Written by Alyssa Cipriano | Nov 16, 2016 | Source: theodysseyonline.com
You give her a lot more than just the sport of gymnastics
The sport of gymnastics is somewhat of a fantasy to little girls across the world, getting to wear sparkly leotards and do cool flips for the world to see. Across the US thousands of little girls are enrolled in gymnastics classes, but only a few will get to experience all that gymnastics has to offer. If they’re lucky enough, one of the luckiest little girls, they will get to compete in the sport they fell in love with and see it in a whole new light.
When you give a girl a leotard, you give her the ability to dream to be something bigger than she is. You give her motivation to work hard because hard work will always beat talent. She will strive for greatness and with it perfection, not only in the sport but perfection to be the best version of herself. You give her a work ethic that will follow her throughout her life.
When you give a girl a leotard, you give her someone to idolize. Maybe it will be an older teammate that she trains with or an Olympian that she aspires to be. Growing up she will pretend to be that person and worship her. You give her a positive role model and the concept that she, too, can achieve greatness.
When you give a girl a leotard with it comes confidence. Something about a leotard covered in rhinestones makes a little girl feel like Superwomen and Miss USA all at the same time. You give her the courage to believe in herself every time she steps on the floor to perform a routine in front of a crowd. You teach her that failure happens, but it is important to get back up on the beam and continue the fight. You give her the ability to realize her uniqueness and that she is more talented than she ever thought possible.
When you give a girl a leotard, you give her an extended family and escape when the going gets tough. With teammates, coaches, and a gym, she will realize that she is never actually alone. She will always have her teammates as sisters, coaches as parents, and the gym as a home no matter how many years pass or distance between them.
When you give a girl a leotard, you teach her the importance of discipline and structure. With sweat stains down the back and long hours of conditioning, she will realize how strong she actually is, mentally and physically. When she wears it, she wears it with pride knowing that the sport can be snatched away from her at any second.
When you give a girl a leotard, you give her the greatest gift you could ever give; Because it will always mean more than simply a piece of fabric with a pretty design. To a gymnast, it becomes an identity
To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play
You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...
The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.
You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...
But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.
You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.
So each day, continue to choose the game.
It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.
Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.
Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.
Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.
Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.
Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.
Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.
Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.
Ally O’Rourke | Feb 1, 2019 | Source: theodysseyonline.com
Well, it is.
It's OK to fail.
I've gone through my whole life thinking that I have to be the best at everything I do. I need to be the smartest person in the room and I need to get the best grades. Through elementary school and high school, I've always had good grades, been on the honor roll, barely having to try. Since being in college, I'm realizing that things aren't going to come as easy to me. You can put in all the effort in the world and try your hardest, and still not succeed.
It's OK to fail.
If you don't do as well as you had hoped on an exam, or maybe you fail a class, it's going to be okay. It's not the end of the world if you don't immediately succeed at something. Sometimes you need to put in more work, just remember to never give up. Life will go on, days will pass on, and in the future you'll look back and remember how heartbroken you were about failing an exam, and realize that it really didn't matter as much as you thought.
It's OK to fail.
You work on your resume for weeks, proofreading over and over again, making sure you don't miss anything that could help you land your dream job. You go on what seems like endless job interviews, making good impressions and thinking "I got this". Yet, time after time, you're left with disappointment, wondering if someone will just give you a chance.
It's OK to fail.
Some people expect the best from themselves, or maybe they have family putting all this pressure on them. If you know that you put your best effort into something. If you know that you absolutely tried your best, then it's okay to fail. It's okay to not be good at everything you do. What's not okay though, is giving up. Never give up on what you want. Never allow yourself to settle. If you want something, keep going, If you fail, keep trying.
Whether it's related to school, your job, or something in your everyday life, always remember:
It's OK to fail.
I make my kids write thank you notes because I think that many emotions, including gratitude, sympathy, and love, are best expressed in words and on paper.by: Connie Matthiessen | December 15, 2017 Source: greatschools.org
I’m gearing up to reminded my children to write thank you notes for their gifts as soon as the holiday madness is over. In fact, it turns out that National Letter Writing Week is in early January, so the timing is perfect.
My three kids have very different approaches to writing thank you letters. My daughter actually enjoys the process. She makes her own cards featuring elaborate multi-color drawings, stickers, hearts, and glitter. She needs just a reminder or two, and then she sits down and writes all her thank you’s in quick succession, even finding envelopes and applying stamps without asking for help.
My oldest boy requires the most prodding, cajoling, and straight up haranguing — he’ll drag the task out out for weeks by making excuses, getting distracted, and finding other urgent pursuits. When he finally gets down to it, however, he writes heartfelt notes that the recipients treasure.
Outdated ritual or meaningful connection?
My other son has forceful opinions on a wide range of topics from Shakespeare (“His plots are great, but he’s held back by his use of language”), to the singer Adele (“People who don’t like her music are either deaf or stupid”). He considers thank you cards yet another tedious adult invention — along with homework, piano practice, summer camp, and domestic chores — to deprive kids of precious free time. “Thank you cards are an old fashioned ritual that no one cares about anymore,” he argues. Or, when he’s feeling more existential: “If I’m forced to write a thank you card, is that really an expression of gratitude?” But when he finally relents, he sits down and writes very short but very thoughtful notes.
I hated writing thank you letters as a kid, too, but I make my children write them anyway. Why? I think it’s important to acknowledge and express gratitude for gifts we receive. I love e-mail and texting and I don’t write as many letters as I’d like; still, I think that many emotions, including gratitude, sympathy, and love, are best expressed in words and on paper, which gives them clarity and shape, as well as weight and permanence. It may be a dying art, but I believe that letter writing still plays an important role in human discourse.
Letters from the heart
Like so many human interactions, writing thank you notes benefits the (letter) writer as much, if not more, than the recipient. Writing letters creates a genuine connection with another human being, which is always a good thing. On a more concrete note, here at GreatSchools we often emphasize the importance of getting your kids writing any way you can, because writing is such an essential learning tool. (Of course, receiving letters is nice, too: a friend told me recently that she’s saved every thank you card she’s ever received from her nieces and nephews).
Materialism isn’t just about wanting more stuff. It’s a much more insidious mindset. The antidote may be as simple as practicing gratitude.by: Charity Ferreira | November 18, 2018 Source: greatschools.org
#Blessed. It’s one of the most annoying and ironic hashtags on Instagram — humble bragging minus the humility on a platform that celebrates materialism. In a world in which kids are bombarded with idealized images, how can we get them to appreciate what they have?
There’s more to materialism than the relentless pursuit of things, says Jeffrey Froh, school psychologist, associate professor of psychology at Hofstra University and co-author, with Giacomo Bono, of the book Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character. “Materialism also involves a need or desire to look a certain way. So it might be looking cool, having the right image. And then there’s the desire for status or fame.”
Placing a high value on these things, says Froh, leads to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and feelings of purposelessness. In short, it’s a recipe for unhappiness. Research unequivocally shows that the more people endorse materialistic goals, the less happy and satisfied they are with life.
So how to combat this tendency in the Selfie generation? Froh’s answer: Teach gratitude.
The power of gratitude
Recent research has revealed that having a grateful mindset has a host of benefits for kids. Grateful kids do better in school, are more likely to achieve their goals, and are more satisfied with school and life. But the biggest benefit that comes from being grateful, Froh says, is that it shifts the focus away from materialism. “The more grateful kids are the less materialistic they are,” he says, because they value intrinsic or internal things rather than extrinsic, or external things.
Whatever you value drives your behavior, Froh explains. So when you value wealth, fame, image, and status, you act accordingly. “Gratitude runs on the opposite of that. Gratitude runs on intrinsic values like community affiliation and personal growth,” he says.
So people who are grateful are more likely to value connecting with other people or helping out their community, and they are more likely to be interested in personal growth and developing into the “best version of themselves.”
Becoming more grateful is something everyone can do, Froh says. “I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s very possible to become more grateful. But like anything else worth cultivating in your life, you just have to work at it.”
In studies with adolescents, Froh and his colleagues had students keep a daily gratitude journal. All kids had to do was jot down five things they were grateful for each day — and things like having pizza for lunch or not having much homework counted.
“We found that the kids who kept the journal were more optimistic about their upcoming week,” says Froh. “They reported fewer physical symptoms, and had fewer complaints about headaches and stuffy noses and things like that. Our biggest finding was that they reported more school satisfaction immediately after the intervention and also three weeks later.” All from the act of noting five things each day they felt grateful for. It’s a simple practice, Froh says, that has lasting, profound benefits.
“One of the things I find working with kids is that so many kids, even at the college level, are lacking in purpose,” Froh says. And gratitude is an antidote to those feelings.
“Grateful kids have more of a sense of where they’re going, why they’re doing what they’re doing, why they get up in the morning. And it’s not too early to be talking to teenagers about trying to connect to that higher sense of purpose.”
I have a new mission this year! To not only help your schools, groups, teams and so on, raise the money you need. But I am also making it my mission to help fund childhood cancer research.
Did you know that only FOUR cents out of every research dollar raised in this country currently goes to research childhood cancer? Another staggering fact is this, every school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer! (that is an average from the entire calendar year that fits into the average school calendar) That is simply unacceptable to me...
Childhood cancer is VERY different than adult cancers of the same name. While not in all case, most of what works to treat a child's tumor will not work on and adult, AND vice-versa!!
This year, Great American Opportunities has partnered with an organization that fights JUST Childhood cancers! So, as we move forward in the new year, I will be talking more about how YOU and YOUR teams, and schools, and groups, can MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the fight against Childhood Cancers!