On some level, do you enjoy the dependency of others?

This past Wednesday, I was in bed at 830p trying to get to sleep.  I
went to bed early in attempt to get some extra rest because I was
getting up at 2am to go to work.  I had just put Ryan to bed, Sawyer
was sleeping, Matheus was about to, and Jen was uptown.  Ah….the
best laid plans…..

At 845p, Sawyer starting waking up.  I tried to weather the storm, but
the crying grew louder…and louder…and louder.  By 855p, it was
apparent he was not going to fall back asleep and I could hear him
walking around his crib.  I got dressed and went upstairs to his room,
bottle in tow.

Sawyer was not happy with my feeding attempt, and he made it clear he
was not going back to sleep anytime soon. Oh, the pains of teething.
I did not want him to wake up Ryan, so I made the decision to take
Sawyer for a stroller walk around the neighborhood. In the past, I had
success getting him to calm down and go back to sleep.

On this night, the stroller tactic would be graded a 75%.  He did calm
down, which I think is the most important thing.  He began smiling and
talking in Sawyer-babble to me as we walked through the neighborhood
listening to the great William Danforth classic “I Dare You“.  He
never fell asleep in the stroller, but he did regain his appetite, and
when I fed him when we got back home, he went back to sleep at 11p.
Super Dad, Super Dad, Super Dad!  (twist to the Al Bundy classic
“Psycho Dad”  http://youtu.be/swIZ1ascGCA

This whole incident only briefly frustrated me, which quickly
transformed into being happy and at peace.  As I reflected on this
wonderful feeling, I concluded that I relish Sawyer’s dependency on
me.  He NEEDED me to soothe him, he NEEDED me to take him out of the
crib, he NEEDED me to help get him back to sleep……and his smile
told me he was happy that I helped and snuggled him.

I find that I am relishing this dependency, because he (and Ryan) need
me less each day.  They need my support, but less and less they need
me for hands-on care.  The age-old cliche that “they grow up fast” is certainly true.  You can’t freeze the moment, which is the point of me telling the story.  The irony is, I do not (and will not) want to be a helicopter parent.  I want them to learn how to problem solve, critically think, and be accountable.

Diving deeper into the reflection pool, I thought about how many of us struggle to delegate tasks/functions in our lives, and then say “I am the only one who can do this” or “it takes too much time to teach someone else how to do it”.  If this is a struggle, on some level we may feel this way because we want to be needed, we want people to rely on us, we want people to ask for our help.  If we delegate our value away, will we still be needed?

As you reflect if this is the case with some aspect of yourself, try asking yourself the following questions:

-is this the best use of my time?

-is this sustainable when I am gone?

-will delegating this task creating value and trust with another?

-for those of you with an entrepreneurial bent, can this dependency be a business?  can I create this value being self-employed?

I try to challenge myself each day to create opportunities and value for others.  I struggle at times with keeping tasks so I am seen as reliable and productive.  I would love to hear stories about successes and struggles with delegation.  Happy Monday!

How to shake the Doldrums and avoid the Laziness Habit

These thoughts/suggestions are in no particular order, and in fact individually have helped people shake the doldrums and/or avoid laziness.  Enjoy!

  • Sing your favorite song as loud and proud as you can
  • Look at your reflection and say out loud “I am great”
  • Junk food is bad (even though it tastes good)
  • Early to bed, early to rise
  • Write a list of ten things you are grateful for
  • Call or write a family member, friend, or mentor who is dear to you and/or helped you in some way
  • See if you can pinpoint a time of day when you are least effective and take a 15 minute power nap
  • Find a way to donate your time to the community
  • Get off drugs and alcohol
  • Budget TV/Video/Computer Time
  • Go for a walk and breathe in deeply
  • Wake up at the same time at least 6 days/week
  • MOVE!
  • Plan 1 day of recreation
  • Lose your extra weight
  • Do NOT enjoy air conditioning….comfortable=lazy
  • Pick one self-help book to EXECUTE for 30 days

Would love to hear your additional thoughts on this subject, because there are plenty of great ideas out there……


Not an unlucky Friday the 13th….Sawyer turns 1 year old on 9.13.13!

Mama holding her new son!

Mama holding her new son!

Ryan holding his new brother

Ryan holding his new brother

Opening Day, go Tribe!

Opening Day, go Tribe!

Sawyer wants to come outside and help Dadda

Sawyer wants to come outside and help Dadda

Today you are one year old my son,
what a ride, what fun!
I can’t believe how fast you’ve grown
and I wonder what’s in store

You have a great mama,
and a big brother that you adore,
it’s no surprise you’re the happiest kid I know

Recently you got a new big brother,
From a country known as Brazil for one year,
He is teaching us so much,
we are lucky he is in our bunch

You are really getting around,
soon you will be walking, talking, and loud,
I love watching you play,
by yourself or with others around your way

I personally feel so proud and filled with glee,
when you rush over to spend time with me
you seem to think it’s worth it too,
I truly hope it is for you

I look forward to seeing  your continued journey through life,
I hope you give it all your all, and we’ll support through success and strife,
You have so many blessing and things to be grateful for,
I know you will serve the world, which many will adore

Happy Birthday to my favorite son named Sawyer!
Love,  your Dadda

How can I be so weak….dealing with the Ryan Revolution?


Recently, Ryan has been going through what we can only hope is the “near-3” stage.  He has cried more in the last couple of months than in his entire life.  He has also become very independent, demanding and stubborn.

I recently read in the great Leigh Montville book Ted Williams:  The Biography of an American Hero a story about friend of Mr. Williams who collaborated to create a sports camp.  This friend’s favorite saying was that “the four most important words in American are I can“.

I love this saying….it inspires me.  When I first read it, I belly laughed because one of Ryan’s pet sayings right now is “I can do it myself”.  He is fiercely independent and wants to do everything himself right or wrong.  I have decided that unless he will physically harm himself, I am going to let him succeed or fail on his own.

One of the funniest (and frustrating) part of this independence is that he will actually re-do or re-create a situation himself so he can say he did it.  One example, we went to the bathroom for another round of potty training (doing very well, thank you…).  He insisted on ripping off his diaper, and when I moved the stool in front of the toilet, he flipped!  He said, “I can do it myself”, proceeded to grab the stool, move it back to its original location, and then put it in exactly the same spot I had.  He did it himself.

The point of this post….is that I get extremely frustrated with myself upon instant or later reflection.  There are times I am so weak…..so soft about my temper flipping on and getting mad at him.  When he doesn’t want to listen or do what I say, when he insists on doing something I KNOW is wrong, it triggers me.  I KNOW I need to take a deep breath and relax, and I KNOW I should be doing this when I am grabbing him or talking strongly to him.  I KNOW I need patience and calm.  I need to be able to explain, and explain, and explain, and explain while staying calm so he can learn.

To improve my reactions, I am listening daily to some of favorite books, Toughness by Jay Bilas (referenced in this previous post), and InsideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann.  I want Ryan to learn how to remain calm so he is able to think about a proper solution, I need to model this behavior better when facing adversity.  This is my biggest parenting challenge to date.

I would love to hear from parents what is in your toolkit to help you stay calm.



Developing basketball individual skills and team systems with continuous 3 on 3 and 4 on 4 drills

As a former basketball coach, I know it was a challenge to communicate what I knew to the players.  And the reality is, you cannot drill, you cannot teach, you cannot prepare for every situation.  Coaches must teach the basic fundamentals and skills and be confident that players can transfer into a game situation.

In the book A Season With Coach Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris, Coach Bennett discussed his belief that if players know how to play, coaches use more drills in practice.  If players do not know how to play, coaches should use more scrimmage-type situations.  These drills are certainly game-like, and with the reduced number of players give coaches the opportunity to correct mistakes and praise successful execution.

Coaching great Ralph Miller was often quoted as saying “the only way to learn to play basketball is by playing it”. Those of you familiar with Mr. Miller’s teaching style may recall that he only ran six drills on a daily basis to teach fundamentals and develop his teams. While most of us in the coaching profession look at this approach with some skepticism, it is important to try and implement drills that teach as many fundamentals and game-like situations offensively and defensively as possible to maximize practice time.

This article will illustrate two drills that can be tailored to achieve this concept.  I have also included two video coaching clinics explaining three of Ralph Miller’s commonly used drills.  For more information on Ralph Miller’s System, check out the Pressure Basketball book and DVD.

3 on 3 and 4 on 4 drills information

Coaching clinic on the 3 on 3 and 4 on 4 drills

Split the Post drill

Let me know about any favorite drills or philosophies of yours.  Good luck on the upcoming season!

Personal 30-day fitness challenge

In my previous blog post, I talked about the importance of sticking to the recommended action from any personal development effort for the allotted time.  I am continuing my efforts with Scroll III from the Og Mandino book, but I wanted to tackle a physical challenge as well.  I have been inspired by my wife’s recent decision to tackle an extremely arduous physical challenge, and mine should be a cakewalk.

With my routine, I intend to do this in the morning upon waking, but it can be done incrementally as well.  By committing to this…and drinking eight glasses of water daily, I am confident I will accomplish the following outcomes:

  1. more energy throughout the day and waking up BEFORE my alarm goes off
  2. decrease in body fat%
  3. more flexibility
  4. strengthen core (abdominals and lower back)

I will be tracking my monthly progress on this document, and posting my weekly progress on this blog.

I will be continuing my daily movement efforts as well, which will serve to additionally benefit my health.

I would love to hear in support for you.  Let me know if I can do the same for you in some endeavor you are pursuing.