Life Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports

Youth sports coaches come from a variety of different sports backgrounds, with various levels of knowledge within their game of choice. When signing up for the role, all coaches are aware of the effect they may have on each individual child athlete’s development. From physical skill, to work ethic, to sportsmanship, many of these attributes fall into the hands of the coach. But what about the effect that coaching has on the adult coach themselves? The benefits of coaching youth sports go beyond getting involved within your community and enjoying consistent exercise. The benefits I received from coaching have forever changed my life, and how I live each day.

Here are five life lessons that I learned from being a youth sports coach:

Keep Life In Perspective

Coaching allows you the opportunity to work with children from a variety of different upbringings and backgrounds. Some of the players come from very low-income families, while others may live lavishly. Because of this, I am always grateful for all that I have and remind myself how fortunate I am every day. However, when the players run out to the field, all differences are thrown aside and they are there to play the game. It is important to remember that is just a game. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. What does matter is that you enjoy playing the sport and that you find a value in current experiences balanced with the value of future opportunities– even when that includes a loss. In life off the field, I’ve learned that you must maintain the same perspective of value from experience as well as keeping balance so you don’t get consumed by one thing.

The Value Of A Good Hustle And Hard Work

You know the saying, “Good things come to those who hustle,” I would like to revise it to say, “Good things come to those who hustle and work hard.” The two go together. If you hustle that means you are going 100% all the way through. Combine that with the attributes of hard work such as, time, discipline, and commitment and you will see achieve your goals or even surpass them. Take baseball for example, when at bat, you don’t want to just reach first base, you want to run with everything you’ve got and go through the base. Whether your goals are sports-related, personal, or professional, the same idea applies. I’ve also found that when faced with an obstacle, you must exhibit the same hard work and 100% effort, to push through the challenge and persevere in order continue moving forward.

Be Ready For Anything At Anytime

As a coach, you must be ready and able to quickly adapt to always changing situations. Say a player gets injured during the game or the opposing team is continuously beating your defensive scheme. Using quick, flexible thinking, you need to present a new idea or solution. Outside the sports arena, you will be presented with new opportunities at any time, in relation to work, personal, community-driven, or even faith-related possibilities. When one door opens you don’t want to be skipped over because you are not prepared. If you are open minded and ready to step up when called upon, then you will feel confident to jump at any chance that you are presented with.

Play with Character And Integrity

Being a good teammate means that you respect and support your fellow teammates, opponents, and coaches. A coach’s responsibility in promoting respect amongst players helps build each player’s overall character and helps them recognize to play with integrity. To do this, a coach must first and foremost be the example—exhibit sportsmanship, keep your emotions in check and display humility. Sportsmanship, composure and being humble all lay the foundation of a player’s character. Integrity goes beyond playing fairly regarding rules, it also includes playing honestly towards teammates. This is done by putting forth 100% in your play, support, and morale, not only for yourself but also for your fellow players. Playing with character and integrity spills over into your dynamic in relationships in general. You create relationships based on attractive qualities in someone’s character and maintain them with integrity between both people.

The Process And People Matter The Most

When you look back at your own experience in childhood sports, you most likely don’t remember the number of wins and losses you had, but you do remember the journey and the people that contributed along the way. As a coach, it’s your job to teach the fundamentals of the sport so that players understand fully how to play. You teach them how to overcome obstacles, how to dribble a ball, how to communicate, and how to hit a home run to achieve a common goal. It is important to recognize the moving pieces and people in other aspects of life; the lessons learned along the way and how they have contributed to where you are today. The act of serving others and its importance can be learned from this experience. Try to be a part of other’s processes and journeys and make a positive difference in who they are as a person.

Learning from life experiences is one of the best tools of education available to us. By coaching youth sports in the community, you are invested in making a difference in the lives of your young athletes. Little did I know, as a coach, that I would, in turn, see a difference in my life and learn so many positive life lessons.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearLife Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports
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Why Volunteering in Your Community Should Be a Family Affair

When it comes to volunteering in your community as a family, there’s nothing better than doing good together. It allows your family to actively participate in experiences that directly impact other people in your community. There are many opportunities for learning, connection and personal growth when you volunteer — especially when you get your kids involved. While it might seem like a big task to get your family to come together for volunteer time, here’s why you should make the extra effort.

Service Strengthens Your Community

Volunteering truly does make a big difference. And when you volunteer within your immediate community, you help to build it up and strengthen it. Joining a community clean-up helps beautify your surrounding neighborhood and reduce crime, building up those who live there. This is just one example of volunteerism that you can easily do with the entire family regardless of age. In addition, it creates engagement between your family and those in your community. This often result in building direct, personal relationships with those you are helping.

It Teaches Your Kids Important Values

For us, instilling a shared responsibility and ownership for improving your community and those around you are important values to teach our children. It is powerful to for your children to know they can truly make a difference and improve the wellbeing of those in their community. Oftentimes after we are done with our volunteer work, we take time as a family to discuss what we have learned from our experience and what we enjoyed most. Make it a point to discuss this with your children after your acts of service — their answers and reflections on their experiences might surprise you in a great way.

You Get To Spend Time Together

An added bonus of volunteering is that you get to spend important, quality time with your entire family. What can be better than sharing time with those you love while doing important and valuable work? Working with one another for a common cause strengthens your family bond. It can help put a lot of what you view as stressors in life into perspective and teach your children to value what they have in life. Volunteering puts you and your family in a new setting, with an inspiring goal to help others that can lead to very positive experiences and memories.

While the topic of service and volunteering isn’t something that comes to mind when thinking about family activities, there’s no denying the positive impact it can have. It helps bring your family closer together, teaches valuable lessons and instills important values in your children. There’s nothing better than making a difference while spending quality time with the entire family. And aside from the important aspects of volunteering — it is fun!

Jim and Bobbie PuryearWhy Volunteering in Your Community Should Be a Family Affair
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3 Reasons to Adopt a Community Mentality

You can go far in life with self-motivation, drive, and the determination to create a successful life for yourself. However, you can go even farther if you have a community of people supporting you and encouraging you along the way because the strongest, boldest, and most successful you can be is always when the people you surround your life with are strong, bold, and successful too. It’s so important to go through life with a team-oriented mindset, so you have people you can trust and rely on when things get tough. Here are 3 reasons you should adopt a community mentality.

A community mentality increases a sense of membership in your life

If you make an effort to create a sense of community in every area of your life, you will also create a sense of belonging. As humans, we naturally crave acceptance in a group and security in our relationships. Establishing a community built on trust and respect establishes a sense of membership and feeling of belonging in your life.

A community mentality creates a source of influence

Further, establishing a sense of community within your relationships also makes it easier to cultivate an environment for a source of influence to flow. Being around like-minded and motivated people creates an environment for positive ideas to bounce off each other. Further, the community gives each member a sense of mattering just as its members give the community a mission and an importance. And this sense of importance is only possible because of the influence members have on each other and on the community as a whole.

A community mentality fulfills human needs

A community of people is often initially brought together because of their shared interests, values, and goals. In doing so, communities also relate over their shared experiences and the memories they have together. These experiences and shared memories form a lasting bond and emotional connection between the members of the community. And this kind of emotional connection is exactly what brings a community’s members together during a tragedy and forms an unbreakable bond for a lifetime.

So while you might create a successful life for yourself with your own self-motivation and drive, your life won’t reach the same level of fulfillment unless it’s rich with personal connection and values a community mentality.

Jim and Bobbie Puryear3 Reasons to Adopt a Community Mentality
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3 Ways Incorporate Your Faith Into Your Morning Routine

The best way to set the tone for the entire day is to take time before your day even starts to get your mind in the right place. This is why so many people meditate in the mornings, or go for a run, or just sip coffee in peace. But what should you do if you want to reset your mind to make sure you go through your day with a faithful outlook? Here are 3 ways to incorporate your faith into your morning routine.

Pick a message that reminds you to live a faithful life, and read it every morning

This message could be a scripture passage, an uplifting quote, or just a simple reminder to be a man or woman of faith in anything you do. Just pick a message that speaks to you. Consider taping a piece of paper with your message to your bathroom mirror, so that you read it when you brush your teeth. This is a simple, yet impactful way to set the tone for the day ahead.

Set a daily intention that encourages you to live a more faith-filled life

Before you open your email or start thinking of the day’s activities, begin each day consciously thinking about one thing you can do that will help you live a more faith-filled life. This can be something as small as just smiling at a stranger or as big as devoting an hour of your day to serving others. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a selfless act that will grow your faith.

Make breakfast a time for faith

Mornings can be hectic if you’re always rushing out the door. If you make the time to sit down and eat your breakfast with a clear mind and faithful mentality, you’ll be well on your way to living out your faith more effectively. Breakfast is the perfect time to focus on your faith because just as your food nourishes your body, you can concentrate on how your faith can nourish your spirit.

If you take the time to get your mind in the right place in the morning, not only will you set yourself up to be in a better mood throughout the day, but you will also be well on your way to living a more faithful life each day.

Jim and Bobbie Puryear3 Ways Incorporate Your Faith Into Your Morning Routine
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How to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time

The most common misconception people have when it comes to giving back to others is that there is never enough time in a day to get everything checked off your to-do list, take care of yourself and your family, and still have enough time to give back to the community. The truth is, however, that giving back to the community doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity. While offering your time to serving others is no doubt one of the most effective ways to help those in need, it is not the only way. Read on to find out just how you can give back to your community when your life gets too busy and you just can’t find the time.

Smile

They say, “a smile speaks a thousand words,” and they aren’t wrong.  A smile is such a simple and easy gesture, but you’ll never know how much it can turn someone’s day around. Smiling is more than just a facial expression. It communicates your attitude and your intention to spread your positive mindset to others. Trust us on this one––your smile holds the magic to change someone else’s day for the better, and that is a great way to serve others. 

Brown bag it

Next time you run to the store, pick up a few more items to pack for a brown-bag lunch or any kind of care package you can carry around with you in the car. Think peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, protein bars, snack bags, deodorant sticks, toothbrushes, etc. Anything you can think of that can easily be transported around until you run into someone in need. This simple service doesn’t require you to devote hours of your time, but can make the world of a difference for someone in need.

Make service a part of your business culture

Partner with a cause that your business can get involved with to offer talent, products, or financial support. Organize a company-wide service day where your company volunteers a day to serve others in your community. This is an easy way to make a service a part of your everyday life and makes worlds of change in the community around you.

Support causes that support others

Whenever possible, buy your products from companies that donate a percentage of what you spend to a specific charity, cause, or mission. In doing so, you still get exactly what you need and you help others in the process.

Try any of these four tips to make a difference in your community––even if you don’t think you have the time. We know life can seem packed with busy schedules and unchecked to-do lists, but we promise you’ll have time for these easy ways to serve others.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearHow to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time
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The Truth Behind the Importance of Family Dinner Time

It’s a widely encouraged to sit down as a family for a certain number of dinners per week because those that do often cultivate more positive and communicative environments. But is there truth to this concept? Or is it merely a product of tradition and expectation? If you take the time to truly think about it, sitting down as a family for meals does improve communication and nurture relationships, but perhaps not in the ways that you would expect. Most times, you won’t get up from the table noticing any kind of improved attitude from your family members, but the long-term effects are worth it. Read on to learn about the importance of family dinner time and why it should not be a lost art even in a world of never-ending to-do lists and busy schedules.

There is a historical importance to meal time.

Historically, meal time has been and should be treated like a ritual. It is an opportunity for nourishment in every way that a person can be nourished. It is an opportunity for conversation and laughs and a time to enjoy home cooked food as a family. In doing so, family meals take on a certain sacredness on which family values can be established.

Having a set family dinner cultivates lifelong respect and communication.

At different phases in life, children go through different stages of communication. Most significantly, when your child hits his or her teen years the level of communication, and at times, respect might plummet to an all-time low. But fear not. This stage is not forever. By continuing to encourage family meals, you will establish habits and routines that will last a lifetime. So don’t lose hope on the importance of family meals even when it seems as though there is barely any communication at the dinner table. These stages won’t last forever, but the tradition of sitting down for family meals will.

Family dinners slow down the chaos of life.

Don’t go ninety miles an hour through every day. Take moments to slow it down because this is where you will find the true sweetness in life. Use family dinner times as a technology-free and responsibility-less time to truly enjoy the company of those sitting around the table with you. We all need some time to just talk with those we are closest to. If anything, you’ll feel more relaxed and refreshed when everyone gets up.

 

Jim and Bobbie PuryearThe Truth Behind the Importance of Family Dinner Time
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4 People You Need to Live a More Faith-Filled Life

It’s easy to lose sight of your spiritual vision from time to time when life happens and gets in the way. But spending time with people who share similar values, interests, and fundamental life goals can help you keep your spiritual life on track even when your personal life seems to be falling apart. If you want or are in need of a lifestyle change, taking a look at the kinds of people you fill your life with is a good start. To live a more faith-filled life make sure you surround yourself with people who share your similar spiritual goals. Here are four people you need in your life to live a more faith-filled life.

The other opinion

We are all entitled to our own opinions when it comes to everything from religion to politics. But make sure you stay educated and informed on your own opinions by exploring all perspectives when it comes to your spiritual viewpoints. The best way to do this is to learn from other people in your life who may have different opinions than your own. Be sure you stand behind the one that makes the most sense and mirrors your personal values and morals best, but keep an open mind and truly listen to those who have an opposing opinion. Remember, there is nothing wrong with disagreeing on certain topics. In fact, by disagreeing with someone you have the chance to strengthen your own views and give you another reason to stand behind them.

The younger perspective

We can learn from anyone and everyone in our lives. Age is just a number after all. So keep an open mind when discussing faith with your children or mentees. You’ll be surprised at the refreshing outlook younger minds can provide you with. When you’re lost on your own spiritual journey, listening to insight from someone who is in a completely different life stage than you can really rejuvenate your own outlook and provide a unique source of clarity.

The teacher

While younger perspectives may offer a more refreshing, innocent viewpoint, there is something to be said for the “older and wiser” people in our lives. They’ve been around the block a time or two, so they are often your best advice givers and listeners. Whether you find this perspective in your parents or you seek out an older mentor or religious person, be honest with them and your journey. They can provide you with invaluable advice and perspectives that can truly alternate your spiritual outlook.

The one you can count on

This one is no brainer. We need people in our lives that serve as our rocks, keep us grounded, and make sure our spiritual vision stays in line. Whether it’s a life partner, spouse, or faithful companion, we need to have people we can rely on to reinforce our faith on a daily basis. So choose carefully and make sure you have someone in your life who you can turn to when you feel lost on your own path.

The people you spend the most time with tend to be the people who are our biggest life influencers, so be sure to actively seek out people who serve as a positive influence on your own spiritual life.

Jim and Bobbie Puryear4 People You Need to Live a More Faith-Filled Life
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Give Back This 4th of July

Independence day isn’t just about fireworks and picnics. It’s also a golden opportunity to take a moment and appreciate our independence and freedom. The best way to honor our freedom is to give back to those who sacrifice every day to protect us. Here are a few suggestions to help you give back this 4th of July.

Write a Thank You Letter to a Soldier

Even if you don’t personally know anyone serving in the military, you can still write a letter thanking a soldier for their service. Any Soldier is an excellent resource to find out where to send, what to send, and how to send a card or care packages our soldiers. Ask your family, kids, friends, neighbors, or coworkers to write a card as well. Troops have dedicated their lives so we can live in freedom, so don’t forget to honor them this weekend.

Help Out a Military Family

Soldiers aren’t the only ones who sacrifice for our country. The families of soldiers sacrifice as well, so let them know that you are also thinking about them. Take a moment to thank them and their loved one, and offer words of encouragement. Take it a step further by offering to babysit, mow their lawn, or make them a special Fourth of July dessert. Small actions carry big meanings.

Honor Local Veterans

Veterans have spent their lives serving our country, so it’s our duty to say thank you. Visit your local nursing home, veteran’s organization, or senior center and talk with a veteran. Remember to say thank you for their service, but also ask them about their lives. Many elderly veterans need some companionship and by making some time can mean the world to them.

You can also make a visit to a memorial. Honor their life and service by leaving flowers, notes, or a flag. If you have children, take a moment to teach them about the significance of the memorial.

What are some ways that you plan to give back this 4th of July?

Jim and Bobbie PuryearGive Back This 4th of July
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How Serving Others Can Affect Your Personal and Business Life

Anne Frank was no older than 15 when she wrote: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Although this phrase is short and seemingly simple, the meaning and truth it carries speak well beyond her years and to the very essence of our morality as humans. And if she can recognize this fundamental fact of morality at such a young age, then we should be able to understand this truth and practice it day-in and day-out through our service to others.

Often times when people think of serving and giving to others, large donations of money and resources immediately come to mind. And while these kinds of donations do indeed make large differences in the lives of others, it is not what service, at its heart, entails. Instead, our obligation to serve others involves sacrificing our time and energy to benefit the lives of others. It’s the idea that those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with more talents and resources should give back by selflessly serving others in need.

But, how does serving others make you a more well-rounded person in both your personal and business life? Read on to find out how sacrificing your own talents and resources in service to others can affect your fundamental life skills.

Serving others is a source of personal fulfillment.

Serving others is one of the greatest paradoxes of life because, although the very act of giving requires a personal sacrifice, we end up gaining so much more in return. We’ve all heard about the gift of giving and maybe even experienced the joys that come with giving something to others. It’s a heightened sense of gratification you experience in the other person’s delight that leaves you feeling more fulfilled. And experiencing a greater source of fulfillment naturally motivates you to be more proactive in both your personal and business lives.

Serving others breaks down stereotypes.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about people we’ve never had a conversation with because we haven’t had the chance to hear their story. When interacting with others and serving people who most likely live a life worlds away from your own, you expose yourself to a variety of different kinds of people, and you hear about real-life problems you would have never imagined. In doing so, you gain a true glimpse of how other people live, and the stereotypes you have spent your life building naturally begin to break down. This new mentality will open your mind to other aspects of your life as well and will benefit you just as you are benefitting someone else.

Serving others puts your problems into perspective.

When we live our lives so trapped inside our own needs and schedules, it becomes second-nature to turn a small setback into a tragic catastrophe. However, when working with and serving people whose problems likely far outweigh your own, it becomes easier to situate your own life into perspective. Learning about the complications of other people’s hardships makes it possible for us to return to our own work and personal life with a refreshed and reassured outlook.

Whether you’re serving at a local soup kitchen or are traveling overseas, the act of serving others will benefit you in all areas of your life. Take the time to give back and become a more successful, well-rounded leader.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearHow Serving Others Can Affect Your Personal and Business Life
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The Importance of the “Why?” Phase

For those of you who have or have had toddlers, and even for those that haven’t, this phase is probably a bit familiar. The “Why?” Phase is that stage toddlers hit when suddenly they want to know all the ins and outs of the world. They want to know why things are the way they are, and why they work the way they work. Arguably, this stage is the most curious a person will ever be because it’s when we first start figuring things out. And although after a while, it may get a little frustrating to hear “But why?” after “But why?,” try your hardest to remain calm with your toddler. Explain your answer in the best way you can – no one’s going to judge you if you have to whip out your phone and search for it.

Whatever you do, remember that this “Why?” Phase is crucial to your child’s understanding of the world and considerably critical to their development. Consider these tips to help develop your child’s natural curiosity.

Try to figure out exactly what it is they are wondering about.

At such a young age, their curiosity far outweighs their vocabulary to describe it. When answering their questions, do your best to figure out exactly what they are talking about, even if they lack the words to describe it. This way, you can give them an answer that makes the most sense to them. Watch as the gears churn in their head as they start to understand the rules that govern our world.

Give the best answer you can.

Sometimes, if not most times, you won’t have the perfect answer to any of your child’s “why?” questions, but try to answer the best you can anyway. Smartphones are a beautiful thing because the answer to virtually any question is at our fingertips, so don’t be afraid to look it up. Chances are they will be captivated by whatever you say, but if you take the time to figure out the correct response you’ll learn a little something along the way as well. Curiosity induces curiosity, and you’ll be surprised about how much your toddler can teach you.

Use your child’s questions as insight.

When children are this young, their thoughts are wild with imagination and curiosity about how our universe exists. Use these “why?” moments as insights into your child’s thoughts, interests, and future passions. Discover what they find fascinating and let that help you build on your child’s interest. Children need encouragement to be curious, so they can discover their passions as early as possible.

So, next time your toddler or someone else’s toddler won’t stop asking “why this?” and “why that?,” stay calm and remember this is a large part of their learning process. Have fun answering the questions and you may just learn a thing or two!

Jim and Bobbie PuryearThe Importance of the “Why?” Phase
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