• Sarah Centrella

Teen Football Player Uses #HustleBelieveReceive to Achieve Dream

Updated: Nov 6, 2019


I've been teaching my children how to apply my #HBRMethod for years. I think it's sooo important that we give our kids the skillset and tools to handle; stress, anxiety, goals, dreams, depression, disappointment and all the other emotions they face now and in the future.

I wish I had these skills when I was a kid, to think of how much further I'd have gone in life if I did! But since I can't change my own past, at least I can help shape my children's futures.

I share this story as an example of how we can teach our kids the skills and tools we've learned in #HustleBelieveReceive. I share it because it is such a great example of what types of outcomes we can help our children achieve and how we can fortify them for success in life.

My son Kanen's dream (#DreamIT) is to be a D-1 college football player, but his ultimate dream is to one day play in the NFL. He understands that in order for him to make those #BigPictureDreams a reality he'll need to accomplish other "smaller" goals along the way.

So, he went ALL IN. He showed up for weight-lifting at 6:00 am, before school, five days a week for five months before the season even started. Then in June when practice and camps began he gave it 200% determined to make the roster (ly played in 3 games, on the Freshman team (not even the JV team). At the start of last season, he suffered a broken ankle injury that prevented him from playing most of the season. That did not deter his goals however, he knew that to get to the level he dreams of reaching, this year was going to be critical.

So, he went ALL IN. He showed up for weight-lifting at 6:00 am, before school, five days a week for five months before the season even started. Then in June when practice and camps began he gave it 200% determined to make the roster (#TheHustle).

When the time finally came for coaches to pick the roster before the start of the season, Kanen did not make the cut. (#EarthquakeMoment)

He was devastated.

He'd worked so hard, harder than he'd ever worked at a goal in his whole life. He'd laid it all out there, giving it everything he had. That day when I picked him up from practice, he was so defeated, so frustrated. So, I told him the truth; that we never know what our future holds. We never know what can happen. That encountering disappointments and obstacles is NOT the time to give up or lose focus and drive. Instead, it’s EXACTLY the time when we need to turn up the heat because we just never know what could happen. We can't except disappointment as "failure."

I asked him if he still wanted his dream? If he could still see it? I asked him how BAD he wanted it? If it was still worth going to practice and fighting for? He said it was.

I told him there was only one option then, go back to practice and pretend it never happened. Pretend he still had a shot. I told him coaches will watch him every day. They will look for those signs of defeat and that he couldn't risk showing it if he still wanted his dream. I reminded him that ANYTHING can happen, that it's not our job to accept "no" as an answer or give up. It's our job to keep fighting as if the outcome is still to be determined. (#RelentlessPursuit)

The next day, he got up with renewed optimism and determination. He reminded himself that paying football is his dream, it's what he loves and no matter what team he was on, he was still playing football, doing what he loved. (#ItstheJourney)

He gave it 200%.

His coaches took notice and one day, right before the first game they called him into the office and told him he’d DONE IT!! He’d made the varsity roster! He'd still be playing part-time JV and part varsity, but he'd done it! He could be photographed with the team in his varsity uniform (as one of 3 sophomores on the team). (#ManifestThat!)

He was ecstatic!

And then he broke and tore his finger. (#EarthquakeMoment)

It happened the same week he'd broken his ankle the year before. I reminded him of the power of #ThinkIT and that he couldn't risk getting in his head about this setback. That he couldn't mentally dwell on it. I gave him mottos, and the tools in #ThinkIt and he used them. And they worked! For the first time ever, he was able to sidetrack the mental "defeat" and "poor me" reel that naturally wants to play in a situation as disappointing as this. He could control his thoughts and emotions in a positive and productive way that kept him positive throughout, even in the ER. Equally as important, he could see the correlation between doing this and how much better he felt, he could see and feel it working!

His injury was bad enough to miss practicing for 10 days, but he still showed up to practice every day without missing one (#RelentlessPursuit). He stood on the sidelines for the first two games of the season, cheering on his team. Hiding well, his disappointment and frustration. Refusing to let it get him down. At last his big moment came, he was cleared to play and suited up with the varsity team. But he only played for two plays. Disappointed and frustrated he resolved to make the most of his next opportunity. (#RelentlessPursuit) That moment came last Friday when the coaches have him a chance in the last few minutes of the first half, where we were trailing by three touchdowns. They put him in and we made our first score of the game! I'm so glad I was there to witness it! Needless to say, he played the rest of the game and we wound up winning in the last two minutes. It was an incredible moment, one I was lucky enough to have my brother, sister and out-of-town aunts there to share with us.

And this week he learned that he had WON THE STARTING VARSITY POSITION!!!! (#ManifestThat! #LiveIT)

Tomorrow night will be his first starting varsity game, and it's a home game. I'm devastated to not be there to watch this moment. It makes me cry to even write this, but as parents, we have these tough choices to constantly make. Instead of being at his game I'll be in Minneapolis for my vision board workshop, which is my dream come true, and also my job. I'm grateful that this is something he understands and respects. I'm grateful that I've shared my dreams with him these past 10 years and shown him how they play out, for good or bad so that he gets it.

But that doesn't make this any easier. When I set-up this tour, I had no idea I’d be missing ALL his home games including Homecoming. I'd scheduled it around the weekends when the kids would be with their dad and had somehow forgotten that he might play on Friday nights (this was back in June when school had just ended for the summer so the fall schedule wasn't posted yet, and JV plays on Thursdays).

When I found out I was crushed. So, this week I made the tough decision, to cancel my New York and Boston stops on this tour and refund ticket holders, in favor of making one of those games, his homecoming game.

It's tough as a parent to juggle work and family. It's never easy to make these decisions, but at the end of the day, this is EXACTLY why I became an entrepreneur, to put myself in a position to make sure my babies are a priority. It doesn't mean that I cancel and change my whole tour or work obligations around his schedule, but it does mean that I can make the personal sacrifice to move one and be there for him.

After all, our actions are how they learn. It's what we DO that they watch and emulate, not just what we say. I want him to learn that there are times when you have to work no matter what, and then there are times when family comes first, no matter what. This process him, and with my tour has taught me so much. I learned so much from watching him apply what I teach and seeing his results. It inspires me. He inspires me. He pushes and encourages me to keep making my dreams happen and I'll always do the same for him.

I want to help you teach your children these skills. Share with them what you've learned. Show them how to make a #FutureBoard. Teach them how to control their thoughts with #ThinkIT. Teach them that they become what they SAY. Show them what #TheHustle and #RelentlessPursuit look like. Be the example.

Together we will shape the next generation of winners!


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