Historically, it’s who we are

By DAVID TEPERA, February 22, 2017

Out of all these situations, I’ve noticed a common statement from these coaches when being interviewed.

They are asked, “Coach, this team has never had a winning season. What changed and turned it around this year?”

Coaches reply, “Not only this team, but this school and the whole town has never been part of a winning season. Historically, losing is what’s expected each year. These players had to learn to believe in themselves and each other to change history.”

Now, the impactful word that empowers me is “historically.”

How many of you have developed bad habits because, historically, you feel it’s part of your family bloodline?

How many people think only rich kids become wealthy? Just because everyone in your family is obese and lazy, doesn’t mean that’s your destiny.

Where will this historically destructive pattern cease? Who is going to believe in themselves and realize the only person preventing success is in the mirror?

A better life is waiting right outside your front door.

That’s it. No more excuses. I’m getting off this “excuse” couch to change not only my life, but also my family.

You had no control of your childhood, neighborhood or schools attended, but you have control of your adult life. You’ve put a plan in place and set goals to reach success beyond dreams. Each day you take a step closer to better finances, healthier lifestyle, quality relationships, along with being a better role model for your children.

In the future years, when your relatives look back over the family tree, it will be your name that created the foundation for everyone’s success. It was you that fed and watered the roots which produced much fruit.

Today is the beginning of which your family will say, “Historically, we always find a way to conquer adversity and come out winners. It’s who we are.”

Are you ready?

By DAVID TEPERA – February 15, 2017

How about in sports? How many times have we seen a starting player get hurt or pulled from a game and the second-string player needs to step in?

If you are a Houston Texans football fan, over the past few years, we’ve seen this happen many times with quarterbacks. From 2002 to the 2016 season, Houston Texans used 14 different quarterbacks. This is more than any other team in the league. Plus, I think most people are hoping for a new quarterback this coming year.

What happens if a job promotion becomes available with your company? Have you been doing your homework, acting and treating other co-workers as a professional? Are you the person they want to hand over the new responsibility? If you’re ready, then how much more income could this produce?

This might be meaningless to most people, but I teach my kids to keep our house “company ready.” There is nothing more embarrassing than to have an unexpected guest, and your house is a complete mess. My house is always ready for the unexpected, except my daughter’s bedroom. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a female thing. You ladies have a lot of stuff.

A scary, but understandable, statistic is that most Americans don’t have at least $1,000 in savings. All experts agree that we should have enough savings to cover six months worth of bills.

Do you have an emergency funds account? I know we are all scared to lose a job, have unexpected vehicle expenses or a serious medical issue.

Today is the time to re-evaluate your life. What steps do you need to make in order to be ready?

Let others point the finger for their downfalls. You’re better than that. Take ownership for your faults, learn from mistakes, and keep grinding forward.

Practice your craft like you’re the starting player. Develop the character needed at work to prove you’re worthy of promotions. Be the role model for your kids in order for them to learn leadership skills.

You have complete control of your life, so be ready. It’s coming.

A tribute to a coach

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 

Recently, a former high school head football coach and good friend, Tom Williams, was laid to rest.

I was just 7 years old when my family moved to La Marque, Texas in 1968. My dad, Ray Tepera, was hired to coach football by the legendary Orville Etheredge. Coach Williams was one of the other coaches already on staff.

In 1970, La Marque consolidated the black school of Lincoln Eagles with the white school of La Marque Tigers to become the La Marque High School Cougars.

Those of you who remember, the years around the 1970s were very challenging in moving this country forward.

Coach Williams was handed the responsibility as head football coach to bring two communities together. This included not only players with two different backgrounds, but coaches as well.

I’ll let you in on a secret — Tom Williams was an amazing coach, mentor, leader and a friend to all.

How do I know? Because through all those years, I had the privilege of being a coach’s son. I was there almost every weekend when coaches were watching film and planning next game strategies. I was the ball boy at football games for many years. I heard all the pregame, halftime and postgame speeches. And yes, being a sneaky kid, I heard all the private conversations as well.

Coach Williams didn’t see black and white. He saw a bunch of teenage boys taking steps toward becoming men. Coach Williams told me that he believed football brought a brotherhood amongst his players. They all fought for victory as they leaned on each other in the trenches.

Once I became a man, I look back over the years with my dad and coach Williams. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that childhood experience made one of the biggest impacts in my life.

Once coach Williams and my dad had finally retired, coach would frequent my dad’s house each week. They maintained a close relationship to the end.

I would sit back and listen to these aged coaches reminisce about all the old football stories and incredible players during that special era.

For those of you who are still around, I want you to know that coach Williams remembered all of your names and truly loved each and every one of you.

Really, I could write a whole book about coach Tom Williams. I’m going to miss that old rascal and his infectious laugh. Thanks coach for helping this snotty little kid to become a compassionate man. I love you.

Mastering free throws is critical

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 

Free throws are one of the most critical components of a basketball game. Close games are won or lost through free throws.

Usually every basketball practice requires players to work on their craft. If you ever pay close attention to the free throw shooter, you’ll notice each player has a ritual before taking the shot. It’s important for them to repeat the feel of the shot in order to be successful.

All teams are aware which players have the highest and lowest percentage of free throw shooting.

Sometimes, when the game is close with time running out, teams will foul the player with the lowest percentage, hoping to get the ball back without being scored on.

So, obviously, there’s a lot of pressure to be a good free throw shooter. Your skill is critical for the ultimate outcome.

There are many of you with occupations that require critical precision. Think about welders and electricians whose skills can be life or death situations. They must master their craft or it could be a catastrophe.

You could say the same about surgeons, space engineers, pilots, refinery workers and so on.

Sometimes we forget how critical our daily decisions are in order to maintain a quality of life.

We must be dependable employees, supportive spouses, firm — but loving — parents, plus be kind and helpful to others.

Today, you’ll be out in this world interacting with people. Are you the person you would want to be associated with? Do you lift spirits or tear them down?

I know people who look at each day as another day closer to death. They try to pull others into their misery. Not me, see ya later. I choose happiness, and so should you.

What decisions will you make today that’s crucial for you and family?

No matter what challenges my children had faced the day before, I make sure each morning, before they go to school, they know how much daddy loves them.

We all have important situations in our daily lives that require critical decisions. Master your craft and be the person everyone can count on to win the game.