You Are What You Consume

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

“You are what you eat” is among the best nutrition advice if understood and practiced.

Think about it, if you consider your body will rebuild your bone and muscle and brain cells specifically with the food you eat, would you think twice about tossing back a sugar-latent coffee and two donuts for breakfast every day?

Similarly, your thoughts and emotions are formed from  information you consume throughout the day. The music, social media posts, gossip, TV shows (and commercials), movies and magazines you and your children consume make up your perspective about the world.

This is not a one way street, especially for children who are still forming their frame, or perspective, of the world around them. What goes into your mind and heart comes out in the way we relate to others in action and words.

You are what you eat. You are how you move. You are what you consume.

Choose wisely, for you AND your kids. I love that my wife continually teachers our children:

“your eyes and ears are the windows to your heart, mind and soul.”

Inspiring Kids to be Creative – TED Talk with Stephen Hall

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Inspiring Kid's Creativity with Stephen Hall TED Talk

Are kids’ toys too processed? Do they invite creativity or do the job for them?

 “Necessity is the mother of innovation.”

Parents want to give their children everything they can … but should they consider giving them less? Is modern children’s play too processed?

The presenter, Stephen Hall takes a minute or three to get to his point, but his emphasis on parenting and inspiring our children to be creative by giving them less is awesome. The less our children need, the less they may express their intuitive creativity.

I read once that around 93% of children are rated as creative when they are 3 years old, but by the time these same children are 18 years old, only 15% or so are rated as highly creative. As a country, we have dug ourselves into a hole by developing an educational system based on uniformity and conformity.

In most grade schools, Art and Physical Education are only taught once per week. We are so focused on Literature, History and the Sciences that most adults are now walking around “Physically Illiterate” and with what I call “Right Brain Amnesia.” (more…)

StL Cards Manager Mike Matheny to Youth Team Parents – It’s About The Boys!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players and parents in every game we play.

I don’t believe a week or two goes by where I don’t hear a parent or grandparent mention something about (other) parents yelling during a youth sports game. If any of you have been to grade school games, especially for a “select team” competition, you know what I am talking about. Someone recently sent me this letter St. Louis Cardinals new manager (and former catcher) Mike Matheny wrote to the parents of  his son’s baseball team he was coaching. It is impressively lengthy and detailed, but also very important in today’s parenting/youth sports climate.

I have included the introduction along with what I found to be high lights from the letter (bulleted below) … there is no more important job in this world than being a parent … I hope a few of them take a minute to check this letter out:

Coach Matheny to Baseball Team Parents:

Mike Matheny letter to youth team parentsI always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans, and now here we are. The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problem with youth sports has been the parents. I think that it is best to nip this in the bud right off the bat. I think the concept that I am asking all of you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about it that includes you, we need to make a change of plans. My main goals are as follows:

  1. to teach these young men how to play the game of baseball the right way,
  2. to be a positive impact on them as young men, and
  3. do all of this with class.

We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players, and parents in every game we play. The boys are going to play with a respect for their teammates, opposition, and the umpires no matter what. (more…)

Sports Still a Training Ground of Virtue (Re-Post) – St. Louis Review

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

“(Sports) are a training ground of virtue, a school of inner balance and outer control …”

Submitted  to the St. Louis Review on Aug. 8th 2012

Playing Ball in The Back Yard, Virture, Dave Reddy, John Paul, Catholic, blogBlessed John Paul II, an avid sportsman in his youth, once lauded the moral value of sports. “They are a training ground of virtue,” he said.

His wisdom is worth contemplating during a busy summer that, in addition to the usual menu of baseball, football, tennis, golf, etc., offers the Olympic Summer Games in London.

Unfortunately, virtue can sometimes be difficult to find in modern sport. Multimillion-dollar professional salaries, bloated TV ratings and lucrative endorsements frequently breed a cult of celebrity that often spawns immoral behavior both on and off the playing field.

The Olympics are supposed to represent sport in its purest form but, even if that was once the case, that purity has been compromised. Commercialism is rampant and, in many glamour sports, the financial stakes are high. Organizers in London will spend millions of dollars on drug testing and it will be a shock if they fail to expose some cheaters.

But those inevitable incidents shouldn’t detract from the overall celebration of virtue that Blessed John Paul II believed was the essence of sport.

Blessed John Paul II was affectionately known as the “athlete pope.” As a student he was a runner and soccer player and later became an ardent swimmer, skier and hiker. He believed that sport, in its pure form, could provide an arena for evangelization because the attributes required to become a champion — sacrifice, passion, obedience, discipline — were similar in many respects to those required to become a saint.

Sportsmanship, as an ideal, is all about character. It’s about humility, honesty, loyalty, respect and generosity. It is not a quest for perfection but, like a faith journey, is a quest for virtue. There will be moments of temptation and times of failure but the true sportsman, like the faithful person, will acknowledge setbacks with integrity and strive to become better.

Blessed John Paul II once said the Church values sport because it advances the complete development of the body and soul and contributes to the advancement of a more human society. He believed the virtues evident in true sport could cultivate harmony among cultures and peace among nations.

“Sports have, in themselves, an important moral and educative significance,” said Blessed John Paul II. “They are a training ground of virtue, a school of inner balance and outer control, an introduction to more true and lasting conquests.”

He called sport a gift from God to mankind. And like the late pope, the 19th-century founders of the modern Olympics believed in sport as a training ground of virtue.

That noble ideal may have taken a beating over the past century, but the pursuit of virtue is still worth championing and, when it bubbles to the surface in a young athlete, well worth celebrating.

This editorial is from the July 25 issue of the Catholic Register, the Toronto-based national Catholic Canadian newspaper.

Youth Sports – 7 Reasons Not to Specialize

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

I found this article earlier this week … for all parents out there of young athletes. We are seeing too many kids committing to one sport so early on, and this early specialization is causing several issues.

Please read this if you have kids who are or you will probably play sports:

The Value of Athletic Competition

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The Value of Athletic CompetitionBeyond self-expression?


I am a strong proponent of many success and motivational strategies that emphasize self-mastery, self-direction and of course our basic human need of self-expression. But how far can we really get by our-self? I believe the “can we be a “good person” just for the sake of being a good person” debate is an important one to consider. Can effective core values be centered around only ourselves? What much of the “self-help” and motivation literature seem to minimize or leave out completely is the inevitable transition from “self-help” to “God’s help.”

In the same breath then, when we consider this “self-expression”, are we really just expressing ourselves? I have been playing competitive sports since I was 5 years old, and I am a stronger believer in the many vitally important values of athletic competition, most notably what is discussed below.

This article was recently given to me and I wanted to share it with you guys:

When you think about the word “competition,” do you picture two individuals or teams engaged in a furious struggle? Many people seem to think of it as such these days — and sometimes even with a touch of viciousness as good sportsmanship surrenders to a powerful drive to win.

The word “compete” is derived from the Latin com, together and petere, to seek. Aren’t we and our opponents in a sense “seeking together” to express our  abilities as fully as possible? Seen in this light, competition is one way to express our native God-given skills.

The heart often provides a better yardstick of success in competition than a final score. Numbers don’t always tell the true story. Which is the true victory: winning 5-4 in a sloppily-played game against a weak team, or losing 5-4  in a well-played game against one of the best teams around? The deepest satisfaction should come from a greater demonstration of competence — more of the alertness that comes from Mind, the joyful cooperation derived from Love, the consistency of Principle.

In God’s universe there can be no ruthless competition, no warring elements, for all is the one infinite Mind in which all ideas express total harmony. And the more we love and obey this Mind, the better our job of demonstrating this harmony will be. Paul the Apostle declared, “all things work together for good to them that love God.” (1)

These spiritual facts can have direct bearing on our attitude towards sports. We can view competing as a form of cooperating because two teams – or two individuals — are actually working together to test each other’s competence and prod one another to improve. Our goal in sports, as in every area of life, should be to express more of God’s qualities every day. And don’t we tend to progress more rapidly toward this goal when we have the challenge of competition to spur us on? From this standpoint, our opponents are friends, not enemies.

How should we treat these “friends” when we play against them? Just as we would treat any friend — with respect, friendliness, and perhaps with open appreciation for a well-executed play, but especially with a determination to show them the very best we have to offer and in turn to draw the best from them. For if we are not doing our best, we are not expressing our innate ability to the fullest. We’re not doing all we could to glorify God.

We can’t afford, either, to view our opponents with disdainful contempt. That’s how Goliath viewed the Israelites. Odds-makers would have favored the big fellow, but, as you know, haughtiness got him nowhere. We can’t afford to be like the Israelites either — psyched out and admitting defeat even before the opening bell. Instead we have to be like David, who didn’t indulge in comparing mortal appearances but dedicated this effort to showing the world God’s power.

Any appearance of overwhelming opposition isn’t something “out there” against we are helpless. A statement of Mrs. Eddy’s from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures can help remind us of this: “We must look where we would walk and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.” (2) It doesn’t matter if the apparent obstacle is a state champion opponent, poor weather conditions, a fluky turn of events (which tempts us to believe in luck rather than in God) — the circumstance can’t stop us from doing our best, can’t rob us of dominion. Courage and humility “bind the strong man,” the false mentality that argues limitation and suggests fear; for courage stands up to the foe, mortal mind, and humility stands aside and lets the divine Mind express its own glory.

Growth in Christian character is the single most important outcome of athletic competition. In addition to developing courage and humility, competition can promote our practice of other important qualities. Patience with fellow players and unwavering encouragement of them — especially when they seem to be struggling — exercise the kindness that builds true friendships. Someone eager to be given more playing time or to win more matches may need to show grater self-discipline and persistence, qualities essential to the successful practice of Christian Science. By wrestling with the discouragement and defeat, the young athlete has the chance to develop the steadfastness needed to persevere during life’s crises — even a faithful clinging to God, a refusal to fold under material pressures.

These are just some of the values of athletic competition. Anyone striving to better express God-given qualities through sports is a victor, never a loser.

  1. Rom. 8:28
  2. Science and Health, p. 264

– Mark William Hendrickson

(The Herald of Christian Science Vol. 33, No. 1)

 *Thank you so much to Susan Jackson for sharing this article.

Repetition vs. Repetitions: Training Youth Athletes (Re-Post)

Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Scott and Dave hitting some kettlebell loaded get up sit ups

Turkish get ups and similar patterns are excellent examples of prioritizing repetition over repetitions.

This (re-)post is for the Fitness & Performance Coaches in the room, especially if you work with youth athletes, though everyone benefits from repetition. Read and consider, as we should be discussing with our clients the ideas of self-mastery, not perfection, but challenging ourselves and our clients to improve abilities and skills. It’s not about back barbell squatting your body weight in pounds, but instead, doing a body weight squat perfectly to a 12″ box, first and foremost, and most cannot do this. Consider the difference, in that it therefore isn’t about doing 3 sets of 12 reps, but rather, doing enough repetition of the movement and appropriate corrective strategies until the skill and movement pattern is improved.

We work with so many people to un-learn faulty movement patterns they have developed over the decades, that any time we, as professionals have a chance to work with the youth, we are obligated to do everything we can to promote a durable, functionally balanced athlete for their current sport and future well being. This, by the way, is the inspiration behind James Harris and I creating a Core & Durability SOLUTIONS for Youth Hockey Athletes DVD (coming out soon.)
 I had to repost this below as I agree with the premise 100%. Let me know what you think below … it was posted originally on Mike Boyle’s But I digress … (more…)