In a story we read in a recent AARP magazine, a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player who has retired now owns and works in a funeral home. Among the conversation in the article was his "why?"
See, Andre Dawson grew up knowing he had something great to accomplishment. Once he did all of the things he could in the sport of baseball, he retired and got back to the drawing board. He knew he had to give back to the community that helped him grow and become the man he is now and decided on an entrepreneurial path. He owns a restaurant in Miami Gardens, Florida, which all in all seemed pretty normal but he also owns a funeral home in Richmond Heights, Florida. What was curious to us is... how could a Hall of Fame ball player stumble down the path to own a funeral home?
Dawson heard about a funeral home for sale in the Richmond Heights area. He understood that if he didn't purchase this business it would be shut down. He also understood that without a funeral home in the vicinity of Richmond Heights, there would be no place for the Seniors and families in his neighborhood to host a ceremony when a community, family member passes away.
And that is how he found a secondary career in owning a funeral home. By purchasing this business, Dawson is giving back a space for love, life, cries and laughter to the community that helped him grow and have so much success in sport and adventure in life.
#makeanassist #community #givingback
The reality of "Pay to Play" model and the possibility of the "Play to Stay"
Do you ask questions of the organization board prior to signing up?
Do you ask for an itemized or otherwise specific guide for how the incoming monies will be spent?
Do you request information about the sports medicine and safety of your athletes?
Do you explore being on the board or participating as a volunteer ambassador?
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports programs many parents ASSUME the sports organization knows best. However, most sports clubs operating in the United States do not have anyone on the board with a professional sports management skill set.
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports many parents don't know which questions to ask thereby allowing the organization to run a league without efficient sports management structure and an accountability tool.
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports most organizations don't identify sports medicine as a function of their event. Take football for instance. In well managed youth football organizations the incoming monies goes to helmets, jerseys and pants, padding, mouthguards, socks and cleats, coolers, field rentals and footballs. But what do they do for athlete safety? Most of them struggle to schedule and therefore rely on volunteers, spectators and supporters to come up with service costs or time on the sideline.
How much of the monies goes to sports medicine and safety for the youth athlete?
How much of the monies goes to safety and technology for the youth athlete?
With a 1% Chance to go pro, what other careers in sport offer competitive income, satisfaction and longevity?
Team A.S.S.I.S.T. Program is a non-profit program focused on assisting organizations and their middle and high school-aged student-athletes with learning about careers in sport other than a professional athlete.
Why? Because while every youth watches their professional athlete and idolizes their skill set, rarely do they identify the commitment it takes from personnel to support a team of athletes or manage the event directly.
And with parents hyper-focused on their student-athletes success in life and sport, here are a few initiatives students may take to building a successful career straight out of high school.
In a recent Forbes.com article in May, author Bob Cook discusses how parent involvement in the firing of a High School coach in New York backfired on them. So, today we ask the question, why do parents go over the top when trying to support their youth athlete? Why can't they see they are not helping the situation?
Unfortunately, as Cook points out, parent involvement in the firing of a coach happens all too often. When parents gather around the court or ballfield, they all have stories of engagement with the individual coach and may choose to assess, or possibly judge, said individual. What happens when the parent sees the coach out after work hours having an adult beverage? What if the coach is texting and driving? Should we always expect a coach's firing or a letter of concern to go to the school administrators?
When a student-athlete isn't developing at a certain rate during the school sport calendar, getting enough playing time or succeeding in their sport the way the parent 'hoped' they would, they will lean on other athlete parents, school administration and sometimes the coaches to push their child to more training. But what if that child just wasn't meant to play that sport at an advanced level? What if there is another avenue for their child to succeed and maybe even at a greater level that they haven't considered yet?
Parents get so hooked on "investing" in their kids future playing one (1) specific sport that they lose sight of other career or sport opportunities their child could work on. What if the parent could change their mindset to identify the real challenges their student-athlete is going through in that sport and support them by providing experiential learning of other sports and activity? Rather than going to the coach, or school administration, threatening a job and bullying over more playing time or advanced attention in practice, WHAT IF THEY explored, learned and recreated the environment to support the youth in advancing their mindset in all of sport.
Just because a youth wasn't meant to be on the baseball or softball field and go pro does not mean they can't attain a scholarship, become an Olympian and have a successful career in sport. Individuals that overcome challenges are greater skilled when adversity hits. When encouraged to strive no matter the circumstances and to take each hurdle as an opportunity, especially during a competition or work event, they are going to be more inclined to see the positive growth rather than blaming another person.
If parents learned to be the role model on and off the field for their youth athletes as opposed to spectators on the sideline, our society would be a world different. If you are a parent, please share with us how you work with your student-athlete to encourage and support them in their sports and goal setting activities.
Youth sports are fundamentally a place for equality. A space for a kid to learn how to play in the outfield by themselves but as a part of a team. An environment for them to challenge themselves, see what role they play on a team and how they can work together among peers.
But as adults creating sports organizations, many individuals lose the concept of teamwork. They lose perspective, the value of working together, and stop trusting in the process of commitment. Everyday we strive to partner with youth sports non-profit organizations who believe in the rights of Middle & High school-aged student-athletes to grow into successful men and women among our society.
Some of these boys & girls come from urban communities and others from rural communities - but when it is all said and done, where they come from matters, but not as much as where they can go! However, in order for them to #learn #grow #makeanassist in their community, they must learn from their elders. And currently the industry doesn't trust in the process - let alone have a stable process set-up for success.
When we work together, we find common ground. We find a commitment and desire to share in the successful growth of youth. With a 99.7% chance to become great in something other than a pro athlete, it is time we commit to teamwork that will create the change we hope to see in the world. This involves having fundraising and sponsorship dollars committed to youth safety, education components that inform youth athletes on the opportunities other than becoming a pro athlete and the fundamental rights each child has and must demand of us to work together for their personal growth. And, you already know where it starts. It starts with us, the adults, working together and trusting the process.
A lot of people write blogs, articles, and newsletters, but what value do they have if there is no call-to-action or evidence of change.
Over 20 years have gone by with the same conversation at hand: how do we make youth sports safer? Safe from what, who, when, where and why?
Safe from Sudden Cardiac Arrest? concussions? or the worst case scenario of sexual predators? Over time, while newspaper writers, elite athletes and colleges have gone through the turmoil, there has been little to no change.
It is now time to share the insight into what makes youth sports great and why why must invest in the youth student-athletes starting today! The numbers don't lie. Ask the NATA how many Certified Athletic Trainers they have registered in their association. Go ahead and ask the Board of Certification, the NCAA and other major elite associations what their Certified Athletic Trainer student population looks like? Ask them what the industry growth rate looks like. And then, compare that to the 60 million kids playing sports. Compare that to the countless urban and rural communities that can not access a sports medicine practitioner for one reason or another (typically funds ie money appropriations or scheduling).
And then consider that if we start teaching the youth that they can impact the world today through their independent, free thinking strength and desire to become successful we can turn them from a statistic to a professional - in something other than being a pro athlete. Because honestly, after 20 years, it seems not one person has focused on being the problem solver. Register as a brand ambassador for Team A.S.S.I.S.T. and we'll ensure the sports organizations we work with have the tools to receive the appropriate education reform to turn kids who struggle with school, sports and education today into the leaders of our future! #makeanassist