What Parents Can Learn: Richard Sherman”s NFC Showoff

ImageOne game. One brilliant play.  One moment of athletic glory.  One player.  One question.  One answer.  One iceberg that sunk a Seahawk.

If you missed the final seconds of the NFC playoff game, you missed a lot.  After a fantastic contest between 49’s and the Seahawks, the final Superbowl contender would be determined and that decision would come down to the final play of the game.  The 49’s quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, threw a pass to their best receiver, Michael Crabtree.  In a feat of pure athletic precision, Richard Sherman immaculately intervened, tipping the ball, ending the 49’s last chance of possession and scoring a winning touchdown.  Moments of glory and defeat caused united moans and cheers across a nation of living rooms.  It was fabulous athletic drama and everything we love about competition.

But then the cameras remained on Richard Sherman.  One player, who put together his natural talent and a well-rehersed, routine play at the most crucial moment of an extraordinary event, had the spotlight on him.  

Instead of having a spotlight shine on his incredible professional skill, the spotlight revealed what was beneath his surface.

Instead of a celebration of team or even his individual conquest, Sherman directed a universal choking sign gesture towards Kaepernick and the 49er players, then ran to Michael Crabtree to mockingly shake his hand as if to say, “Thank you very much for giving me the great opportunity to use your lack of talent for my personal glorification”.  It could be argued that Sherman was reacting in the heat of the moment, but enough time drfted allowing the adrenaline to subside before the interview that magnified what had already been witnessed.  “Well, I’m the best corner in the game.  When you try me with a receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get. Don’t you even talk about me.”  then in a much later defense of his post play self-adulation, “I’m a competitor.  I don’t like people saying negative things about me and running their mouth, but I’m the best in the league.”  

Sherman didn’t back down later either. He apologized to Andrews, then proceeded to call Crabtree “mediocre,” emphasizing each syllable.  “I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver,” Sherman said. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver that’s what happens.”

 What he didn’t want to go unnoticed, he succeeded in overshadowing.  The media, the social media are not talking about his incredibly athletic and talented play.  Instead he brought on a barage of people saying negative things about him because of how he was running HIS mouth.

It is sad.  What could have been glorious has been so tarnished.  A would-be hero has become a villain.  Maybe Richard Sherman didn’t have anyone warn him about icebergs.  Maybe he didn’t heed the warnings.

What can parents learn from Richard Sherman?  

We can’t ever overestimate the strength of our child’s skill and underestimate the power of what’s below the surface in defining who they are and the level of succeess they’ll achieve.

Ten percent of an iceberg is seen.  90% of it is under the surface.  What’s below the surface both supports what’s seen above and is most dangerous in sinking a ship.   Our children’s natural talent and skill, the 10%, is what everyone first sees, but it’s the 90% parents need to ensure is guided well.  A child’s character will define them long after their athletic pursuits are over.  Parents, let the coach develop your child’s physical core strength while you coach their character core strength that will support all their success.

Coach your child to be self-centered, not self-aggrandizing: 

  • “Your performance will speak for you.  Speak humbly, perform arrogantly.”  Keep the priority on their own performance, how it was a result of the training they’re investing, the natural God-given-can’t-take-credit-for talent they have, and the people around them that they couldn’t have achieved anything without, and the bigger-than-them team goals.  Their actions should flow from the inside, their center, out.
  • “Do what’s right no matter what is happening around you.”  Remind your child that even in the heat of battle, they must make the wise choice to do and say what’s respectful and honoring of the contest and the competitors.  Don’t allow smack, trash-talking.  “You do not climb higher by puliing down others.”

Parents.  Remember.  Your child will reflect your character.  Demonstrate good judgement, wise choices, common sense as you stay centered on your performance as your child’s model.


















Our house, among other things, is an Olympic house.  From the opening ceremonies, to the extinguishing of the flame, our television is on and we join the world in being a part of the Olympic Movement.  We’ve always gravitated to the Olympic spirit that calls on the youth of the world to come together, experience the variety of games and entertaining challenges, the intensity of competition, the effort, the struggle, the refusal to give up, the exhileration of pushing past all prior personal or team boundaries and become the best each competitor can become.  Call us corny, but we 


< P = Z x C5 x E The Formula…


< P = Z x C5 x E


 If you wonder why some people succeed…


….you want it for yourself


….you want it for your children


You just need the secret.  The formula of success.


The level of success anyone attains is a result of how much they increase the factors in the formula. Each factor multiplies the others.  The outcome is simple.  You will become successful if you take one step…decide to invest in yourself and your children’s potential and begin to increase the factors in the formula.


 < P = Z x C5 x E


 < P  Maximize Potential


  • Be clear about what you’re pursuing and why
  • Choose to maximize your potential over other pursuits. Shift your attention to becoming the best you can be and accomplishing the most possible.
  • Goals become individual and internal.  Success will not be defined by external measures, can’t be given or taken away by someone else, and isn’t achieved in a single event. 
  • Success becomes a process of continual growth.  There’s zero fail.  You stretch, evaluate, adjust, move forward and repeat.
  • Goals are used as signposts that mark accomplishment.


Z       Zone


  • Find your sweet spot:  Use your natural strengths, talents, abilities to do what you love to do.
  • If you’re talented but have no passion for something, only a limited level of success will be achieved.  If you are passionate, but don’t have the natural strengths to succeed, it won’t work either.


C5    5 Character Choices           


  • Centered:  Operate with a focus on maximizing your potential, becoming your best, setting your goals, your pace…and not allowing anyone to pull you off course.
  • Coachable: Attend to a coach’s guidance.  Listen, evaluate, adjust and move forward with a positive outlook.  Zero blame, zero excuses.
  • Committed:  Prioritize your daily schedule and activity choices according to goals, doing the hard work when you don’t want to, making the difficult choices when there are options. 
  • Competitive:  Be willing to risk, push past where you think you can succeed, do more than you think you can, push the envelope of what has been done enough to move forward.  Compete more with yourself than others.  Use competition to push harder than if you were alone. 
  • Composed:  Find the balance in physical, mental, spiritual, emotional aspects of your being.  Direct adrenaline to do something great when it matters.


E      Environment 


  • Surround yourself with the people who will bring out your best. 
  • Have a supportive family who will use family time, finances, emotional investments in a partnership for each other’s best.  Parents take care of needs: transportation, nutrition, rest, providing encouragement and comfort as needed.
  • Choose the coach who has equal passion, talent, and skill to bring out the best at a matching level of development.
  • Find a team that’s going in the same direction, has the same level of skill, and equal amount of investment.
  • Find a facility that has space and equipment necessary to get the training done.


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We’ll cover each factor from a variety of perspectives.  Parents of high achieving, accomplished kids, coaches, national level athletes will all weigh in regularly.  This blog is dedicated to guiding you and your children to imagineering a big…an Olympic sized life.  It’s what we’re all meant to do.  


Imagine what life would be like if all our kids became the best they could be….where they maximized their potential so that it benefits everyone around them.   Pretty cool. 


To those who imagineer a big life…and their moms..

Moms (and dads) of champions, of those who maximize their potential and achieve huge accomplishments….

are the ones who quietly drive the miles, make a ridiculous number of healthy meals, wash countless loads of laundry, cry when their kids struggle, lift them up when they hurt, cheer loudest when they need encouragement, work 3…4… jobs to pay for training…

because they choose to match the investment made by their child.

They cannot force passion.
They cannot manufacture talent.
They let the athlete be the athlete.
They let the coach, coach.

They can simply love and believe in their child’s potential.
They ensure their child has the best environment to thrive and a home that’s a sanctuary for rest and relief.
They’re the greatest comforter and cheerleader.
They are always present.

That is the role of mom.
(and dad).

Thanks P & G. Thanks. There are many moms out here.

Tails of the Herd: The Day I Realized I was following the Asses in Front of Me

Unknown-1I remember waking up one day and feeling pretty much like Simba hanging on that limb for dear life, hoping to survive the stampede of the wildebeast herd.  Simba was out romping as children do, when the herd rushed around him and swept him up.  He starting running, remember the scene?, desperately trying to keep up, not to be run over or stomped to death.  God knows where he would’ve ended up if he just kept running.  He knew he had to either keep up or get out of the crush or it wouldn’t end well.  That was a smart move.

There was that moment for me.  I grew up, romping happily.  I followed the rules.  Did what I was told.  Listened to the “big” important people around me.  I washed behind my ears, got good grades, came home 15 minutes before curfew.  I went to college, got a job, a house, kids…

and then I began repeating the circle of life and guiding my children to do exactly the same.

Until I looked up and realized I was following the tail of the one ahead of me and I asked myself why I had my head up somebody elses…rumpus.

It all started when I had no idea where I was in life or how I got there.  I had just been blindly following those before me and expecting to end up in the land of everyone’s adolescent dreams when we slowed at the end.

It doesn’t work that way.  You end up where the stampede carries you, unless you find that limb and climb out of the fray until the masses rush by.  By that point, though, you’re so lost and far from home, it’ll take an act of god to find your way back or start over.  I wished I had seen it coming and never gotten swept up in the herd.

Their destination became my destination. I chased after whatever the leader of the herd was chasing and so on back to where I was.  Their course, mine.  It wasn’t planned and wasn’t all bad.  It was just a life of default.

So, I made a conscious decision to get out.

This meant I had to figure out where I was and where I wanted to go instead.

It seemed like most everybody was racing ahead to something great.  They were rushing towards “success”.  I think that’s what we thought we were doing.

Fame and fortune.  Prizes and reward.  Glitter and tinsel.

Power.  Control over life, people, circumstances.

Applause.  Attention.  Approval.

The path of least resistance.  Aka:  comfort, leisure and ease.


It didn’t seem like the means mattered quite so much as long as it ended in “success”.

The issue was that I wasn’t arriving anywhere close to where I expected.  It didn’t seem others around me were arriving there either.  I knew I was off course and I was rapidly ushering my kids to end up in the same place.

That’s when it became clear that I wanted to go someplace different and take my kids with me.  I still wanted to be “successful”.  I just wanted to define what that meant.  I wanted clarity.

After a lot of thinking, looking at the others still running and where they were ending up, studying those who were actually achieving big things, getting advanced education in giftedness, and analyzing some more, I set a new course.

The clarity changed everything.  It changed how I saw each day, filtered decisions, how I guided and encouraged my children, and even how I viewed myself, them, our endeavors and futures.  It freed us.

The funny thing is, that in breaking away from the masses, gaining clarity on where we now intended to go (and how we’d get there), we’ve been carried further than we ever expected.  The view has been MUCH better too.

Here’s a topic of convo for the table or car (of course you have to begin having convo’s with your significant/kids about all kinds of topics so it’s not bizarro that you’re suddenly having a thoughtful conversation with them).  Think of all the common destinations people have and any words that define what success is to them or others.  If you want, put the words on individual scraps of paper or cards.  Then play “Would You Rather”  Put two cards together and ask:  Would you rather have xx or yy?  Maybe it’ll sound like, “Would you rather be rich or famous?”  Then leave the “winner” and replace the “loser” card with a new word. “Would you rather be famous or have total control and freedom over your life?”  Play again and again until there’s a final card that trumps all the others.  There winds up being good discussion about the pros and cons of each.

Our winner became:  maximizing our individual potential.  < P

It was the beginning of discovering the formula.  We discovered the product:  < P = Z ⋄ C5 ⋄ E

We’ve elaborated a little on that since:  maximizing our potential in a way that brings valuable contribution to everyone around us.

Where you are heading and why?

Determine your destination.


Passion is caring for something, loving something, dedicating a portion of yourself, your mind, your heart, and your soul-because you’re passionate about it.

Passion is the spark for everything. By itself, passion is never enough. Just like talent is never enough. But it’s your fire starter.

Without passion, you won’t do something 100 percent. That’s the bottom line.

And what’s the point of doing something if you’re not doing it 100 percent?

Apolo Ohno
Zero Regrets