The Sweet Spot of Success

 “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs, left more than just an iphone or ipad that revolutionized our lives. He left us words that can reinvent success for our children.

Don’t live someone else’s life. Redefine success as maximizing individual potential. Guide your child to discover their personal sweet spot; the intersection of their passion and natural talents and strengths.

Don’t follow the thinking of others. Reverse popular thought in your home. Don’t become unintentionally swept up by the direction of the masses. Don’t pursue the popular goals of achieving fame and fortune at the expense of all else.

• Listen to your own inner voice. Encourage your child to pursue a life of purpose and process that’s unique and individual. When your child discovers how they can bring value to others, they will be effective and satisfied each day of their life.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The ony way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Live the life you love.


Can You Change Your Child’s Future by What You Do in the Next 40 Days?


It’s the beginning of Lent. I’m not Catholic, but I like turning the focus

inward; to sacrifice, giving up a bad habit or putting something positive

into practice that will connect and strengthen my spiritual core. Since I

believe that your children and mine were created specifically for a

unique purpose, using the 40 days of Lent to put 40 practices, principles

and mindsets into place that make the most of who our children have

been created to be, seems to fit the spiritual intention of the season.

Print the list.  Write each thought on a card or Post-It.  Work down the list over the next 40 days giving one some thought each day:

1. Love the child you have. Never give or withdraw affection as

reward or punishment for performance.

2. Magnify internals, diminish externals.

3. Maximize natural talents and strengths.

4. Fuel passion. Expose kids to as wide a range of interests as possible.

5. Secure their internal compass. Respect their mind and heart.

6. Emphasize process over outcome.

7. Redefine success as maximizing individual potential.

8. Evaluate objectively, not emotionally.

9. Don’t overestimate talent, underestimate character

10. There’s no “fail”: teach to learn, adjust, move forward.

11. Quitting is not an option, especially when it’s hard.

12. Encourage risk-taking.

13. Always find positives.

14. Expect excellence, not perfection.

15. Don’t rescue. Let them experience consequences.

16. Encourage 1% improvements daily.

17. Expect 100% of the best they can give.

18. Operate from a center of inner excellence .

19. Ask: What’s the wise choice?

20. Clarify Me vs. We. When do I do what’s right for the family or team

over myself?

21. Demand respect of others.

22. Understand winning and losing.

23. Own responsibility for responses in any circumstance.

24. Fulfill every commitment.

25. Honor your word.

26. Allow zero excuses or blame.

27. Choose challenge over ease.

28. Surround yourself with others going the same direction to the same


29. Have fun and laugh.

30. Coach a child to figure out solutions to their problems.

31. Don’t indulge in permissiveness.

32. Encourage them to adapt and overcome.

33. Provide what they need to chase their dreams.

34. Contribute the best to the world.

35. Control the Controllable.

36. Look for life lessons. Coach not punish.

37. Explain “why”.

38. Hold high standards and expectations.

39. Believe that hard work pays off.

40. You are the only parent they will have. No one can replace you.

5 Things Parents Can Learn from Friday Night Tykes

ImageFriday Night Tykes debuted Tuesday on the Esquire Network.  

“Friday Night Tykes” provides an “authentic and provocative glimpse into an independent youth football league in Texas.” An Esquire Network spokeswoman added, “We believe ‘Friday Night Tykes’ brings up important and serious questions about parenting and safety in youth sports, and we encourage Americans to watch, debate and discuss these issues.”

Twitter exploded as well as the comments page on the network page dedicated to the reality show: 

“I’m not sure what Friday Night Tykes is going for but it comes off like a tragedy.  These coaches need to get a life and a grip.”

 “If you would like to lose faith in humanity and be terrified for children’s lives all at the same time, may I recommend             ‪#FridayNightTykes?”

 “This ‪@ESQTV show on youth football is basically child abuse. I can’t believe what I’m seeing…”

 What can we, as parents of athletes, learn from such a revealing show?

Friday Night Tykes exposes 5 things we can discuss.  Brace yourself.  We can gain some positives as well as negatives:

 1.  Coaching:

There are 3 styles of coaching:  Authoritarian, Authoritative, Indulgent           

Indulgent:  coaches holding low expectations, low demands, high praise given for little accomplishment, catering to the wishes and             direction of the child. The focus is on the comfort of the child and the child’s returned affection. They would be considered “soft”             coaches. Children coached in this style will not develop the character or skills necessary to participate in organized groups productively. 

 Authoritarian: highly demanding, restrictive, punitive coaches. They demand compliance without attending to the legitimate needs,             age appropriateness of expectations or concerns of a child.  The focus is on performance and status.  This style would be considered “hard” coaching and is fear based. A majority of children will break-down emotionally and/or physically and not achieve             longevity in the sport under this style of coaching.

Authoritative: holds developmentally appropriate high expectations, demands and standards. With an understanding of             children, these coaches teach, guide and lead with respect. They hold the child responsible for character developed and closely             monitor progress, objectively providing feedback on performance and providing measured and consistent consequences to correct             actions. The goal is to develop inner strength, maturity, and longevity of excellence.

The best coaches are demanding. They push hard to get more out of an athlete than they thought they possible. They may get angry and yell, but they balance that with care and belief in their athletes. There’s a high degree of understanding of the developmental age of their athletes and what an individual athlete can handle mentally and physically. Parents should ensure their child has a coach with the most authoritative style possible. With that said, finding an Authoritarian or Permissive free coach is difficult.

2Age appropriateness: 

Elementary:  Kids should be exposed to as many opportunities as possible and allow kids to follow their interests. It’s a time to play,             have fun, explore, and discover while building fundamental and foundational muscle and skill, character, mental, emotional and             social development. Development should be incremental and increasingly focused through age 14. 

 Middle-school:  Kids will be going through a transition from 13-15 years both physically and mentally. They will be evaluating the ownership of what they are interested in pursuing as their bodies go through puberty and change. The focus at this stage is to allow kids to decide if they will remain in or narrow the focus of a pursuit. At this point, the finer skills of a sport ought to be the focus.  Attention to mechanics, character, strategy is essential over performance and winning.

High-School:  By this point, a child’s body and mind are ready for the rigor of training and performance. They are also emotionally             developed enough to make personal decisions about matching their level of investment and intensity with their goals.

Pushing kids to perform too early only serves to undermine longevity in a sport. Many young phenoms never make it in their sport past puberty due to burn-out or physical or mental development that limits their ability to progress to the level they expected. So, it’s wiser to keep perspective on what’s age appropriate. They succeed far better, far longer. 


It IS important to develop tough-minds and strong character in kids. In general, our culture has become one that errs on the side of             being permissive and indulgent. We have gone off the deep end by calling anything less than coddling and immediate gratification, child abuse. As adults, we need balance, common sense and good judgment. We need to arm our kids with survival skills by developing courage, perseverance, reasoning, responsibility, commitment, endurance, grit, ambition, determination, self-control and a myriad of other character traits we can teach them through athletics. Pushing them, holding them to high standards, holding them accountable, letting them experience negative consequences are essential to them being successful. They need to learn that reward is on the other side of hard work. BUT, these are best taught in incremental, age-appropriate degrees with an authoritative style. 

4.  Boys:

Boys gain validation through physical conquests.  Providing boys with demanding physical play, challenge and contests is essential             to their well-being.  Boys must be given ample opportunity to be physically aggressive in safe, structured productive pursuits.   So, challenging boys extremely hard and showing them they can break through perceived limits, discomfort, fear, and desire to quit is positive.  If boys are neither guided nor given opportunity for this, they will find destructive, harmful ways to vent their aggressive nature.

5.  Living Vicariously

When we had kids, we parents shifted our attention and priorities to the needs of our babies. Many of us gave up the personal lives             and pursuits we had to attend to raising our kids. As they grow and need us less and less, we have the opportunity to shift back to our own pursuits more and more. Our kids need us to do this. It allows them to grow in independence. It allows them to watch our model. It takes the pressure off them to accomplish things for our personal needs of accomplishment and allows them to enjoy the satisfaction of what they accomplish on their own. The perfect balance for an athlete is to have a coach and parent who all invest the same level of intensity. If any one of the three wants success more than the other, it’s out of balance and won’t ultimately work.  Athlete, coach and parent must all be working in sync for the same goal and degree of investment.

Does Friday Night Tykes have any redeeming qualities?



< 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.


Subscribe… (there’s a button…..over there…on the right….)


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. 


Publik House Discourse: Tiger Mom’s Controversial New Book


Do you think it’s possible to engage in productive civil discourse on a controversial topic?


Instead of throwing stones as so many impulsively do; discuss and debate, reason and consider?  It seems in our era of “tolerance”, once again we immediately attack the person who presents information that makes anyone uncomfortable or paints an unflattering portrait of real behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs.  We cast stones at the likes of Phil Robertson for stating tenants of his faith and personal preference before we even consider what he was saying, why and engage in reason about what we personally believe and why.  We call them bigot, racist, conservatives…and we walk away from their carcass after stoning and kicking them to near death. We jump on a bandwagon to stifle certain lines of thought.  I wonder why.  Are our own beliefs so insecure and threatened we can’t consider an opposing thought without getting a surge of adrenaline that leads us to fight or flight?


I’m anxious to read, learn and consider Amy Chua’s points in her new book, “The Triple Package”.  It takes a look at cultural groups and compares the commonalities among groups that are “successful” and those who are perennial “failures”.  I’m anxious to see if the three traits she’s identified as those necessary for success are the same as those I’ve found in parents who raise champions.  The language may be different, but I’m wondering if the core traits are the same.  I’m not afraid to read and reason, debate intelligently with my own beliefs, gain more knowledge that supports or refutes her conclusions.  I encourage you to do the same on topics you are passionate about.


….would LOVE intelligent debate on the topic of:


Whether there are, in fact, character traits that determine a person or group’s level of “success” (defined by outcomes of income level, occupational status, test schools etc, not the process of maximizing individual potential)?


Are there, in fact, cultural groups that generally value and develop those character traits in their children than others in comparison to other groups that either don’t hold the same values or invest energy in developing or holding high expectations of them?


< P = Z ⋄ C5 ⋄ E  I believe there are 5 Character Traits that are common in those who imagineer a big life, maximize their potential, and accomplish amazing things that benefit all.


In order to comment:


Debate the “thought”…the idea..


Do not express opinion about the person expressing the controversial thought.


Be intelligent.  Unless you really have some genuine knowledge on which to base your personal thought or opinion, hold your conclusion until you’ve gained some facts or considered the information others present.


What are your thoughts?