to get connected, stay connected, and celebrate the connections. We need to get loved, stay loved, and celebrate the love in us all.

As we have our discussions over what it wrong, what needs fixing, and who is to blame, let’s redirect ourselves to what we can do, what will we do, and how will we do it. What’s wrong with those kids? What is the problem with those people? We need to do something about them. Change them all to serve our greater mission, our greater purpose. What is wrong with OUR kids? What is the problem with OUR people? What will we do for US. We can accomplish anything, together. It is difficult to accomplish anything, apart.

I am a coach. If my teams consisted of selfish players, there is no way to succeed or win.

If there is a problem, it is OUR problem. If there needs to be a solution, WE are the solution.

We need to cover each other in love. That will fix most things. We can make us better.

No more blaming. Own it. We deserve a better us. Together.

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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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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