All athletes’ seasons end, but there is so much more

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Back in 2008, I coached my son’s 9 year old Little League baseball team. There was one particular kid, whom I will call Mike, born with several birth defects.

Mike’s parents were very distraught and depressed because, due to Mike’s disabilities, this was to be his last season to play competitive baseball.

You see, Mike was not an ordinary boy. He had a passion and knowledge of the game like no other 9 year old I’d ever encountered. You could ask Mike about any professional baseball player, and he could tell their history and statistics. To say it was impressive is an understatement.

At the end of the season, I met with Mike’s parents to give them my thoughts. I told them Mike has a gift. All players’ seasons will eventually end, but Mike’s love for the game of baseball will be forever.

I have a vision of Mike being a sports radio commentator, a television sports newscaster, working as a scout for a professional baseball team or maybe writing a sports column.

Mike’s parents stared at me with this blank look on their face, then the tears started flowing. They let me know, what I had just said, never occurred to them. They couldn’t stop thanking me enough, and it was the best group hug I’d ever received.

What about you? What do you have a passion and desire for — be it personal, business, fitness or spiritual? If you truly want something, and give full effort, then there is a niche and a place for you.

Mike and his family moved away, but I’m able to keep up with them through Facebook.

Just so you know, Mike is in now in high school and is doing well.

Knee pain and exercise

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

There have been many readers contacting me in regards to knee pain. Most of them are no longer exercising due to the onset of osteoarthritis.

There are many reasons for knee pain which should be checked by an orthopedic surgeon.

This article will focus on osteoarthritis (OA) only.

We will all eventually develop different levels of this disease. There are four grade levels with four being the worst.

Don’t use the excuse of knee pain as a reason to not exercise. Really, the best way to slow the progression of OA is to strengthen the muscles around the joint. This gives it better stability and support.

Typically, knee joints are at their most vulnerable point during 60 degrees of flexion. You experience this climbing stairs and getting up from a chair or toilet.

There are a variety of exercises for you to choose from that are not demanding on your knees.

Pool exercises are a great choice because water is buoyant which prevents extra weight forces on knees and hips. Use a kickboard to move up and down the pool. Try sitting on the steps of the pool, flutter kick to feel quadricep muscles burning.

You can grab the edge of a pool, in the shallow end, and perform deep knee bends. It’s important to maintain a full range of motion as you strengthen leg muscles.

Another non-weight bearing exercise that helps build leg muscles is bicycling. You can enjoy the outdoors or use a stationary bike. Either one, will produce blood flow and increase flexibility.

Don’t let knee pain stop you from exercising, but let it be a motivator. Besides, most orthopedists will start you off with physical therapy anyway.

Retirement should be the start of a new life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recently, I visited south Florida for business. Some surgeon friends and I were there for advanced orthopedic training.

As we all know, this is a densely populated area for retired senior citizens. To my surprise, these seniors were living life to the fullest. They were wearing clothes of fashion, had stylish hairdos and jewelry, driving convertible cars, sporting dark tans, and were busy with many physical activities.

These activities included swimming, golfing. biking, tennis, dancing and training in the gym.

My Florida surgeon friend told me these people come to him for multiple joint replacements due to osteoarthritis. They weren’t there to just take the pain away, but to get back to an active lifestyle as quick as possible.

So, let me ask you, who are retired, have you made a bucket list or a life list? Do you look at retirement as time closer to death or as a new beginning?

Maybe you should get a personal trainer, take dancing lessons, play golf or tennis. What activities have you always desired to do? You are never too old to try something new or out of your comfort zone.

You shouldn’t care what your family or friends think. Either you will make them jealous, or maybe they’ll join you.

Former President George Bush, even to this day, skydives every year on his birthday. Isn’t he like 100 years old?

We all have an inner kid in us. Find yours, and enjoy retirement like it’s a continual vacation because it is. You’ve earned it!

I know I’m getting a little older, but to be honest, some of these great grandmas in Florida were looking kind of hot, and so can you.

Lessons in sports help children in many ways

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Two years ago, when my daughter Daylyn was 12 years old, she fell in love with the game of volleyball.

In previous years, she played in many recreation leagues. We decided to step up her game, and try to join one of the club leagues. This would give her the opportunity to improve her skills and knowledge of the game.

Daylyn had missed the first set of tryouts, but one particular team allowed her to join a practice. The coach wanted to determine if she was good enough to make the team.

Oh my goodness, all these girls were very skilled with a fast-paced practice. Everyone knew what they were doing except for Daylyn. She was spinning in circles trying to keep up. It was obvious, she was a sheep thrown to the wolves.

Daylyn would glance at me every once in a while with tear-swollen eyes, biting her lip to keep from showing her emotions. But, my little girl never gave up, producing her best and battling through each drill. All I could do was to keep giving a thumbs-up signal for encouragement.

I’m glad she couldn’t see my face, for I had a steady stream of tears flowing down the crevices of my cheeks.

The real message here is for all you parents who put your kids in competitive youth sports. Just know, through all the bumps, bruises, scratches and falling down to get back up in the game, that your child will grow up with an edge in the competitive game of life.

We understand, it can be a cruel and challenging world, but with a sports background, you learn the drive to win and be your best.

Just so you know, Daylyn did make the team. She was chosen for possessing strong will and perseverance.

Through the season, Daylyn went from the only girl who struggled with overhand serves, to one of the team’s power servers

Paying tribute to heads of large households

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This article is a tribute to the parents of large or blended families with children in multiple activities.

I, too, am part of a modern day blended family. Between my spouse and I, we have one teenager in college and four very active teenagers in multiple sports in three different schools. Yes, our house is a crazy house sometimes.

Here is a typical day out of the week — 4 p.m. basketball game at one school, 5:30 p.m. basketball game at another school, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. baseball scrimmage and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. club volleyball practice.

And, yes, between the both of us, we make it to all of these to cheer on our kids.

Don’t forget, there is dinner, laundry and homework during and after all of this.

I’m sure there are lots of families who can relate. We chose long ago to not see this as a burden or sacrifice, but to embrace and cherish every moment. We recognize our kids will only be with us for a short period of time.

Just know, if your kids don’t appreciate you now, they will once they have their own children. Believe it or not, you are their role model and they should want to grow up and be the same type of awesome parent.

Our children’s successes in sports, academics and any other activity lie completely in the hands of parents.

I give my standing ovation to all you amazing parents because we see you in the stands with us.

Like I told my spouse, no matter how crazy and challenging the days are, we all come home together at night to sleep in our loving home.

Sometimes at the end of the day, I feel like the family in the old Waltons TV show. I lie in bed and want to shout out “good night John boy”.

Players learn to be good sports through good coaches

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When my son Dylan was 11 years old, I coached his youth basketball team. We had a successful season, all the players improved, had lots of fun, except for one situation. We were down to our last game and one of the players, whom I will call John, hadn’t scored a goal all season, even though he had equal playing time as his teammates.

Before our last game started, I talked to our opponent’s coach, Kevin Dapper, and explained the situation. I asked Coach Dapper, when the game is down to the last 2 minutes and if John hasn’t scored, would his team agree to let him score a basket? He gathered his 11 year old team together and they all happily agreed.

Well, the game was under 2 minutes and John hadn’t scored. I nodded to Coach Dapper, and he signaled his team.

You see, all of John’s family was at this particular game including, not only parents and siblings, but grandparents and out of town relatives.

We inbounded the ball, passed it to John, who proceeded clumsily down the court. The opponents acted like they were defending but giving John a pathway, and after a few attempts, made his first and only basket of the season.

I leaped about 5 feet in the air with the biggest scream. His family were on their feet yelling at the top of their lungs. John was running back down the court with the biggest grin imaginable.

It was the first time to witness 11 year old boys excited for an opponent to score against them.

We might have lost that game on the scoreboard, but you would have never known by the celebration we were having.

Just know, all these boys are in high school now, and Coach Dapper is still coaching youth sports and teaching good sportsmanship.

Coach Dapper, even after all these years, I still tip my hat.

Great things can happen by adding politeness

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I want to share a story that happened years ago. While attending college, I was a martial arts competitor and worked at Grand Master Al Garza’s Karate School. When teaching classes, I constantly reminded students to address me with “yes sir” and no sir.”

On one particular day, I was walking through Baybrook Mall and a young lady stopped me to sell some men’s cologne. During our conversation, and out of habit, I reminded her to say “yes sir.” I immediately apologized and explained my reason for correcting people. I bought the cologne and went on about my way.

About four months later, I was walking through the mall again, and this same lady ran up and stopped me. She told me that she thought real hard about our conversation and chose to start responding to everyone with “yes sir” and “yes ma’am”.

To her surprise, she started selling more products and doubled her commissions. Her supervisors took notice and gave her a leadership role in that department.

Now, she was taking night classes in marketing and business with plans to open her own store one day.

Just think about yourself. How do you treat people? What are your habits of politeness? Do you treat people as you wish to be treated?

Don’t get frustrated if you open the door for others and they don’t say “thank you.” That’s their problem. Walk away and continue your awesome day.

My kids have been opening doors for people since they were very young. They love greeting people and watching adults smile at them for their act of kindness.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. Try adding “yes sir” and “yes ma’am” to your vocabulary and watch the effects it will have in your life.

And, if you start making more money, cut me off 10 percent.

Make others feel good and you’ll feel good, too

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In my past articles, I’ve mentioned how relationships between companions will grow through fitness.

What is your relationship with yourself? Are you hard on yourself for the features your parents gave you? I hope you realize we all have distinct individual looks and that’s one of the coolest parts about the human race.

Really, the only part of your body you can control is fat and muscle percentage. We all know the importance of fitness and eating habits. And, this comes down to discipline and self control.

How about your personality, love for all people and kindness?

I once asked my kids, “Are you the kid you would want?” This question made an impact on them.

So, how about you? Are you someone that you would want to date, be in a relationship with or marry? Be the person you want to spend the rest of your life with because you will. Accept who you are and work on developing and enhancing all that is good and positive. We have one life. This is no dress rehearsal. Be nice and take care of yourself. Walk out into the world with a smile and greet everyone with big Texas “Hello.”

I once was running errands around town, and decided to make a kind comment to everyone I encountered. I would find something about them and tell them kind words. Like, “Your hair looks good today,” “I like that shirt, hat, shoes” or some article of clothing. Or, “You have a great smile.”

Make people feel good about themselves, and you’ll feel good about you.

Remember, a bad day is only because you make it so. Make each day better than the day before. It easily starts with a big teeth-showing smile to share with the world.

Ready for exercise? Start at the core

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

OK, it’s January 2015, and you’re ready to start exercising. You might be confused on how and what to start with. There are so many choices of exercises, fads, diets and gym memberships.

One particular body part that needs the most focus is your core. Your core affects all other body parts, including posture and well being.

So what does core training include? It’s all the muscles of the trunk which includes front, side, back, abdominals, spine, pelvic and obliques.

So how do I work these muscles? There are many fitness centers and trainers who target these muscles in their workouts.

There a several home devices that help target these muscles as well. For example – kettle bells, medicine balls, weighted hula hoops, wheel devices and others.

One true core and abdominal strengthening devices on the market is The Abdominal Reanimater. This core trainer is for people of all fitness levels, including partner and spotting techniques. Plus, it doesn’t take many repetitions or time, and you feel the effects after the first usage. Once your body has adjusted to one workout, keep advancing to other techniques.

You can be a first timer, weekend warrior or extreme athlete. Every person will feel and get results.

Go to and click on “instructional video”. It will demonstrate the variety of techniques according to your fitness level along with safety posture.

Local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Brooks, who uses the Abdominal Reanimater as part of his personal workout regimen, recommends core strengthening to his patients as an essential component of any fitness or training program.  The Abdominal Reanimater is one option to help you achieve your fitness goals for the new year.

Remember, slow progress is better than no progress.

Start each day with a positive outlook

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Let’s start each day with positive thinking. Find goodness and beauty in every person you encounter. Don’t judge people by their clothes, hairstyles, tattoos, and piercings.

The kids and I only judge people by our ears and not our eyes. We’ve learned to enjoy how everyone expresses themselves with different styles and fashion.

Your true character is typical of how you speak. Do you speak well of others and show respect and kindness? Remember kids, how you act and speak in public is a reflection of your parents.

I’m currently helping a number of people to reach their fitness goals. My main focus is positive thinking. I see beauty in everyone, and you should recognize the beauty you possess.

Remember, your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. Some people are very physically fit, some are severely overweight or scary thin, while all others are in between.

No matter what your body type is, if you recognize your inner beauty and walk with confidence, then you will slowly transform the body you truly desire.

Next time you walk into work, smile and greet everyone with a good morning or hello. Don’t hide or be overly shy. Let people know you’re alive and happy. Be that person others want to surround themselves with.

I’m just so excited starting this new year with a more positive attitude and will continue riding the wave of kindness and helping others reach fitness goals.