Tag Archives: believing

Believing…

Thoughtful Thursday

My favorite 9th grader: Circa 2002...

My favorite 9th grader: Circa 2002…

Today is a very special day.  My favorite 9th grader will don her Haymaker Cross Country uniform and compete in her first Varsity race.  Beneath the nervous pre-race jitters, I look into her eyes and see the determination and focus of an athlete.  What I see makes me a believer — I am not only her mother, but also her biggest fan.

AGXC.jpg

Today, as pride fills my heart, I remember a quote by Drew Brees:

“Believing—there are several layers to it.  There’s the surface-level type of believing, where you acknowledge that something is true.  Then there is a deeper kind of belief–the type that gets inside of you and actually changes you.  It’s the kind of belief that changes your behavior, your attitude, and your outlook on life, and the people around you can’t help but notice.”

What kind of believer are you?

Go Haymakers!

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Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, General, Thoughtful Thursday

It Comes From Within…

My favorite teenager started playing basketball in a local youth recreation program as a fourth grader.  During her first game, she was a timid shadow on the court and I am pretty sure that she never touched the ball.  Her fear of fouling and lack of confidence caused her to choose to not engage on the court.

My favorite teenager at age 10...

My favorite teenager at age 10…

I believe in the power of positive reinforcement and have a rule that after each one of my girls’ sporting activities, Matt and I always compliment them on something that they did well.  I’ll never forget the look on Matt’s face as he visibly struggled to find something positive to say to Ashley Grace after that game.

Matt ended up placing a bet with our little 10 year old basketball protégé knowing that, given her personality, it would be an effective catalyst for positive change.

He bet that she couldn’t make a foul in the next game.  When she proved us wrong (and made a foul) we went to Dairy Queen as a family after the game for ice cream.  That first foul was the beginning of a new era as Ashley Grace learned that in order to be successful, you have to engage.  Mistakes will surely be made, but in the end engagement is the key.

A few years later, looking for a good shot...

A few years later, looking for a good shot…

Over the years, we have watched our daughter turn into a very good defensive player.  Today, she is often given the job of guarding players much larger than herself because her quickness and persistence make her incredibly effective at shutting them down.  She has learned that no matter what obstacle is placed in her path, success is something that comes from within. 

The girl in maroon is just slightly bigger than my favorite #32...

The girl in maroon is just slightly bigger than my favorite #32…

Her days of non-engagement on the basketball court are long behind her.  That timid ghost has steadily been replaced with a confident contributor.  Thursday evening I watched her sink two free throw shots in the last minute of the game to lead her team to victory.  I have to admit that I was blinking back the tears as I watched the composure and strength of character shine through.

The 10,000 baskets that she made "on a bet" last winter provided a good foundation...

The 10,000 baskets that she made on another bet last winter provided a good foundation…

As a parent I often struggle with the balance of helping my daughters and letting them learn to do things on their own.  Over the years, I have settled into a place where I try to always offer support and direction but at the same time step back enough to allow my girls to become strong and independent young women.

They will determine their own futures, it is my job to inspire confidence and strength in them so that they are successful...

I believe that allowing them that freedom teaches them that true strength comes from within…

After all, when the buzzer sounds in the game of life, it will be up to them to make the ball drop into the hoop…

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Filed under Ashley Grace's Corner and The Chick Project..., General

Becoming Believers…

My favorite Cowgirl/Chef announced at dinner Saturday night, “Mom, you’re a hard ass”.  While her choice of language was not entirely acceptable to me; within the context of the dinner table discussion, I really could not argue with her statement.  The conversation that night focused on the fourth swim meet of the season and my coaching *style*.

During the summer months, I periodically take off my feed yard manager/Boss Lady hat and put on my Swim Team Coach hat.  On weekdays, I can be found on the community pool deck from 11:25 to 12:45 for practice; and I am at a pool somewhere in Nebraska almost every Saturday in June and July at our weekly swim meets.

Fueled by beef!

If you look closely you will see one of my favorite quotes on the front of the t-shirts!

My girls and I became involved with the Plains tSunami swim league four years ago joining up with a neighboring community program in Gothenburg (the town 5 miles west of the feed yard).  Today, with the help of two other coaches and a couple of wonderful “managers”, our team touches more than 60 children in the Gothenburg and Cozad communities.

I have been a volunteer youth athletic coach for many different sports in the 16 years since I graduated from college, but swim team is my favorite.  There is no doubt that the sport that I dedicated my life to for more than a decade holds a special place in my heart.  However, my love for coaching this group of kids goes deeper than that.

Most of the 2013 team :)

About 3/4’s of the 2013 team 🙂

There is something about a pool of water and a pair of goggles that teaches young people that the ultimate source of power comes from within.  When the going gets tough, it is quite literally, a matter of sinking or swimming.  While I have many athletes that spend most of the year exceling in sports other than swimming, I know that the summer days spent training in the water do more than bring a new level of fitness to their bodies.  Those hours build their confidence and make them believers.

As Megan so pointedly noted on Saturday evening at the dinner table, I am a challenging coach.  I expect my athletes to not only work hard but also to believe in themselves.  I ask them to do things that raise the bar higher.

I want them to learn that life is an open door for them—that they can accomplish their dreams if only they will work hard and believe in themselves.

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“Coach” Anne

While I am intense and likely a bit intimidating when I put on my *coaching hat*, the truth is that my athletes excel not only physically but also mentally under my tutelage.  With every race that they win or every PR that they swim, the athletes learn that they control their own destiny.  I treasure the expressions of personal victory that I see so often on their faces.

What my swimmers may not realize is that as I watch their successes, I have to pull my baseball cap down just a little bit further so that they will not see the tears in my eyes—tears of pride and of joy that come as I watch them become believers.

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If you enjoy learning about our family and our farm, take the plunge and hit the “Sign me up” button on the right side of the home page. That allows you to receive an email every time that a new post is published!

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Filed under Family, General

Becoming a Believer…

I have a quote down at the very bottom of the home page from football player Drew Brees’ book, Coming Back StrongerWhen I read Drew’s book a couple of years ago, it just plain spoke to me.  In fact, I have many pages of notes where I copied down quotes that I loved from the book.  The one below is my favorite…

“Believing—there are several layers to it. There’s the surface-level type of believing, where you acknowledge that something is true. Then there is a deeper kind of belief–the type that gets inside of you and actually changes you. It’s the kind of belief that changes your behavior, your attitude, and your outlook on life, and the people around you can’t help but notice.”

I am a person of very strong beliefs and faith.  I have always been strong-willed, but the confidence that I have attained as an adult stems from the development of personal beliefs and faith.  My life is centered around love, empathy and hard work because I believe that is what allows me to use my talents to achieve greatness.

I work tenaciously as a parent to teach my girls to be believers

Although there are many different people that have served as mentors for me over the years, learning to be a caregiver for animals has inspired in me a deep level of believing that transcends everything else.  Figuring out what an animal needs and then working tenaciously to provide those needs brings me an inner confidence and a sense of peace.

Both of these animals are actively engaged with me and asking me for guidance…

As I watch my cattle thrive and grow, and then trace their performance all of the way to my own dinner plate I become even more of a believer. I am left with a sense of purpose, and inspired to work harder with each day that passes.  My love for animals is diversified and runs deep. I am happiest when I am surrounded by them.

On top of my trusty equine partner and surrounded by cattle…

My daughter, Megan, and I spent a couple of days recently in the Sandhills of Nebraska.  My husband laughs that even when I go on vacation, I take some of my animals with me.  Megan and I joined some friends at “horse camp” riding and learning how to be better communicators with our equine partners.

Megan (right) practicing her “Miss America” wave while sitting side-saddle on her horse.  She is joined by her two friends and their favorite equines…

My favorite part of the trip was watching my daughter in her own journey to becoming a believer.  Our animals not only teach her a sense of personal responsibility as she learns to provide for them and understand them, but living her dream with them also brings a sense of innate self-confidence.

The above picture makes my heart swell.  The absolute joy and personal pride in her expression is priceless to me as a parent.  At the very moment that I took the picture, Megan became a believer.  She realized what it meant to be a partner to her horse and they achieved a unique harmony that only a lucky few will ever feel.

She caught a glimpse of how wonderful it feels to use empathy and feel to successfully and unselfishly communicate.  Going forward, she will view the world differently—with a sense of confidence and understanding that enables her to successfully use the gifts with which she is blessed.

Is there a pivotal moment in your own life that caused you to become a believer?

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Filed under Family, General, Natural Horsemanship