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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.

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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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Why do scandals like Michigan State and Olympic Gymnastics happen?

How is it that incidents like the Michigan State or the  Olympic gymnastics scandals happen?

Their reason “WHY” is broken.

Their adults have forgotten why they are there. The value system and the priority of why they matter are broken.

Both can be fixed. Both must be fixed.

Any athletic or academic department, no matter the level, must have their why on the marquee. It must be on the sleeve, on the chest, and on the agreement. “This” is why we are here. “This” is why it matters. “This” is the first thing.

How about this? Decide what the first thing is, and keep it first.

If the thing is academics, say it. If the thing is winning, say it. If the thing is creating positive experiences, a community of intelligent, loving people, or creating a nation of decent human beings, say it. If faith matters, it must be constant. If the bottom line matters, it must be constant. The confusion of why leads to a lack of focus, direction, or purpose. The confusion leads to a lack of accountability. We can fix this.

Decide what the why is. Then, say it. Then, repeat it. Done. If actions do not confirm this, change the actions to match the why. If your actions do not match where you said you need to go, you’re allowed to change directions. You are required to change directions.

If the young people are not following direction, change the direction. If academics are the focus, and actions do not match the focus, point to the focus. Point to the North Star. Say, THAT is where we are going. I said we. The adults and the young people. Together, they must go.

If the adults aren’t leading them to the place they promised to, the young people have the right to say so. THIS is not where you said we would go. THIS is not how you said we were going to get there. If they aren’t going anywhere, say so. Why aren’t we moving?

All of this starts at the top. The signatures on the paycheck. The keyholders. The people who turn on the lights. The people who write agreements. They must be clear about why they are there. To lead. To remind. To redirect. To applaud actions. To correct misdirection. To stand loudly in the light for those wandering in the dark. If the rest do not know who is leading, or where to go, to get right, all is lost. Everyone is lost.

Michigan State is an institute of higher learning.  Intelligence, facts, and wisdom should be simple. The Spartans can say who they are and then redirect anyone who wants or claims to be there for the right reasons. They can celebrate those in the right. They can remove those in the wrong. If winning is the thing, say so. If the university is about academics, say so. If it is about the business of either, say so. Pretty simple.

The US Olympic team needs to state why it exists. Is it the best in us? Is it the shell for money makers and check cashers? Is it for the young people, old people, or the best people of any age? Is it the best this nation has to offer?

Ask why. Why are you here? The answers should open eyes. The question is simple. So are the answers.

I hope the leaders have a great answer. We know that the young people need answers. We know that they need leaders.

Keep the first thing first.

 

Posted in Weekly LovePrints
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LovePrints. Coach DP. A story of “WHY?”

LovePrints are powerful. When we recognize that these moments strengthen us for tough times, highlight the good times, and are the foundation for why we do what we do, we calm and able to move forward and up. This is a story of the “WHY?” This is a purpose. This is a miracle. This is a LovePrint.

 

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