The late Brandon Weaver Teaching & Living the 10 Things to his players! Click Here for His Tough Story
Brandon was a linebacker and captain for me at one of the many university football programs that I had taken over nearly 12 years ago. However, Brandon was not just another player. He was a passionate kid, who was always 'All-In', and was a God loving leader of men and boys. He made those around him better, all of us. You can read the tragic story of how Brandon was killed last week if you click on the picture above, but it appears that he was shot as he returned to a birthday party that his young son had attended where the adults had been drinking and he had tried to get them to do the right thing. As I think of Brandon and his passion for kids, I want to honor him and share with you 10 things I know were important to him and should be important to all of us in developing ourselves and our own people at work and especially, our kids at home.
10 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD LEARN IN THE 21st CENTURY
1. To Be PassionatePassion drives everything...to many of us lack passion due to the numerous choices we have every day. Look at the picture above and ask yourself... "When do I act like that?"
If you and I lack passion, we lack conviction and if we lack conviction as a leader we have no influence.
2. To Be Comfortable being UncomfortableThis is the Navy SEAL's definition of mental toughness. We have become soft in today's world. I once saw Brandon eat a live cricket to impress my 8 year old son after practice, uncomfortable! Are you and I comfortable with being in the middle of adversity or do we bail or blame others? Teach others to embrace adversity and fight through it.
3. To Possess Integrity Integrity seems to be a word of choice in today's world as we see our leaders live double lives or not do the right thing because it is hard. People follow those that lead and practice integrity consistently. Brandon was a what you see is what you get man, no false fronts with him and he demanded that others practice integrity also.
4. To Be Relentless People today must be taught how to persevere and never quit. We live in a world where transfer rates at our colleges and jobs are as high as they have ever been in our country. We must model relentlessness to our people daily, we must not just give up and move on while we make excuses for our lack of creativity and perseverance. I wish you could have seen Brandon play as a Linebacker...he was RELENTLESS!
5. To Respect Authority In an age where people look down on their leaders and very rarely say, "Yes Sir or Yes Mam" we need to teach our people and children how to look people in the eye and respect them without the leader having to do anything to earn it. Brandon grew up in Georgia and he showed me respect from the very first day he met me and I had done nothing to earn it other than to be named his coach.
6. To Have Meaningful Relationships In an age where we have thousands of Twitter followers and hundreds of 'Friends' on Facebook, how many real relationships do we have? We must remember and teach others that relationship drives everything and it is still what every human soul craves. Brandon had many strengths, however his authenticity and friendship was his greatest asset.
7. To Be Held Accountable We all must learn to hold ourselves accountable and teach others to be held accountable. We live in an era where excuses are the norm and it is always someone else's responsibility. I used to tell Brandon and still use it often today, "Remember, you and I either coaching that or we are allowing it to happen...there is no in between."
8. Not Everyone Wins... Win without Bragging and Lose without Whining We must teach our people and our kids that everyone does not win and everyone does not get the promotion or a trophy. We must teach them how to be humble in success and take ownership in defeat. You can tell by how the kids (that Brandon coached in youth sports) talk about him that he lived out and taught them this principle.
9. To Be Patient I was taught by a mentor of mine that if I am impatient it is about me and if I am patient it means I am thinking about the other person. Remember, that things that are built to last are not built fast... and that includes ourselves and those that we lead. We all need to be more patient.
10. It's about Others not just You...Be Dependable The Pirate baseball organization has a saying, "May your greatest ability as a player be your Depend-Ability". In a "me" world, we must force ourselves to choose to be "we" driven rather than "me" driven. Brandon exemplified this as businessman, player, husband, father and coach...even to his death.
Thank you for allowing me to honor a friend and hopefully give you and I some important things to focus on as we lead ourselves and others the rest of this year and in 2015. I also hope you will keep Brandon's wife, Heather in your prayers this Christmas along with his three young boys.
What will your Legacy be? What will people say you taught or modeled to them after you are gone?
3 reasons to encourage your children to play multiple sports
Jackie Bledsoe Jr.
A few years ago my nephew was entering his freshman year of high school and was splitting playing time on his high school varsity and junior varsity basketball teams. One of his friends was also playing on the varsity team.
I heard a lot of promising things about this kid, and when I watched him he didn't disappoint. The kid ended up being a starter on the varsity team and their best player.
A couple years later, the squad was one of the best high school teams in the state, but what intrigued me most was the fact that two of their main players were also football standouts: the friend I mentioned earlier and another kid.
In a time when many kids begin to specialize in one sport, these two continued to play two sports and played them at high levels. Both were encouraged to focus on one by outsiders. The reason being that focusing on one sport would allow them to develop, and it could keep them from getting hurt, thus ruining their chances in the other sport.
One of them, Gary Harris, was a first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the other, Randy Gregory, is playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and being compared to both Jadeveon Clowney and Jevon Kearse. I think both have benefited from playing football and basketball.
Their success and the success of many other two-sport athletes who are excelling in the NFL makes a strong case for playing multiple sports not only as younger athletes, but at higher levels as well. Here are three reasons to encourage your kids to not specialize, but play multiple sports as long as they enjoy playing them and are able to compete.
1. Increased athleticism. Playing multiple sports develops your body and muscles in various movements. Playing and training for different sports requires you to be able to different athletic moves well. The lateral movements and vertical leaps of basketball players benefit football players, especially tight ends and receivers.
2. Fewer injuries. Today's young athletes seem to suffer some of the same injuries that professional and high-level college athletes do. Many believe it is because the trend is to specialize at an early age, which puts many more "miles" or wear and tear on their muscles at a younger age. Using different muscles for different sports can reduce that wear and tear.
3. Discipline and confidence. The discipline to train your body and mind to play different sports is highly valuable. Each sport requires different disciplines, which constantly challenge athletes physically and mentally. An athlete can also take the success of one sport and use that as confidence builder in another. Learning to overcome challenges translates across the board.
If your kid enjoys multiple sports, encourage them to keep playing both as long as they can. Doing so does not guarantee them a spot on the NFL Draft board or the draft board of any other sport, but it can help them in many ways. And you never know. That skill they developed playing basketball or another sport may give them a unique ability on the football field which enables them to stand out and excel.