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.

Leaders float to the top

By David Tepera, July 29, 2017

Reasons why people become leaders is a debatable topic. Some think people are born leaders and others believe they are taught. My thoughts are the combination of both.

I feel we all have leadership qualities within us. It’s just finding and recognizing what we truly have a passion for and then pouring every ounce of ambition into it.

In every situation, leaders will float to the top.

For those of you who’ve been in Galveston County over the past 25 years, you know former La Marque head football coach Allan Weddell took the team to five state championships — winning three of them. This occurred during the 1993 to 1997 seasons.

I had the privilege of being one of his assistants through those years. You might not know this, but Coach Weddell produced six of our area high schools’ head football coaches:

Leland Surovic in Texas City, Mark Knipes in Sante Fe, Dean Deatley in Brazoswood, Tony Heath in Pearland (just retired), Eric Wells in Pearland Dawson, and Brian Lane in West Columbia (no longer current).

If you keep up with high school football, all these schools have incredible programs and are playoff contenders each year. Plus, Pearland won the football state championship in 2010.

Coach Weddell not only created quality leader coaches, but, obviously, players as well. Many of his players went on to be successful men in the corporate world.

It doesn’t matter what environment you grew up in or your current status. You have a leadership quality that’s brewing inside your body. You must determine what type of leader you want to project.

How many of you reflect leadership at home, work, youth sports, athletics or simply in everyday life?

In every aspect of your life decisions are being made. Who’s in control or controlling others in a positive direction?

The definition of a leader is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think possible.

Today is your wake-up call. No more lagging behind and accepting defeat. Pull out your leadership skills and make this world a better place.


Lets be extraordinary

By David Tepera, July 19, 2017

There’s much in your lives that seems ordinary because it’s what keeps our stress levels low. For some of you, your ordinary life doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. Just the typical daily grind and routine day after day.

Remember when we were little kids tying towels around our necks pretending to be superheroes? I would run around the yard and jump off the picnic table feeling like I could win the day. No one could defeat me because I was extraordinary.

When I was a high school coach, I would huddle my players and tell them, “I see a lot of ordinary athletes here. How many of you will step up and make this practice extraordinary?” This is where I found team leaders and captains.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life at this moment. You can turn every ordinary situation into something extraordinary.

This could be parenting, as a spouse, at work, diets and exercising, athletes or maybe through volunteering.

You see, it’s possible that your ordinary is a waste of time, so make your hours extraordinary.

Yes, putting more effort into something will take you out of your comfort zone, but the rewards could be life-changing.

For some, trying to discover extraordinary within yourself can be a challenge. Life can knock us down, and we get caught up feeling sorry for ourselves.

It took many setbacks and a tragedy to discover my extraordinary. You must realize hardships are life’s way of forcing you into extraordinary.

For me, when I feel like giving up, I find strength through my late grandmother Frances Tepera. She buried a husband when my dad was an infant, raised five successful children and she only had a seventh-grade education.

I could write a book on grandma’s struggles, and how she would conquer each day. She became our family’s backbone.

So, when you get down on yourself and life, who can you look for strength to become extraordinary?

If you can’t discover that person, then guess what? You are the chosen one. It is you who will teach other family members to fight in this world and create extraordinary into the bloodline.

It’s in you. Go look in the mirror, focus deep into your eyes and soul search. Tell yourself over and over, “I have been chosen to be extraordinary and today the world will see it.”

Now, get out there and be extraordinary. We need you.

No time to exercise?

By David Tepera, July 11, 2017

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “I don’t have time to exercise.” I try not to roll my eyes because we all know it’s an excuse. I’d rather someone tell me they don’t want to exercise, then I will be more agreeable.

My first question is, “What’s your favorite TV show or shows?” My follow-up statement: “There’s your exercise time slot. Tape the show, and get to the gym.”

Look, if you’re working, have a family, business owner or caring for someone, then yes, you are busy. But, isn’t that all of us? We’ve all found a way to fill up our days and nights. It’s what you chose to fill in those hours.

A new study shows healthy people save a least $2,500 per year over unhealthy lifestyles.

Also, unhealthy people will call in sick for work more often than others and require more doctor’s appointments.

How much do you spend on medication due to health issues? Be honest.

I’m not shaming any of you. We all have bad habits, and demons that haunt us. If you’ve read my column long enough, you know I’m realistic, and my goal is to wake up some of you. I stopped judging people over a decade ago.

Here’s the misconception for people when it comes to gym time. Most people are shocked I spend less than an hour in the gym, especially since I’m a professional physique champion. This includes weight training and cardio, but really, I rarely perform cardio in the gym. I prefer riding my bike on the weekends or evenings now it’s summer season.

The trick to staying healthy is consistency. It’s a rare day that I’m not exercising in some sort of way. When I do train, it’s full-on commitment and concentration. I’m not one who is socializing — until I’m finished. My body gets warmed up and it’s “go time.” I keep my head phones on and bounce from one exercise to the other.

The gym is your time to step away from the grind. When I was married, and the kids were toddlers, my gym time was 5 a.m., then back home to wake everyone up. I didn’t take any time away from my family.

We all have different schedules, find what’s best for you. I know tons of people dedicated and have great workout ethic.

Let today be the day to start a healthier lifestyle. I promise, you’ll develop more energy and love life more than you could imagine. It just works.

There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here

By David Tepera, July 5, 2017

We are all familiar with the word “underdog.” The term originated in the late 19th century when dog fighting was popularized. The losing dog would end up on the bottom, and of course, the winning dog would end on top. Note the term “top dog.” Just know, I do not condone dog fighting and have a strong compassion for all animals.

Recently, I was having a great discussion with a friend of mine about underdogs in different sports and reasons why people root for them. During the discussion, my friend made the comment, “But aren’t we all underdogs?”

How true is that? In every area of our lives, we were once, or are still currently, the underdog. We typically start at the bottom and battle our way up. Every succession accomplished was competing against someone who might have been more skilled.

We’ve all been bullied in school, bullied at work, pushed around in the neighborhood, taken advantage of or not respected at home. This is part of society that’s frustrating, which prompts us to cheer for the underdogs.

Why do you think Sylvester Stalone became a rich and popular man from all the Rocky movies? Because we all want to beat the top dog and punch out the bully.

For all you old fogies like me, a cartoon called “Underdog” ran from 1964 to 1973. It was about a shoeshine boy’s alter ego that would appear when his love interest Sweet Polly Purebread was being victimized by villains. Underdog was an actual dog that wore a cape and had powers.

When Underdog would appear to win the battle, he would yell, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Of course, all us little kids used that battle cry in every sandlot game.

Just know, we all have Underdog within us. Sometimes you’ll need to pull out your superpowers and stand up for yourself. If people can’t respect you for all your hard work and kindness, let them know and eliminate them from your social circle.

Next time you’re in a demanding situation, look them straight in the eye and yell, “There is no need to fear, Underdog is here!” I promise, they’ll run away because they’ll think you went bananas.

Doing for others is the greatest reward

by David Tepera, June 28, 2017

I believe one phrase most of us have heard before is, “do things for others and expect nothing in return, and you’ll find the greatest reward.”

I’ve instilled this philosophy in my children their whole lives. I am proud to say that they’ve done a lot of good deeds for others throughout their young lives.

I’m sure there are many of you who do this on a daily basis. This could be from your current occupation, volunteering or just by helping others when the time is needed. I applaud your efforts, and the world is better because of you.

Now, I typically don’t self-promote in my articles, but today, I feel the need to share with you.

I’ve had many emails from readers asking if I’ve published a book. I’m overwhelmed to let you know, that my first book “Keep Moving and Improving” came out a few months ago.

One of the biggest reasons my book is gaining attention is because of the fact that 50 percent of the royalties go to The PTSD Foundation of America and Camp Hope in Houston.

Some of you know, and many do not, but I lost my first-born son Dustin at the age of 23 to complications of PTSD when he returned from war in 2012.

Dustin loved serving his country and the U.S. Army was good to him. It took me a few years to find a way to honor his name, so my book is dedicated to Army Specialist Dustin Ray Tepera.

You can order the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Just type in the title and my name.

Today, I’m reaching out for you to find a way to help and serve others. Your community is in need, and you can make a difference. I promise, you’ll get hooked because it’s the most wonderful feeling to experience.

My mom, Eileen Tepera, has been volunteering at Mainland Hospital for years. She looks forward to each week helping others.

Also, I tip my hat to all you youth coaches. This typically requires a lot of your personal time after a hard days work. You make the biggest impact on kids if they want to continue playing that sport or not.

To borrow a quote I once read, “Never stop doing things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their heart.”

Building Confidence is Key

by David Tepera, June 22, 2017

On average, about 6 million people a year will break a bone. In case you didn’t know, it typically takes six to 10 weeks for broken bones to heal. A hard callus will form around the fracture creating a stronger bone than before.

I feel broken bones can be a reflection of our lives. If you’re out in this world giving your best, then you’ll encounter different levels of adversity and tragedy.

Yes, negative situations will hurt and try to break you down, but you must bounce back stronger than before.

As most of us know, just like broken bones, a broken heart will also take time to heal. We will all face the loss of a loved one, but time will mend the temporary hurt. Doctors call this stress-cardiomyopathy.

Also, we must develop thicker skin. There might be someone or others in your life who constantly try to verbally beat you down.

The best way to develop thick skin is by building confidence. Negative comments are powerless when your confidence level is high because you feel good about your natural ability.

Recognize others are weak and not happy with their own lives when they put others down.

Really, as far as sports, referees have the thickest skin imaginable. Think about it, every call they make, half the people in the stands don’t like it.

It’s kind of like being president of the United States, no matter who you are, half the country won’t like you.

Recently, a good friend of mine was thrown into an unexpected divorce. She went into depression for a few days, then decided to switch the situation to life altering. She hired a personal trainer who could also help with diet and has transformed her body into a competitive athlete. My friend is now competing in national bikini contests.

Now, I’m not telling you to take your life to an extreme level of fitness, but I am telling you to attack this world with full effort.

It’s time to stop wishing and start doing. Wake up with determination and go to bed with satisfaction.

Our bodies have an amazing process of healing itself, so no matter what situation your dealing with, make today stronger than yesterday.