Play The Ball Where It Lies

By David Tepera, August 31, 2017

I have to admit, I’m not one who plays much golf. I’ve been hyperactive my whole life and couldn’t slow down enough to enjoy the slow pace of golf. My thought process was -“There are spikes on the bottom of my shoes, so why don’t we all sprint to the ball?”

Recently, I was invited to play with a small group of business friends. I have a beautiful set of oversized Callaways, golf gloves, visor, along with all the gear and necessities for a golf game. Believe me, I look like a pro. Everyone wants me to be on their team, until we practice at the driving range.

Yep, I can drive the ball a great distance, but 50 percent of the time, I can’t find it. My short game? You can plant a garden behind me from all the divots. Once on the green, it takes me three to four putts. I need a bigger hole on a flat surface.

So, as I began my journey to complete 18 holes, I found my golf game was similar to current life circumstances.

It’s been a bit of a rough-go over the past six months trying to find a solution to a particular important situation. I’ve researched many avenues looking for the best outcome, plus I put full effort into each of them hoping for success.

I found myself reflecting on this as I fought my way through each hole on the golf course. Typically, I would drive the ball through the trees into the rough. First, I would need to find the ball, then choose the correct club to get me back on course.

I was determined to complete each round with as little effort as possible, but it rarely turned out that easy.

As we all have learned, life isn’t easy, even when we are giving it our best. We find ourselves in the rough trying to get back on course, hoping for a better result.

My son Dylan just graduated high school and we both agreed for him to not start college until the spring semester. Dylan needed a break from academics and wanted to concentrate on working as a personal trainer to have a stronger sense of the responsibilities of the real world.

I told Dylan to go out there and fail. Give the world your best and learn from mistakes. You see, failure and mistakes only means you’re giving it your all. If you’re not falling, then you’re not learning to get back up.

None of us can escape circumstances when life knocks us into the rough. We have to gather ourselves, choose a different path and pursue getting back on course.

Just know, it’s OK when you’re giving life your all and you get knocked off course. Just keep pushing forward and accept you must play the ball where it lies because you’ll eventually reach your destiny.

Baseball’s full-count is similar to life

By David Tepera, August 23, 2017

In the game of baseball, one of the most nail-biting moments for a batter is a full count. It’s when the batter has three balls and two strikes, which means the very next pitch determines the batter’s fate.

If you’ve played baseball, softball or watched the games, you’ve experienced this particular excitement.

The most frustrating turnout is when the batter decides not to swing the bat, hoping for a walk, but is called a strike. This means you’re out, plus you didn’t give any effort. Not only is it embarrassing, but creates disappointment in yourself.

Aren’t there plenty of situations in life where we became disappointed in ourselves for not taking action? We decided to play passive hoping the situation would just fade or go away.

Almost of all of us have been bullied in some kind of way, and chose not to stand up for ourselves.

I’ve actually had many conversations with women around the subject to enroll in self-defense classes or some other program of protection.

Statistically, these hurtful situations will only happen once in a lifetime, if at all. But, why wait?

Learn to protect yourself now. Even if it didn’t turn out well, at least you had another option. And maybe, it saved your life.

I’m only trying to make you think. We all have different opinions and beliefs. I have a 16-year-old daughter and I started her out in after-school martial arts classes when she was in first grade.

Daylyn, her brother Dylan and I would attend controlled fighting classes each week. Believe me, my little girl learned to kick some butt, along with gaining self-confidence.

For the past many years, the kids and I will role play situations. What happens at home when an intruder breaks in and I’m not there? How do you react in a parking lot when approached by someone? What about a restaurant, movie theater and so on? My kids are as prepared as possible.

It’s the part of life that we hate to think about, but it’s necessary when you have a full-count and you need to swing for the fences.

Listen, I love everyone and have a passion for every living thing. I walk through my days showering all people with happiness and love. Why don’t we all take on that mentality and leave the full count in baseball? Agree?

Quit Looking for Short-Cuts

By David Tepera, August 16, 2017

Nutrition supplements and exercise equipment is a multibillion-dollar industry. People are always looking for the next popular diet to lose weight, and the next gimmick for ripped abs and more muscle.

You throw all your hard-earned money to these so-called experts because you want to look like their models in the commercials, or be one of the “before and after” poster children.

For all you average and overweight people, I have the weight loss secret formula for you, it’s quite simple and doesn’t cost any money. All you have to do is “eat less and exercise more.”

Admit it, the reason you are continually looking for the next big thing is because you lack discipline. Yes, that hurts, but it’s true for all of us.

You want to lose weight? Get that booty in motion in order to increase metabolism. Quit eating at buffets and accept smaller portions to feel full — not stuffed. Drink lots of water during meal times because not only is it good for you, but will fill your stomach faster. Of course, this means you’ll eat less and be satisfied.

I’ve written about it before, but I’ve had countless conversations with people regarding ripped abs. They tell how many situps and exercises they’re doing and it’s not working. I let them know, “yes, you are developing strong abdominals, but you’re hiding it under all that fat.” Ouch, but I tell people the truth.

How many of you take shortcuts at work? You think you’re flying below the radar and getting away with minimal effort. You’re truly not being that productive.

Guess what? Those shortcuts are not getting you the promotions or pay raises. And, if your company needs to downsize, you’re the first to go.

What about your spousal relationships? Are you cutting corners by just keeping them satisfied by being a good provider? Is it truly a partnership and not one-sided? Come on, step up your game and be adventurous. Be the person you want to be with.

We all get caught up in our busy stressful lives and looking for shortcuts. But you must put your priorities in order and put the effort and work in.

I tell people not to worry about a little extra fat and just be healthy and happy. When at work, put all your effort into it and be productive. This is called “job security.” Do something special for your spouse to let them know you appreciate and love them.

So, from now on, no more shortcuts and have an amazing fulfilling life.

Be a Scrambling Quarterback

By David Tepera, August 9, 2017

In the game of football, the quarterback’s decision-making and execution are the most crucial factors. Remember, quarterbacks are the first to have the ball in their hands once it’s snapped.

The sole purpose of the quarterback is to execute a designed play with precision. But sometimes, the defense disrupts the play and the quarterback has to take off running with hopes of turning a disaster into a gain. This usually means they’ll throw to an open receiver or tuck the ball and run for their lives.

Quarterbacks who are good at this are known as “scrambling QBs.” They are good at decision-making on the fly.

During my youth, Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings was known as the “Mad Scrambler.” Randall Cunningham of the Philadelphia Eagles dominated the 1990s and forever changed defensive strategies.

Today’s most known scrambling QB is Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. He holds the most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

If you think about it, there are multiple events in our lives where we had to become a scrambling QB.

We typically try to live our lives on a set schedule and routine. This lifestyle reduces unnecessary stress. But, sometimes, life brings disruption and forces us to make quick decisions or we are going to get sacked.

What’s your immediate reaction when a family emergency occurs, unemployment or a life threatening situation?

Of course, we would all like to not think about these situations because it’s depressing, but we must, at least, be mentally prepared.

Do you just fall down and let the opponent sack you? Do you look to pass the ball to someone else? Or, do you tuck the ball away and bust through the defense because you’re going to control your own destiny?

No one likes to face adversity, but you can’t escape it. We’ve all been through life’s challenges which should develop a stronger determined character.

Now look, if this is you, let the steam blow through your nostrils like a rodeo bull. Accept what lays ahead and bust through the defense because the goal line is waiting on you to score.

You got this because you are the world’s best scrambling QB on this field of life.

We are all in preseason

By David Tepera, August 2, 2017

For those of us who love all levels of football, preseason is finally upon us. Players and coaches are getting ready with the highest expectations for a winning season.

Everyone must take lessons of last year and make the improvements necessary to strategize a championship run.

Recently, I was having a discussion with my teenage children as they are experiencing steps into adulthood. To me, each phase of young life is equal to a sport’s preseason.

Let’s think about this. High school relationships or so called “puppy love” is really lessons with hopes of becoming a better understanding spouse in the future.

Remember your first job? Hopefully, you learned the importance of dependability, work ethic, money management and interacting with the real world. This experience should make you a better employee or the desire to be an employer.

Even the caring of pets is important because one day your children will become parents.

How important was schooling through all the years of our young lives? Not all of us will pursue college for a variety of reasons, but we all go through an educational system until the age of 17 or 18. Besides the academic piece, there are many life lessons learned through this process to prepare us for adulthood.

Are you starting to realize how the importance of preseason is more than just sports?

Where are you today? What are you striving for tomorrow? Did you learn anything from yesterday? You must ask yourself these questions on a daily basis.

You see, preseason is the opportunity to make multiple mistakes. Even though we are constantly trying to figure out ways of creating a better life, we must also realize what’s holding us back. These lessons will help us prepare for the future and reach our goals.

It doesn’t matter where you are today. Just recognize from your decisions and a variety of circumstances has created your present day. Take back control of your life and start a new journey.

I repeatedly tell my children “learn from the past, live for today, and prepare for tomorrow”.

Remember, you’re in preseason, so just keep pushing forward.