Learn to get back up and never quit

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

As parents, one of the best lessons we can teach our children is to get back up after being knocked down. These lessons will be needed throughout their whole lives.

For example, when I was a youth soccer coach, it was countless how many times parents would run to their kid’s rescue after they fell from being tripped. The fallen kid would look for their parents then start crying.

Now wait a moment and keep reading before you get mad at me. There is a difference between being hurt and being injured.

At the beginning of each season, I would tell the parents that if your kid falls, I’m going to yell at them to get up and get back in the game. I wouldn’t give them an opportunity to cry or have their parent over-pamper them.

Also, once the kid was up and running, I would yell encouraging words letting them know how proud I was of their effort. Those kids always received extra high-fives from me.

It was amazing to watch a young kid learn to self-power and transform into a determined athlete.

The second part of this lesson is I never allowed my kids to quit any sport or activity either. It didn’t matter how much they weren’t enjoying it. I told them to finish the season, and if they never wanted to play again, then don’t.

Besides, my kids typically would end up liking that sport anyway. They just had a discouraging game or practice during a particular week.

Once we teach our kids to quit, quitting becomes a way of life. Believe me, my kids have deleted the “quit” word from their vocabulary.

I know a family whose parents came to their son’s rescue in every situation possible, not just sports. Their son never learned to get back up or problem-solve. They allowed him to quit every activity he was involved in. Now he’s in high school and has no ambition because quitting comes too easy.

Throughout our whole lives, we will be in situations that require us to find courage to never give up.

We’ll encounter divorce, unemployment, life-threatening diseases, death of love ones and so on.

Yes, you will fail, you’ll get hurt, and you’ll lose. But, you’ll also come from behind to win, cross the finish line and fight your way back in life.

You’ll always find a way to land back on your feet because quitting was never an option.

Find the Olympian within you

 Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

I don’t know about you, but watching the Olympics has been a refreshing relief from all the crazy politics with which we’ve been bombarded.

I’m most compelled to watch the amateur athletes compete instead of the million-dollar professionals. It’s very heartwarming to learn the personal troubles and adversities that so many Olympians had to conquer in order to chase their greatest passion.

I think I’m safe to admit, I cry each night watching victories along with defeats. I feel the Olympics helped bring the world together for a few brief weeks for us to recognize that we are truly one human race.

But what I’ve really come to understand is that we all have an Olympian within us. As we go through our journey of life, we face many obstacles, barriers and tragedies. We’ve all been knocked down, sucker punched and blindsided. It’s part of life that’s most difficult to experience.

Plus, don’t we all have physical and internal scars too? I have physical scars on both arms from a freak accident that required my biceps to be reattached. Just like you, I’ve faced many personal tragedies, including the loss of a 23-year-old son.

Even though they’re young, both of my kids have many scars themselves. I’ve explained to them that each scar is a story from their life’s journey. None of us can escape situations the world will throw at us, but it’s those scars that make us the unique, beautiful person we are.

I see a woman’s stretch marks from childbirth as a thing of beauty. They brought a wonderful life into this world with their amazing bodies.

I’m sure there are many of you who have heard “it’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up.”

Today is the day to pick yourself up and shake off the dust. You are an Olympian fighting with determination to become a champion. We are in a world of competition and you’re the strongest competitor to take the lead.

There’s no hurdle high enough that you can’t leap over. At the end of each day, it will be you standing on the podium to accept a gold medal for conquering life’s journey.

Change your destructive family patterns

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Have you ever noticed obese parents typically have obese children? How about athletic parents raising children athletes?

Of course this is one extreme to the other, plus this only pertains to percentages. There will always be outliers in every category.

You can use the same statistics for parents who have destructive habits. Why do their children take on the same behaviors? How come this pattern keeps being passed along the bloodline?

Maybe you were raised in a questionable environment. The good news is that you are the one who is willing to stop it. You are the family member who chooses to start a new tradition of a healthy environment for your children, who, in turn, will pay it forward.

I was fortunate to be raised by a father who was a high school coach. My sister Karen and I were exposed our whole lives to a variety of sports, especially football.

Recently, I was apologizing to my 15 year old daughter Daylyn for not exposing her to more girlie types of activities. She happens to be raised by a single dad who only knows sports.

Daylyn is so funny. She told me she hates high-heel shoes, and would rather be wearing sneakers and putting her hair in ponytails, anyway.

You see, I don’t have any artistic ability either. I just had to come to the conclusion that I can’t sing, draw, paint, play any musical instruments or cut-the-rug on a good day. My poor kids have the same DNA.

Believe me, I personally tried to do all the above, but to no prevail. So, I can only pass the family pattern of a healthy environment of exercise and diet.

What about all of you parents? Just know your kids are a product of their environment. Their success in life depends on your teachings. This doesn’t mean what you say, it means what you do.

I know a family whose children were raised in an active, healthy lifestyle. One child grew up and raised their children the same way. The other child grew up and decided to become lazy and undisciplined, and now their children suffer from adolescent diabetes.

Be the hero in your family and start a new branch on the family tree of strength and success. You just need to leap out of the destruction basement and hit the ground running.

You’ve got this!

If you want it, act like it

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday August 9, 2016

Recently, my daughter Daylyn tried out and made the freshman high school volleyball team. Daylyn explained to me how there’s such a big difference in skills between the varsity players compared to the subvarsity teams.

Even though it’s early, Daylyn is already concerned about reaching those higher skill levels in order to continue playing throughout high school.

I told her to study the best players on the varsity team. Watch not only their skills, but how they approach everything else. This includes practice, mannerisms, maturity, hustle and how they respond to coaches.

Get in your mind that you’re already a varsity player and to start acting like it as a freshman. Don’t wait until you’re a senior, be that character of a player now.

This really made a lot of sense to Daylyn, and she took it to heart.

Now, let’s think about your ambitions. Do you want to move up in your company? Are you the worker you’d want to promote?

Then start acting like you have that position and be the leader within your current status. You should dress for the position, improve work ethics and treat others with respect. These qualities will get you there.

Let’s think about other categories of our lives. Are you the spouse you would want? The child to be proud of? The neighbor you want next door? The friend to count on during troubled times?

Only you can answer that honestly.

Of course, we’ve all let people down in each of those categories. But, the good news is today we get to start all over. We can make all positive changes immediately.

We all have the qualities to be amazing people. When you encourage others to step up their game, your own self-worth will soar. You’ll reach heights of success and happiness that dreams are made of.

Remember, strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.

All you have to do is start acting like the person you want and desire to be.

What choices will you make today?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016

Each morning, we wake to a full day of choices. Every thought and every action is based on a series of choices.

One of the greatest beauties of being human, is we get to make our own decisions about how we live our lives.

You get to decide on clothes, cars, neighborhoods, friends, spouses, diets, exercise and so on. But, most importantly — how you treat others.

Whatever and wherever you are in life, is due to all the choices you’ve made to date. Now think about that for a moment.

If you’re not happy or you’re miserable, then maybe it’s time to change your thought process by being a more positive and caring person.

Take a hard look in the mirror, reflect on yourself and understand why life hasn’t gone as planned.

To turn it all around and get back on track, start by changing your stinking thinking. Recognize when your thoughts are negative and find something positive to focus on.

For me, when situations aren’t going well, I’ve trained myself to find all the reasons to be thankful. I recognize life could be so much worse.

This starts first thing in the morning when I wake. My first thought of each morning is, “Wow, I’m alive and I get to go out into this beautiful world today.”

It took some time, but once I forgave everyone who wronged me, unnecessary stress vanished. Now, I find beauty in everyone and life has never been better.

My kids have learned to interact with people because I’m always striking up conversations with total strangers. To me, everyone has a story, plus I’m truly interested. That’s why I share so many stories in my column.

Just remember, your thoughts become actions, and your actions will determine your true character. That character is how we perceive you.

So, what choices will you make today? Choose to be happy because you can turn your life around with just one choice.