Category Archives: Inspiration

Go from good to great in your life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

During my kids’ sports seasons, we had a serious discussion. I wanted them to recognize their potential skill level in order to improve their game.

I let them know that they are really good players like most of their teammates. But, now it’s time to separate yourself and become one of the great players. 

Great players fight to the end, no matter what the score reflects. Even if your team is getting slaughtered, you should be the leader that never gives up. Be the player who wants the ball with seconds left, and defend like your life depended on it.

You want to walk away knowing you put in every effort possible. That my friend, will earn you respect from players and coaches. 

We should all take that “great” attitude into our adult lives in order to truly accomplish goals. Are you a good or great employee, spouse or parent? 

If you’re trying to improve health, do you exercise and diet sometimes or every day? 

Who’s the leader in your family, work place or community? 

Challenge yourself, step up your game, and attack each day with full focus on the tasks at hand. Develop the habit of winning and not accepting defeat. You only fail when you give up. 

When life becomes a challenge, it’s your opportunity to develop strong character. 

Don’t tip-toe through life and settle on being just good at something. Learn to go from good to great. 

As the late, great Zig Ziglar always stated, “see you at the top.”

Seek a mentor and accomplish your goals

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 

Do you want to lose weight, start a business, write a book, or accomplish something completely out of your knowledge?

We all have a specific set of goals needing attention. The problem is, sometimes, we really don’t know how to get started.

I found the best path to reaching my goals was to find a mentor. There’s always someone who’s been down your path that has mastered your goals. 

Seek out that person, tell them your passion, and ask for advice. I promise, everyone enjoys feeling like the expert, and will gladly give tips and pointers. 

Now, don’t make the mistake and ask someone to take you under their wing and show you the ropes. That old “saying” needs be thrown away. Nobody has time for that. You should only ask a mentor for a few tips or one big piece of advice. Make sure, your very next step is exactly what they advised you to do. Otherwise, don’t bother them again. No one wants to keep giving advice to someone not putting their words into action. 

I desperately needed help when first starting my column for The Daily News. Sports editor James LaCombe became my mentor. He helped adjust my writing skills to format a newspaper. Believe me, in the beginning, he had to correct plenty of mistakes. Now, he barely has to correct any, if at all.

James told me it takes lots and lots of practice, so that’s what I do. I practice writing my columns every day. I’ve actually written many others that may never get published.  

How passionately do you really want to accomplish your goals? Seek out a mentor and pursue your dreams. Get out of your comfort zone and have the life you want and deserve.

Don’t waste time in the gym, add intensity

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 

I have several friends who are competitive body builders, fitness and figure professionals. It’s quite remarkable to watch them prepare for an upcoming competition show. The intensity, dedication and extreme diet they go through is almost indescribable.

My friend Frances Field, NPC Figure Champion, happened to be training and preparing in the gym recently. I typically strike up a conversation with Frances and her husband, but that day was not the day. She would have eaten me up.

Frances was frantically performing speed drills on different cardio machines, then sprinted through the gym, followed by push-ups and jumping jacks, then sprinted back to the cardio machines, only to repeat the process over and over.

I promise, everyone, got out of her way, for she had the “eye of the tiger.”

Her intensity, made me think about my own workouts. I sometimes find myself just going through the motions, watching the clock, not putting in much effort and practically wasting my time.

After observing Frances, I decided to kick up my intensity a few notches. I was lifting weights, so I added heavier weights with less rest in between sets. Within a few minutes, sweat was pouring out, my heart rate was up, the endorphins were kicking in, and I was feeling like Superman. Well, maybe more like Superman’s father. I am getting a little older, but you get my point.

Next time you’re starting any type of exercise, try using competitive intensity, and psych yourself up with a purpose of accomplishing goals.

One famous philosophy of the great Jhoon Rhee, father of American Tae Kwon Do — “It’s not how much time you put into it, but how much you put into the time.”

Think about it.

Accomplish goals using power of attraction

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I once had the opportunity to judge the long-jump event for track and field day at an elementary school.There was a very athletic fifth grade girl named Jackie, who was expected to break the school record.

After her first attempt, Jackie landed about four inches shy of the record. She asked me to show her where the school record was located and to mark it. Jackie starred at the marked record for a few seconds then prepared for her next jump. She eventually smashed the school record by nearly seven inches.

It took me a few years to understand how Jackie accomplished that feat. We all have mental goals for different parts of our lives. But, unless we can truly see them and feel them, our goals typically won’t be accomplished.

What are your goals in life? Be that of ideal-weight, running a marathon, dream job, life partners, or maybe an expensive house or car. Everyone has a different list.

Write down your goals, find pictures of them, and place them on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, dashboard of your car, and on your office desk.

You need these as constant reminders of what you want to accomplish. Do not look at them as a want or wish list, but produce the feeling as if you have already accomplished them. Walk through your daily lives as if you own those possessions, have that dream job, or ideal body weight.

When you can feel the presence of each goal, you will attract them into your lives. Don’t worry about how and when it will happen, just know it manifests through your intense power.

There’s a young lady named Cortney, who wanted to lose weight. I had her cut out pictures of herself when she was much thinner and place them around her house as a constant visual reminder of what she really looks like. Over the past several months, Cortney has lost over 20 pounds.

Use your “power of attraction” and place your goals all around you. I bet you’ll fly through the air and smash records like a fifth grade girl named Jackie

A lesson in focusing on task at hand

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Late last year while exercising in my local gym, I noticed a woman, probably in her 40s, training a young lady who had to be around 20 years of age. It was obvious that the younger lady was mentally challenged, for she never smiled, never talked or made eye contact with anyone.

Because of my curiosity, I struck a conversation to enquire about their situation. The older woman’s name was Vickie, and she told me that she had recently become Sarah’s guardian. Vickie also mentioned that since she regularly worked out in the gym, she decided to start taking Sarah with her.

Well, about five months had passed before we crossed paths again. Oh my goodness, I was in complete shock. Sarah had transformed her body into what looked like an Olympic athlete. She had lost most of her body fat and replaced it with muscle.

I expressed my surprise and joy to Vickie, then asked how Sarah, under her circumstances, was able to accomplish this transformation?

Vickie’s reply was that due to Sarah’s disability, she can only focus on one task at a time and gives it 100 percent effort. This is part of her mentality that helps her function in life.

Sarah noticed I was complimenting her because she looked deep into my eyes and produced a huge smile. My heart melted, and all I could do in return was to nod my head with a warming grin.

There are two “take-aways” from Sarah’s story. First, if we could all learn to give 100 percent focus on the task at hand, how more productive and organized our lives would be — be that occupational, educational, projects, relationships, spiritual, fitness and diet.

Second, I don’t have a PHD, but how many other mentally or physically challenged people would benefit from the use of a gym?

One thing I do know for certain, getting yourself in better shape produces confidence and endorphins.

Because of my crazy workout schedule, I haven’t seen Vickie and Sarah since then. But, the lesson learned from Sarah, will last me a lifetime.

Can you make Sports Center’s Top 10 plays in other parts of your life?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 

Every day, ESPN’s SportsCenter shows the top 10 plays for all sports from the previous day. My family and I enjoy watching since some of the plays reflect spectacular feats of athleticism.

Before my kids start one of their own games, we talk about performing well enough to make SportsCenter’s Top 10.

This made me think and evaluate other parts of my life. Do I make top 10 plays as a parent, spouse, business man, writer or even with my health?

What about you? We teach our kids to perform at their best, but are you setting the example. Just know, your kids are watching your every move and making their own judgements.

Which parent are you? The one who comes home, complains about work, expects dinner to be ready, plops on the couch and yells at kids because you can’t hear the TV.

When’s the last time you got up a little earlier and made your special breakfast for everyone? How about that house project that’s been lingering around for months? Maybe it’s time to come home to your kids and play catch, kick a soccer ball or shoot some hoops.

Make a date night with your spouse, and do something you both enjoyed when dating. This will help you remember why you fell in love.

Maybe it’s time to step up your game at work and ask to take on extra projects. Show your bosses that you’re the “go to” employee.

Now, it’s time to embrace your life and make SportsCenter Top 10 plays in every aspect of it. Be the person you want your kids to become. Love your spouse and thank them for all they’ve done for you and family.

I promise, you’ll start loving every minute of every day because you stopped wasting time and have a purpose in life

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.

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”.