Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year!

As 2012 comes to a close, I want to take a moment and reflect upon my year. My year was full of many highs and many lows. I am guessing you can say the same thing. Besides wishing you a wonderful 2013, I want to take a minute and tell you about one of my highs and one of my very low points.

The best thing that happened to me this year was getting my book published and actually selling a few copies. Between the ebook and paperback sales I have managed to sell about five hundred copies. It is not where I wanted or hoped to be by this time, but without help in getting a good marketing plan executed, I guess it's been a pretty good year. I am hoping to get help marketing this year, which will bring in more sales, which subsequently has proven to get me some speaking engagements. By the way, I have seen several speaking engagements as a result of book sales. That was the whole point. I believe the book will sell my speeches and my speeches will sell my books. In fact, I did one program for a group of social service agencies, and as part of the contract they bought one hundred sixty books, one for each person attending my workshop.

Definitely the low point of 2012 was losing my long-time friend, Jeff Farnam in April. Over the last thirty-seven years, he and I became great friends. In fact, you can read my April first blog post and see what I wrote about our last meeting. We were two old quads who spent a lot of time together and he taught me a lot about photography. He was the person who got me interested in taking pictures and finding a way to express one of my artistic sides.

I miss our lunches and long conversations at BLB (Bryant Lake Bowl) and Lucia's. We would also spend time at his house or in Calhoun Square talking for hours.

I was honored to be one of the people who gave eulogies at Jeff's Memorial Service in June. When he and his good friend, Steve, were planning for the service and deciding who they wanted to give eulogies, they decided if I was going to be one of them they better put a time limit on it! As it was, I gave the last eulogy and went a little bit over my limit! Basically, I read my post from April, with a few extra anecdotes that brought both laughter and tears to the people in attendance. 

With that, I will say it once again, “Happy New Year, and I hope it brings you joy and much happiness.”

For the final time this year, I welcome your comments.

Later,

Mike

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Should Bob Costas Do Now?

A week ago, Bob Costas stirred up a hornets nest in the social media when he quoted and paraphrased an article written by Jason Whitlock of Fox News on the shooting of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. His comments were made at halftime of the Sunday Night Football game he was broadcasting for NBC.

Fast-forward just five days and we have had two school mass suicides. What do you suppose Mr. Costas will have to say on the events of last week? Or should he say anything? When are we as a nation, going to wake up and realize something needs to be done about the proliferation of legal handguns on our streets in our cities and small communities?

Now, Adam Lanza is suspected of killing his mother and then gunning down more than two dozen people, twenty of them children, in a Connecticut grade school before taking his own life. We are being told the weapons were purchased legally by his mother. According to several sources I read today, she bought the weapons for her own protection.

Way back in 1994 I was asked by the University of Minnesota's athletic department to give their staff a presentation on violence. In doing my research I learned some interesting facts from a book entitled Deadly Consequences/How Violence Is Destroying Our Teenage Population and a Plan to Begin Solving the Problem written by Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D. in 1991. Doctor Prothrow-Stith worked in an emergency room in Philadelphia and one other Eastern city. She based her conclusions on her experience in those two emergency rooms.

I would have to go back and look at my notes from those presentations but the one statistic I will never forget is a new handgun is made every twenty-two seconds! Those were 1991 statistics. I have not done any research today to see what those numbers are. I do not imagine they have gone down much; if anything I would guess we're making more. I am not saying if we don't make the guns there will be no shootings because there are already over 300 million guns in America today. That is almost one for every person in the country.

One of the things many people are writing about today is the mental health of Adam Lanza. Part of the problem comes from the fact mental health funding is being cut and often not covered by insurance companies. I believe we should be going in the opposite direction and putting more money into mental health programs.

As I see the issues of gun control being discussed from both sides, and the cutting of funding to mental health programs, I believe we need to step back and recognize as rational people we cannot understand how irrational people think.

I am anxious to see what Bob Costas will say or not say during his broadcast tomorrow.

I welcome your comments.

Later,

Mike

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12

As if you have not already noticed, today is a significant number, 12-12-12. Does that have any significance, or is all of the attention being paid to the number just a waste of time? After all, we had 11–11–11, 10–10–10, 09–09-09 and so on in the last decade, and nothing happened of great significance on those days.

According to the Gregorian or Christian calendar, the next time three numbers will lie like that will not be for almost another century, as they did on 09-09-09, 10-10-10 and 11-11-11, will be on January 1, 3001, or 1-1-1.

I did a little research on what numerologists believe is the significance of numbers like these and received a number of different opinions. Surprise, surprise! Some even talked about the significance of the Mayan Calendar and how the world is supposed to end in nine days. I am among the people who believe it is not going to happen!

Personally, today has not been of very good day for me. Between all of the snow we received the other day, the entire parking lot being shoveled except for my spot, being threatened because of a mix-up in required paperwork I may have to go into a nursing home and not being able to pick up my van which is in the shop, and my medical insurance being suspended until all of the paperwork is found, I cannot pick up prescriptions, get my personal care attendants paid, or even be seen by a doctor.

I just got off the phone with my social worker who has assured me she will do her best to get everything straightened out tomorrow. In the meantime, I am without a ride, no way to get it, will probably miss my acupuncture appointment tomorrow and have a few more things I could whine about but I will spare you the details. 12–12–12 sucks! But, that's just my opinion.

As always, I welcome your comments; and please feel free to share your own 12–12–12 stories if you wish.

Later,

Mike

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is Extending The School Year A Good Thing?

Many studies have shown students lose a good amount of what they learn in the typical nine-month school year over their three-month summer vacation. That three months has been a huge detriment to their retention, and causes a goodly amount of time to get back to where they were before their summer break.

That is one reason why many schools across the county are moving to year-round schooling. If you do not know, in year-round schools, they never have a break of more than six weeks.

I just read an article that originated from the Associated Press telling of a pilot program in five states and forty schools that will extend the school year by six hundred hours. According to the article, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.


You may read the article from USATODAY.com by clicking here. I could not find the original article on the Associated Press's website.


I believe this is a good step towards catching up with much of the rest of the developed world. The United States has continuously been falling backwards in our ranking for many of the education benchmarks which we have historically led the world. This pilot program will only last three years and then evaluated.

I am guessing we are going to see marked increases in these schools' results.

Of course, there are detractors to the idea and believe it is not the way to go because countries like India and China have shorter school years and are getting better results. Is it a question of quantity versus quality? Is it a question of prioritization? I am anxious to see what the results will be with their students with severe disabilities, all their students with special needs for that matter, low-income students and all of the round students that do not fit in the square holes.

Something needs to be done to get all our schools educating as many of our young people to the highest degree we possibly can. I certainly do not have the answers.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Friday, November 23, 2012

LINCOLN

My friend, Mike Ross, said several times as we left the movie yesterday evening, That Steven Spielberg sure knows how to make a movie. After we had a great Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my mom, he and I decided to go see the movie so many people are talking about. 

He was not wrong in his assessment of the movie that will surely be one of the most nominated movies for Academy Awards this year. I would not be surprised to see it take home all the major categories as Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field gave extraordinary performances. I highly recommend it.


One of the things I particularly liked about it was one thing Mike told me as we were driving to the theater. He said Daniel Day Lewis told Steven Spielberg he would be happy to play Abraham Lincoln but he wanted Spielberg to wait a year so he could properly learn all he could about Lincoln right down to his limp so he could accurately portray our sixteenth president! Now THAT IS commitment! If I were put in that position, I wonder how I would have handled it? Would I have had the courage to tell Steven Spielberg to, Wait a year?


Regarding the historical perspective of the movie, President Lincoln was a very hated man by a large number of people, especially in the South where they had formed the Confederate States of America. Obviously, some people hated him, one to the point he assassinated him!

Today, we think of Abraham Lincoln as a very revered, and beloved American President. Many people rank him at or near the top of all our presidents. I find it interesting there are many people today who hate our current president the same way they hated Lincoln while he was in office. I would like to be able to look back in one hundred fifty years and see what historians have written about President Obama and what people feel about him after these next four years.

Our conversation went in many directions, as they always do; but he brought up a fact about the day no one has been talking about. November 22, 1963 mean anything to you?

We found it ironic how we had just watched a movie about a president who was assassinated on the forty-ninth anniversary of the assassination of another president.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I have had this cartoon for several years, and use it in slideshows for openings of conferences when I keynote in a ballroom. I just found it the other day and cannot help but share it with you. It is a classic example of clean humor and creative problem-solving.

Who says, Turkeys are stupid!?

Enjoy your tryptophan nap tomorrow as you try to watch your favorite game or other show through your eyelids!

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Monday, November 12, 2012

Interesting Conversation

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a wide variety of opinions on the importance of education and how important a college degree and/or an advanced degree was to people. Then, my favorite show, 60 Minutes, ran this piece on the very subject we were discussing. They put the topic in a very good perspective for me. If you missed it, check it out. Just click here:


I find it interesting we have millions of highly-skilled jobs available and not enough people who have the skills to fill them. There are programs available to teach people who are trying to learn these new skills, but they are few and far between. Some of the resistance is coming from an older group of people who are resistant to change. We all know how difficult change can be, but we all need to accept it and adjust to the jobs of the twenty-first century. If that happens, I suggest you get at least one mentor to help you along the way.

Remember, even the buggy whip manufacturers needed to change once Henry Ford and his ilk came along and rendered the buggy whips extinct!

If you are losing your job to downsizing, or robotics, are you ready to step into another job? What if you are over fifty, or do not have the savings to support you while you get training to prepare for that new career, or you cannot live on the salary you will make in that new position? Have you thought about any of those possibilities?

I read a survey of employers several years ago that stated when they look at new hires, they said more important than your GPA were three things: Your ability to be an effective communicator, cooperate well and are a creative problem-solver.

Of course, every job is going to have additional necessary skills, but I believe it is a good start.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday Was A Good Day

Tuesday was a good day for me. It actually started on Monday, as I had to run a few errands that got my trip started late. I put my watch on and quickly realized it was only correct twice a day, so that was one stop I needed to make.

My doctor's office called with two prescriptions I needed to start taking right away for yet another infection I had growing in one of my wounds. Since I was already taking two antibiotics for different bacteria growing in my urine and another wound, that brought the total to four antibiotics I will be taking for an extended period of time. It seems there are several different bacteria trying to take over my body and they are tough to kill.

It took several hours and numerous phone calls to get the nurse and the pharmacy hooked up, so by the time we finally got on the road it was 2:00 p.m. The good news is the antibiotics are winning, I am feeling better and my watch is correct all the time!

I had recently bought a new iPod but did not know how to hook it up to the stereo, so it was another trip to the Superstore where I bought it, and a sales representative came out, got it running and we were finally on the road.

I was taking a new attendant who had no idea what the next twenty-four hours were going to be like. Robert has not stopped talking about how much he enjoyed every aspect of the trip. He has not done a transfer on his own yet, so my good friend, Joel Krekelberg, better known as Krek, came by our room and transferred me into bed that night and into my chair in the morning. He saved the trip!

Now, let me get to the point of this post. Terry Morrison hired me to do a two-and-a-half hour workshop for one hundred sixty social service professionals from agencies all over Southwestern Minnesota. They worked at all levels of those agencies from direct service professionals to agency directors. Terry gave me free range to cover the issues I wanted. He just told me it was their seventh annual feel good fall meeting.

So, I had fun with my opening hour, took a nine-minute break and spent the remaining time doing exercises I had put together specifically for this group. Here was page 1: Click on it to make it larger:

There were several things that made the experience fun. Here are just a few:

• having at least one audience member who was at the game when I got hurt
• several people who remembered that time and followed me through articles in the Worthington Daily Globe
• one woman told me she listened to the game on her tractor radio while she was working in the field
• many people told me they could relate to my story
• reading the Evaluations and Comments on my presentation — there were many good ones

As part of the contract, everyone got a signed copy of my book, and several people bought more for gifts after my workshop.

After a long drive home, I was exhausted. Yes, Tuesday was a good day!

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Friday, October 26, 2012

The End Of An Era

Imagine you are Karen Aho and you recently married Tom, the love of your life. You are having a conversation about having a family and he asks you how many children you would like to have? Would you say, "four, five, six, seven, — no, let's have fifteen, and twelve of them will be boys who love to play football"?

She goes on to say, "In fact, let's space them apart so we can go to a high school football game every fall Friday night for about a quarter of a century. Yes, let's do that!

"We'll name the Alpha male 'Steve' and have him so he can start playing in about 1989, and go to 'Seth' the Omega will finish in 2012. Yes, I like that!

"Twenty-four years of high school football games, Homecoming dances, parades, countless highs and many lows, winning seasons, losing seasons, even five of them good enough to go and play college football. That is how I want to spend about half of our married life. Yes, Tom, sign me up!"

Does that sound like something a Hollywood screen writer could come up with? I do not think so! But yet it happened in a small consolidated school in Central Minnesota at Dassel-Cokato High School. Read more about the Aho family and their amazing story by clicking here. That Yahoo! Sports article leads you to a good article from the Dassel•Cokato Herald Journal, which you may reach by clicking here. The family picture appears in both articles. The article shows the years the boys attended DCHS. Since I was there in 1989 and 1999, I wonder if Steve or Joel remember anything I said in my assembly?

It would not surprise me if they did remember something. Just today, I came across a woman who remembered my speech from a presentation at her company sixteen years ago!

It is a story of commitment, family, teamwork, mentoring, communication, love and so many more positive family values. This was a fun story to learn and write about. I first learned about the Aho family watching the news last night.

I laid awake thinking about the family and all the lives the boys experienced, including all the other sports they competed in and thought about just what I was going to write. Turns out, as I read what I have just written was not at all what I was going to write. I wonder how many writers experience that phenomena?

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Feel Bad Today

Let me start this post by saying, "I LOVE BASEBALL! I loved playing the game. I love the strategy, I love watching good baseball, even if it can go rather slowly sometimes. In the matter of one swing, a whole game, series or even an entire season can be changed."

I feel bad because I will not get to watch three more games of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) because the Detroit Tigers swept the New York Yankees in four straight games. I feel bad because two hundred million dollars cannot buy a pennant let alone the World Series. Actually, I don't feel bad about that at all, I rather like it!

If you know me, you know I do not like the Yankees and the way they acquire the best talent by having the deepest pockets in the largest market, and they are expected to win the World Series every year because they put the most talent on the field every year with a team payroll over two hundred million dollars! I believe that takes away from the game.

I am glad to see Detroit sweep the Yankees with a former Minnesota Twin, Delmon Young, play such an integral part and was named the MVP. I did not like to see him go, but I hope he gets his ring now.

I know there are Yankee fans out there who disagree with me, and that is okay. They are by far the most successful sports franchise in all four major sports, MLB, NFL, NBA and the NHL. They have been buying championships since they bought Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars on January 5, 1920.

I like to see the underdog win, and Detroit was definitely the underdog in this ALCS. The Tigers won every aspect of the game and never trailed in the four-game sweep. The vaunted Yankee hitters only batted .188 as a team. That is the worst team batting average in Major League Post-season History! That is extraordinary!

I know their Captain, Derek Jeter, and their best player, went down with a broken ankle in Game 1, but very few of their other players stepped up at all, let alone critical times in any of the three remaining games. To top it all off, the ace of their pitching staff, C.C. Sabathia, was knocked out in the fourth inning. That was not supposed to happen either.

Now, I am going to watch Game 5 of the National League Championship Series and see if San Francisco can come back on the defending Champion Cardinals, or if Detroit will play St. Louis in the World Series. Such a dilemma to have while the Yankees clean out their lockers and head for the golf courses in Florida, or the winter leagues in the Caribbean.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Monday, October 8, 2012

Add Me To The List

We all know someone who has had cancer of some sort. In fact, I believe is it safe for me to write we all know someone who has died from this insidious disease in one form or another. We also know survivors, some even two or more time survivors of cancer.

I am now a member of that second group. As cancers go, I had the kind to get, the easily curable kind. About a month ago, I had a skin cancer tumor removed from my abdomen. It was not very big, but it had been there for years and only in the last few months had it started to grow. My dermatologist, Dr. O.J. Rustad, removed it right in his office while I simply tipped back in my chair. It took about ten minutes.

They tested the tumor and found a basil cell carcinoma. That needed to be removed, so I went back in and he scraped away all of the cancerous cells. His office called a few days later and told me I was cancer-free! It all sounds kind of silly now as I write this because of the ease of which this last health issue has come and gone.

But, I cannot do that. As I say in every speech I give, The problem is not the issue, the issue is how you deal with the problem. It came abundantly clear to me when the visiting nurse took this picture of my cancer site this morning:

Click on the image to enlarge it. I will warn you, it is not pretty:



My nurse said it looks great! I have another word for it.

Supposedly, skin cancer is primarily caused by exposure to the sun. According to the MayoClinic.com site, skin cancer can be caused by excessive exposure to radiation. With the hundreds of X-rays I have had on my abdomen over the last forty-one plus years, that may very well be where mine came from.

I will never know and it really does not matter. I am just glad this episode is over and I am free of any cancer cells. I have been telling people for many years, I have stopped thinking about the future issues, because I know they will keep coming. I just wonder what the next one will be?

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Referees Are Back

When I started this blog, I stated I was not going to get controversial in my posts, but since this is my blog, I guess I can break the rules if I choose to do so. I am about to go on a bit of a rant here, so be prepared.

As many of you know that follow the NFL, the NFL Referee's Union was not on strike, they were locked out by the Owners. From my understanding, there was a huge gap between their stand and the Owners' position. This lockout could have lasted a while. 

Then, Monday Night Football happened!

The replacement referees did not seem to be doing a very good job! Just ask the Vikings' head coach, Leslie Frazier, about the ref's giving San Francisco five timeouts towards the end of Sunday's game. Or, better yet, ask the Packers' head coach, Mike McCarthy, about the way their game ended.

I get a kick out of all the uproar from not only Packer fans in Wisconsin, but people all over the country are outraged at the fact we cannot get these union members to resolve their differences and get those good, union referees back on the job! I mean, come on people, we're talking FOOTBALL here!

Are they the same people that voted for Governor Scott Walker so he could bust the unions in Wisconsin for teachers, firefighters and police officers? I mean, come on people we're only talking about educating our children and taking care of the public safety here!

I do not see the national outrage over the way Walker handled those situations. I grew up in a teacher's union household. That union helped my dad and our family many times.

They went on strike once and things got tight for a short time, but with some give and take, the strike was settled and the teachers went back to teach.

Ultimately, the Owners got big-time pressure to settle their differences with the referees; now, we will be able to whine about the blown calls they make.

Of course, that is just my opinion. Feel free to leave yours.

Later,

Mike


P.S. There, I feel better after I got that off my chest. My next post will be back to what you usually expect from me. Thanks for letting me vent! Now, I am off to acupuncture. After that, I will not be able to put up this post. In fact, I will not be able to do much of anything!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Trip Last Week

I went home twice last week and had many memorable moments. I saw lots of former classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches. I met new friends, had so many great conversations I cannot begin to count them all, relived experiences back to 1963, spoke a couple times and even rode in a parade for the first time since 1966!

We drove to Worthington on Wednesday and had a 5:00 am wake-up call to get to Edgerton where I had two classroom visits and an assembly for middle and high school students from four schools, Edgerton Public Middle and High School, Southwest Christian Middle and High School and several adults from the tiny town where I went to third, fourth and fifth grades. Included in the audience were my second cousin, Darlene Bailey and her husband, Bob, and Annabelle, Ernie and Trudy Schellhaas. Annabelle was the other den mother with my mom for the three years I was a Cub Scout.

I had to drive by our old house to see how much the trees had grown my dad planted. I was pleased to see the service door and handle were the original items from when our garage was built almost fifty years ago! They were proudly made in America. I spent about an hour with a former neighbor, Rick Vanderstoep, at his furniture store, which he co-owns with his brother, Curt, who played basketball, baseball and football for my dad. I drove around town and thoroughly enjoyed seeing houses, stores and points of interest I remembered as a young boy.

It was almost two hours after the school day had ended before I finally left Edgerton. I took a different route back to Worthington and found another quaint little town, Kenneth, population 67. There was a cute little antique store with a ramp. It is called The Backyard Antiques and More. I cannot pass an accessible antique store and not stop!

I found out from the owner the building was the former post office so it was newly remodeled, complete with a nice ramp and full of things I could not live without! Did I buy anything, you ask. Of course, I did, Silly. So did my attendant, Kelly. She had never seen anything like Kenneth and The Backyard Antiques and More. An hour later, we were back on the road to Worthington. It took us four hours to get forty-five miles from Edgerton back to our hotel in Worthington! I was in no hurry and this post will probably be the basis for a chapter in my next book!

Friday was a marketing day, so I spent it at a pep fest at the high school, sold a couple books to the media center, and made a couple other stops before going to Center Sports to make sure we were set for my book signing the next day. Then, the fun started! 

I stopped at The Cow's Outside which is a little leather goods store located in a cool, old 1901 bank building to see Bill and Lori Keitel who had played a key role in getting my book signing arranged in Worthington. Bill had already left the store to go home and prepare for friends coming over for dinner.

Since their house was only two blocks away, I drove down there to thank him, leave and get a quick meal before going to the high school football game. It did not happen like that! Bill was in the house working, saw me arrive, so we went into this well-sculpted back yard that was obviously built and maintained by two artists!

They were preparing for their good friends, Jim and Judy Brandenburg to come by. Yes, THAT Jim Brandenburg! I was privileged enough to spend the next two hours swapping stories with one of the greatest nature photographers of all time! He had great stories about his trips all over the world.

Brian Korthals was also there and he is a successful photographer in his own right. Jim is also one of his mentors. He is the third person in this picture:

Brian now has Jim's old job at the Worthington Daily Globe and has a history of taking my picture at Turkey Day. He also shot me the next day while I gave my speech. Jim insisted I hold my book, which has one of his photos in the background, and Tom Wallace, who is now a very successful photographer for the Minneapolis StarTribune, who was mentored by Jim Brandenburg, took the color photo. 
 
Click on the image to make it larger:

Those two hours were the highlight of many highlights on my trip to two of my past lives. Turkey Day was a whole other story!

Saturday started out with a quick speech at Mayor Alan Oberloh's Turkey Day brunch, then Kelly and I rushed to set-up for my book signing at Center Sports from 10:00 am to noon. We grabbed a quick bite and it was time to get me on to the stage with a front-end loader. That was a first! 

I rode in the parade tied down by the red straps you can see in this photo by Doug Jenkins:


Again, click on this image to make it larger:

After the parade, they set-up a booth for me to sell books and take orders since my publisher did not get my book order to Worthington until Monday. That was frustrating!

I spent several hours there, then moved out to the Nobles County Fairgrounds and got more orders there. I had very few times during the afternoon and evening that I went more than five minutes when someone came up and introduced themselves. 

I recognized many of the people, which surprised some folks who thought I would not remember them. I was having a great time! It was the fortieth reunion for the Class of 1972, so there were many friends I got to spend time with people like Lynn, Alan, Pete and Peg, Dale and June, Denny and Margaret, to name just a few. 

By 9:00 pm I was exhausted and it was off to the hotel. I had a great time and I would like to thank everyone who helped make my trip a success.

As always, I welcome your comments.

Later,

Mike

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What do these people have in common?

Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Walter Mondale, Sargent Shriver, Nelson Rockefeller, Babe Winkelman, Andre Kirkwood and Liz Collin all share something in common. Do you know what it is? 

If you grew up or live in or near Worthington, Minnesota, you might know they are some of the people who gave the keynote speech at Worthington's annual King Turkey Day celebration. 

This Saturday, I get to add my name to the list! I will let you know how it goes in a post next week. And to think some people believe you cannot go home. I am going to do it twice in three days. Besides going to Worthington, I will be going home to Edgerton, Minnesota tomorrow.

Here is the link to the Worthington Daily Globe's article from today's paper: Just click here.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Am One Today!

If you are a new reader to this blog, you may not know my feelings about the two lives I believe I have lived, and the third one I started one year ago tonight. So, today I am officially one! I am attaching a photo of my first birthday in my first life. You can see I was already using my left hand!

Click on the image to make it larger:

September third is always a rough day for me. I have a hard time believing it was forty-one years ago tonight when I broke my neck and started life number two. I do not know where the time has gone.

Is time flying by for you as fast as it seems to fly by for me? I remember when I was a child and time could not move fast enough. I could not wait to grow up. As a young child, I was a gym rat. I was in the gym whenever my dad was coaching basketball.

We always had a basketball goal in our driveway which got used a lot by a young boy with big dreams. Worthington was the eighth town and sixteenth different location by the time we moved there in February 1969, before I was fourteen! I wanted to be on the big stage and play on the Varsity football and basketball teams in the worst way.

Then, when I finally got my big chance, it was all over in about three minutes. Little did I know what those final three minutes were ending and beginning in an instant in time.

Last year I wrote about finishing my ebook and trying to come up with a name. A year later, I came up with a new name; I Still Believe In Tomorrow is now available online through my website and also now published as a paperback. It may be ordered through all the major booksellers or by sending me an email at mike@patcom.com.

The book is starting to sell. I have two book signings lined up in the next two weeks, and two more in the planning stages. Several colleges are considering using it in their classes and I am trying to get a deal with a book distributor.

Most of the September third's that go by are pretty tough to get through. Today, and especially this evening because by now, I would have been in the ambulance on my way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the emergency room at Sioux Valley Hospital. That was the night my second life began.

I am finding some of what I have written is in the book, so I will stop here and invite you to buy the book. I am getting great reviews from readers on both the ebook and paperback formats. If you get it and like it, please feel free to let me know with your review.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

P.S. You may read my post from last September third by clicking here. It has some good comments too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Have Started Another School Year

I got my 2012-2013 school year off to a wonderful start yesterday with a standing ovation after my staff development workshop for a great school district in Antigo, Wisconsin; so I guess they liked my presentation!

If you do not know where Antigo is, it is a nice little community of about 8,000 people in central Wisconsin located about a half hour north and east of Wausau. Everyone knows where Wausau is, right?

Geographically, they are a pretty large district where middle and high school students could live in homes as far as fifty miles apart! So, busing is a major issue for a district with about twenty-three hundred K-12 students. I spoke with their entire staff of about four hundred people. And there was only one Green Bay Packer uniform in the bunch!

I had fun teasing teachers about things like the physical education teachers not having a real job because all they do is play to getting a kindergarten teacher to stop giggling. I communicated several times before my visit with their Human Resources Director, Sarah Zelazoski about their specific objectives for my workshop and put together a fouteen-page handout together to meet those objectives. She told me afterwards my presentation was just what they needed. In fact, she said one teacher told her it was exactly what he needed to get him excited about the upcoming year!

Sarah also told me several teachers were already commenting on arranging to have me come back and spend a day with their secondary students! I love hearing stories like that.

My attendant, Kelly, and I got to eat a great lunch at Dixie's, a cool, little cafe which are my favorite eating places when I visit small towns. While we were there, a woman I met back in the middle nineties at the Wisconsin Teen Leadership Program (WTLP) came down for a quick visit before she went to pick up her seven-year-old son to bring him to my afternoon session for their athletes, coaches and several members of the community.

Please do not get me wrong, I loved my day with the staff in the morning, and teasing several football players in my afternoon session. We did a lot of laughing and hope they learned some things. I was in my element and feeding off the energy of my audience, like I always do; but the highlight of my trip was seeing my friend and getting to catch up a bit, Mary Meister, and meeting her son, Jacob! He was all excited because immediately after my presentation they were headed for his very first Packer game! Mary said he told her he would start to read his new, autographed book to his uncles and mom on their way to the game. That was cool!

Let me tell you why Mary made my day. The year after she attended WTLP as a participant, she came back as a counselor and did so for several years. At the same time, another Antigo student, Tara Wagner, was also attending our leadership program. We had great conversations at each camp and became great friends with these two wonderful young leaders.

We became such good friends, they both invited me to their weddings! An interesting note on that is, I was the only adult from those programs they invited. We formed a connection.

I love making or having longtime friends, not seeing them for a while and then when given the opportunity, reconnecting and picking up where we left off. That happened with Mary yesterday. We could have talked all afternoon.

After a two hundred forty mile drive home, I had a confirmation email for another school in Edgerton, Minnesota, where we lived from 1963 to 1966. I am going to visit the school, and the local paper is writing about my Edgerton history, memories and specifics about our time there. It will be published September fifth and have been given permission to put it in the Articles page on my website. I have read a draft and it promises to be a good article.

Yesterday was a Red Letter Day!

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Can we learn anything from Wile E. Coyote?



Okay, please get past the foul language and imagine you are in Wile's shoes. His comment about working for twenty years is actually a lot longer dating back to 1949. According to several sources, the first of only forty-nine episodes titled Fast and Furry-ous for Warner Brothers went on the air. Yes, it was Mel Blanc's voice that did the Beep, Beep! of the Roadrunner.

What do you do when the company you have worked for goes bankrupt and you lose your 401K, your pension is gone, the paycheck you were depending on to pay the mortgage stops, your skill set is limited and you find yourself unqualified for a position you need to live on?

How do we handle adversity? What would you do if you had a new-found disability that prohibited you from performing your current occupation? Have you ever thought about it? Like Wile, trying to learn a new skill set may be very frustrating. But, did he handle his waiter's job very well? I think not. His problem solving skills were being tested.

Do you have additional skills to transfer into a new career once your job is robotized or eliminated? I do not have many skills left if I were not able to speak. I could do data entry, but I would have a hard time punching a clock eight hours a day. Physically, I simply do not have the stamina. I certainly could not do it very quickly. My typing skills are limited. 

My career is perfect for me. I cannot imagine doing anything else! If you know me, you know I like to talk and I like to meet new people. I also like to listen. I love to hear peoples' stories. You would not believe some of the things people tell me. Sometimes, it is after only hearing me for an hour or two. I guess I have a way of getting people to trust me when I speak.

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself in Wile's position? By the way, if Wile and his buddy ate the Roadrunner it would have been so tough from all that running, it would have been like eating shoe leather.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Friday, August 10, 2012

Attitude

We have all heard the phrase Attitude is everything. I believe that statement and try to have a good attitude every day. Unfortunately, there are days when we get tested and we wonder how our attitude is going to get us through that particular situation. At least, I do.

It happened to me again the other day. I had received orders for several books, gotten an email from a new school who was inquiring about me coming to spend a day and had a good day started. Then, my attitude got tested. 

My personal care attendant did not show up because we had a miscommunication about scheduling, my chair developed an intermittent electrical short, my computer crashed, my power door would not lock, so I did not want to leave my apartment. Plus, I was starting to get hungry. It seemed like I was getting attacked from all directions! My attitude was starting to get tested.

Well, four hours later my technical support representative in India, finally got my computer running; although my website is back, it does not have the current version showing. My attendant showed up and fixed me dinner. My power door magically started working again, and once again Mike's World was functioning at a workable pace!

The quote, Don't sweat the small stuff, was in full force. As you may know, there is a second part to that quote that reads, it's all small stuff! I had to remember that quote the other day.

I love a quote by the late George Carlin, on his perspective of optimism and pessimism. He was a realist. This is a paraphrase, but the gist of his quote was: The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. I'm a realist. The glass is twice as big as it needs to be!

I put myself in that realist group. The example I often use in speeches is no matter how optimistic I can be about walking again someday, I am realistic enough to know it will not happen tomorrow.

Then, I spotted this diagram and it blew the whole analogy out of the water. (Please pardon the pun.) It shows the glass as always being full! Now, what am I going to do?


As always, I welcome your comments.

Later,

Mike

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

People Always Amaze Me!

The last two days have been extraordinary in so many ways. I think they will be the basis for Volume II of my book I Still Believe in Tomorrow. This post will eventually be turned into a chapter. Let me give you a summary of yesterday but I really want to focus on this afternoon.

I had an acupuncture treatment at 1:45pm, arrived early with a backpack full of books. I started talking to the two women at the front desk who have to put up with my constant teasing. I asked Cindy to open my backpack and grab a book. Then, Mary wanted to see one. I told them to open the Acknowledgement page and read it. They recognized several names and we talked about them. I had them go to the passage on my acupuncturist, Bob Decker, and my experience with Eastern and Alternative Medicine.

Then, Bobbee came out and he wanted one. Bob came to get me for my treatment. He looked at the passages, and guess what? Yup, he wanted one! The manager was not there, but I am hoping she will sell them in the Institute's bookstore. I was going to give them the books to plant some seeds, but they all insisted on purchasing the books. After my treatment, I was a puddle again.

Off to Doogie's office to give him a book, because he wants to buy a large quantity to give to his patients. Before that, I showed it to his receptionists, Tammy and Kathy. They enjoyed the Acknowledgements and the passage when I called Doctor Jason Reed, "Doogie" in front of some mortified staff.

Next, it was off to the lab for a blood draw. Guess what? The lab tech bought one. By the time my day was done, I had sold seventeen books! I thought that was a good first day for selling by myself. Plus, who knows how many patients Doogie has?

That was yesterday. I have not even gotten to today! Like Mister Scrooge, I counted my mound of money and my attendant, Kelly, helped me fill out my Deposit Slip, and it was off to the bank to deposit my fortune. I asked my banker, Dave, if he would help sell the book by putting a copy on the teller's counter and offering it to customers. Well, he bought a book.

Now, I am off to Magers & Quinn Booksellers to talk to their Acquisitions person. Aaron was not in, but I started talking to Steve. He mentioned he graduated from Berkeley. You can imagine where that conversation went! Before I know it, he wants to know if I would do a reading at the store some evening!

Are you kidding me? Of course, I replied, "Let me think about it, and I will get back to you." I did not say that. I said, "Sure, that would be GREAT!" I left the store feeling pretty good.

I went a few feet, hit a bump in the sidewalk, and just like that, my chair died, nothing! I am stuck, I cannot move. I could recline, but that was it. I must have had that look on my face that said, "I need help!"

That was when Jill stopped and I asked her if she would help me. I had her check the cable to the joystick and it was plugged in. I asked her if she had a smartphone and she told me she had just bought one two weeks ago when she and her fiancee moved here from Boston. She found my wheelchair repair shop, we called the shop and Kris came out to fix my chair.

She stayed with me for over an hour, bought me a bottle of water, and left only when Kris showed up. We had a wonderful conversation, I made a new friend, and guess what? They each bought a book!

I could go on, but I think this is the longest I have ever posted! Thank you for reading to this point.

I will tell you more in Volume II.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Book is here! The Book is here!


Okay, I know I told you I would only post about once a week, but I am busting at the seams to share my good news. 

I received my first paperback copies of I Still Believe in Tomorrow today and they are ready to ship! If you want your own book you can hold in your hand, you can order it from all the major booksellers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., but please order them from me because I get a bigger royalty.

For example: I only get about $3.00 if you order from Amazon! Let's just say, I get a little more if you order from me. Eventually, I'm going to set-up a unique website for the book complete with a page for comments, it's own blog and the ability to pay with PayPal and credit cards. Until that happens, please send your checks to:

Patrick Communications, Inc.
619 Lafayette Road North, #304
St. Paul, MN 55130-4444

The price is $14.95 per book plus $5.00 for shipping for up to ten books. I'll give you a quote on shipping if you want more. I'll send your books once your check clears.

I'm going to be moving in mid-August, and my new address will be:

Patrick Communications, Inc.
10100 Lyndale Avenue South, #104
Bloomington, MN 55420

Please contact me with any questions and/or concerns. By all means, please share this post and help me spread the word! FYI: I quote several of you and your comments to my previous blog posts.

A very heartfelt thank you in advance to everyone who buys "I Still Believe in Tomorrow."

Remember, it makes a great gift!

Later,

Mike

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penn State Is Toast

Most of us have heard of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State and the coverup that took place by the coaches and administrators who knew about it and did nothing. If you have not heard of it, let me give you a brief summary. 

As far back as 1998, an assistant football coach was sexually abusing young boys when he was entrusted to take care of them while they attended a football camp on the Penn State campus. One of the other coaches walked in on him abusing a boy in the shower and went to tell the head coach without stopping the coach right there.

Supposedly, that was the first incident. There is a long and sordid story I will not go into, but suffice to say, there was an extended period of abuse that lasted for many years and was not reported to the police. 

Most reports on the networks and the Internet talk about the victims as being the Penn State students, the people in the community, the future Penn State football players, the athletes and fans. The broadcasters and writers talk and write about all the victims except the actual boys who were raped. They seem to be forgotten. I find it amazing!

Again, if you are not following the story, one of the sanctions is a sixty million dollar fine levied by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the governing body of college athletics. That dollar amount equals the amount of money the football team brings to the University in one year!

The main outrage comes from the fact the one hundred twelve victories Penn State has won since 1998! That is what everyone in Collegeville is upset about. Unbelievable!

If you want to learn more about this story, just Google "Penn State sanctions" like I did. You can read and watch more videos to learn more than you probably want to know. The bottom line is: it is a sad chapter in American sports lore, and leaves an ugly mark for trusting adult coaches and mentors that it throws onto all the good men who parents used to trust.

I believe this story is far from over and Penn State deserves everything it gets!

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Like Simon's Attitude

I received my inspiration for this post from a young friend who has a disability. He wrote me a note and shared a story about twenty-year-old Simon Wakelin, of Rhydargaeau, a small village near Carmarthen, West Wales. I am sure you all know where that is located!

At age eight, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disease that has forced him to use a wheelchair ever since. He loved driving the tractors at his grandpa's farm before his diagnosis and liked taking care of his family's lawn. With the help of a friend, he has designed a lawn mowing wheelchair and has become the youngest lawn mowing businessman in his village.

I love hearing and learning about people's life stories. I tell mine for a living and have people telling and writing me about themselves all the time. It is wonderful! Young Simon's is yet another such story. For a young man with such an extremely involved disability to take on a physically-challenging career and make it work, is extraordinary.

Here is a photo from the article:

Click on the image to make it larger:


You may read the entire article by clicking here.

My favorite quote of Simon's is: Having a disability does not have to stop you from doing the things you want to. I love that coming from such a young man! Now, that motivates me!

Read it and see what you think of this young entrepreneur the next time you go out to mow your lawn. There are also several dozen Comments you may enjoy.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Break

Much of the country is suffering through record-setting heat, we are getting flooding in places that rarely flood, other parts are literally burning to the ground! It is proving to be a very unique summer.

Many students are home from school for the summer, adults are working in unbearable conditions outside and those working indoors are frustrated because the power grid cannot handle all the air conditioning needs, so they have to work in hot environments.

Come with me, take a break and do a little lesson to take your mind off your summer woes for a few minutes. You students can put your computer game down briefly or stay out of the pool for a bit and exercise your brain.

I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and know once you learn something, you cannot unlearn it. Once you see the problem, you cannot look at it and not see it! It will never look the same again.

Studies show students take a good deal of what they learn in school and lose it over their summer break. Knowing that, my challenge to you is to read this exercise: take the rest of your summer break and learn at least one new thing each day. That is one of my goals. I want to learn at least one new thing each and every day. I talk about it my new ebook I Still Believe in Tomorrow.

I issue this challenge to my adult readers: study this exercise, see if you get it; then share it with your co-workers, spouses, roommates and/or children. Then, share it again with someone else.

Here is the problem:

Click on the image to make it larger:


Good luck! I have to admit, I did not get it.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Star Spangled Banner

Today we celebrate our Nation's two hundred thirty-sixth Birthday! Happy Birthday, America! Or, is today really our birthday? In doing some research for this post I found some interesting information on our origin, the flag, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the date John Adams wanted us to celebrate our anniversary (July second), the Band of Five and the reason for this post. The Smithsonian's website has a fascinating read to learn about our flag. You can read it by clicking here.

I find it interesting he was a slave owner and huge proponent of slavery. According to several historical sites, he spent his whole life fighting for the right to own slaves.

I do not know how hot and humid it is where you are, but we set a record of one hundred one degrees here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. With stifling dew points, and hot temperatures, events have been canceled and/or scaled back.

Tonight, there will be fireworks displays all over the country and we will once again, come together as one nation, at least for one night. Personally, I cannot tolerate the high heat and dew point over sixty degrees, so I have just stayed in the air conditioning, watched a little television, did some research and plan to watch the Twins try to beat Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers tonight.

Which brings me to the point of this post. When Francis Scott Key watched the British bomb and burn the city of Washington on the night and early morning of September 13-14, 1814, he penned the poem's four stanzas. It was not until March 3, 1931 it became our national anthem by a congressional resolution and was signed by President Herbert Hoover.


Here is Key's poem he originally wrote on the back of a letter he had in his coat pocket:


O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?



On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
’
Tis the Star-Spangled Banner. Oh! Long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land

Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto—“In God is our trust.”

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

As you know, it is the first stanza we all know as our National Anthem. My question to you is this: Did we pick the correct stanza to celebrate? What do you think?

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Monday, June 25, 2012

Doug Landis Is An Artist

Once again, my inspiration for my post came from a friend. I learned of an extraordinarily talented artist who found his passion by breaking his neck! This is a wonderful story of how a sibling challenge has helped a young man with a hidden talent, find it and make a career out of his new-found passion. Hmm, does that sound familiar?

Here is Doug Landis plying his trade:


It is the photo on his home page. You can see more of his art, purchase it and read his story by going to his website if you click here:

He broke his neck wrestling while in high school. My injury came in a football game. I know  many guys who broke their necks in that fifteen to twenty-four year age bracket. I tell all my audiences to measure their necks by putting their index fingers and thumbs around their necks. I ask them to touch their fingers, note where they touch, then, bring their hands around in front of them and look at how big their necks are. I tell the adults to look at a picture of their necks when they were teenagers, and I tell the younger students to look at pictures of their parents when they were teenagers. I get some interesting reactions from all age groups!

Eighty percent of all spinal cord injuries happen to young males between fifteen and twenty-four because the neck musculature is the last muscle mass of the body to develop.

When I got hurt, I had maybe a thirteen or fourteen inch neck. Now, it is about twenty inches all the way around. Part of that large neck comes from aging, but some of it comes from a disease I call secondhelpingitis!

You can see Doug has a large neck. I am guessing it is off the strength charts because as he states in the video on his site, he uses his neck to move the pencil. He only uses his teeth to hold the pencil.

His is a fascinating story. Of course, I believe everyone has a fascinating story. You ought to hear some of the stories I get after a speech, or at the end of a school day! I am often the last one to leave.

I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Monday, June 18, 2012

"It's cool to be smart."

"It's cool to be smart." was a quote from young Francois Rice, a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County or UMBC.

It is one of many great quotes from a segment of my favorite television show, 60 Minutes, that aired last night. It was a rerun from last November. I missed it then, so it was new to me. If you have you not seen it, you will love it. At least, that is my opinion.

I believe it is a wonderful story about attitude, learning, passion, mentoring, the self-fulfilling prophecy and many more lessons we can learn about ourselves, especially in accomplishing goals.

I will not go on about it; you can view it by clicking on this website:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7411990n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox

What did you think?

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Discrimination Takes A Blow

I know it has been almost two weeks since I last posted, but I have my reasons. I will not go into them here, but it has been an extraordinary period.

I want to tell you about a couple who both have cerebral palsy and live in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, and have been given permission to keep their newborn son, William, to raise on their own.

I first learned of their situation shortly after William was born through a friend I met at one of the Virginia Youth Leadership Forums I spoke at a few years ago. It is great fun for me to keep in touch with these young people as they finish high school, go off to college and share their stories as several of them keep me informed of their lives and accomplishments.

Anyway, back to Charlie and Maricyl's story. They were initially told their baby would be taken from them because of their disabilities. At a family conference they showed they were capable, with an extended support system, to raise their child on their own. It truly is a wonderful story of the system working. You can read the Toronto Star's story by clicking here:

The article was written in early May. I wonder how they are doing? 

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Later,

Mike

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Is Coaching Changing?

I grew up as a CK. If you were a CK, you know what that stands for. For those of you who did not grow up in a family with a father and/or mother who was or is a coach, CK is a Coach's Kid.

I loved it! It afforded me many opportunities none of the other students had. It started before I was even old enough to go to school. My dad played for a living and I got to go along for the ride. I talk about it quite bit in my ebook I Still Believe in Tomorrow.

I grew up with a ball in my hands. Literally, My first basketball came along before I did! Here is a shot of my dad and me at six months old:


I love the wallpaper and my bib overalls!

It was not long after I started walking before I was learning how to dribble!

I want to share one more picture of my first coach and mentor before I get to the point of this post. My dad started coaching me in organized sports in summer league baseball when we lived in Edgerton, Minnesota and I was eight or nine years old. This shot was taken in our backyard in Sibley, Iowa the summer of 1968 and I was thirteen:




In Iowa, they played their school baseball in the summer because there were always rain outs and cold weather in the spring, so they could rarely get a full schedule of games played. The benefit for us athletes was, we could participate in four sports. It was GREAT!



Now, the Minneapolis StarTribune claims: Coaches no longer make decisions in a vacuum. Some parents second-guess every move, and some coaches resent it. ... You can read the Updated: May 24, 2012 online article by clicking here.

I can relate to this story because my dad's contract was not renewed twice because he did not do a few of the points on the following list. So, the movers came, hooked up to the trailer and it was off to the next town. One of them was his home town in 1960! With all due respect to the author of the referenced article in the StarTribune, Jason Gonzalez, this phenomena is not new.

It is my experience parents have always had a problem with coaches for a number of reasons like:

1. Their son or daughter's team did not win enough
2. Their son or daughter did not get to play enough
3. Their son or daughter got cut from the team
4. The coach was too disciplined
5. The coach was not disciplined enough
6. The coach was too loud
7. The coach was not loud enough
8. The coach picked on their son or daughter
9. The coach had favorite players and treated them differently
10. The coach did not win the big game.

The article refers mostly to high school coaches, and a recent rash of resignations and firings because coaches have had it with their decisions both on and off the field. There are a number of reasons given in the article, but their main reason was the coaches were bullies.


Many of us have heard of the recent rash of scandals in the college coaching ranks. I find them disgusting! We have heard the old adage There is a bad apple in every barrel. It happens in every profession, and coaching is no different. However, there are the vast majority of both men and women coaches out there, at all levels of competition, who are good, honest, decent people who are doing a great job coaching! There are also good men and women who spent their entire careers teaching young men and women to be good people, not just good athletes! I like reading about people like John Wooden, and recently retired, Pat Summit.

Those are just two examples of great coaches. I had several I could list as well. Do you have any good coaching stories you would like to share?

I look forward to hearing about them.

Later,

Mike