I Have a GIFT for YOU!

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What is the best gift you have ever received? What was so special about it? Who gave it to you? What were the circumstances?

As coaches, school leaders and parents, we are constantly giving gifts to our loved ones. Probably the biggest of these gifts is the time we spend with those loved ones, time in instruction, time in worry, time in providing….time in helping them discover who they are meant to be.

 
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Three of my FAVORITE Moeller graduates, Dean Gaier, Greg Jones and Frank Becker. Men of Moeller ON and OFF the field of play!

Graduation is a perfect time to give our children and favorite players gifts. It signals a change in life, a transition into adulthood; in fact, a gift is more than appropriate, it's a necessity... if not for our graduates, for us! Those precious lives that we devoted ourselves to so selflessly, in the manner of a 2-hour ceremony, are gone just like that.

"Where did the time go?!" I cry.

"But, you aren't ready to go?!" I cry.

"You think you're grown but you're not!" I cry.

"What am I going to do without you?" I cry.

"Lord, did I do a good enough job?" I cry.

No wonder they are ready to move out!

 
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2012 Senior wrestling hiking trip in Daniel Boone National Forest. My graduation gift to them that year.

About ten years ago, I started buying gifts for my favorite graduating seniors. It was a chance for me to tell them one last time that I loved them, I believed in them and that I would be with them, ALWAYS. My most favorite gifts were books. I'd write a personal letter on the inside cover of the book for inspiration and then hope and pray they'd find the time (sometime in their life!) to actually read it.

 
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CLICK on above image for video of one of the best gifts given EVER!

I'm always looking for good books to give. Books that touch the soul in a way that is fitting for any new journey being undertook, but also books that can speak for me, since I'm no longer there to "coach" in person. Some of my favorites that I have given out are: 
For the boys: 
Wild at Heart by John Eldridge 
The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews 
Boys to Men by Tim Gray/Curtis Martin

For the girls: 
Do You Think I'm Beautiful? Angela Thomas 
The Book of Forgiving Desmond Tutu

 

Inspire your young people, Leaders! Take the time to get them a gift. Take the time to remind them that they are and always will be precious. Just because it's graduation time, doesn't mean it's over. For if we've done our jobs as parents, teachers and coaches, we will NEVER be forgotten. We will never stop teaching our kids. Graduation is yet just another opportunity to set up that future that says:

I HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL LOVE YOU!

Let a gift be a reminder to this fact for the rest of their lives.

Chris Willertz 
More Than A Coach: SportsLeader!

This week's BRAIN TEASER is: Take ARMY and changing one letter at a time to create a different four-letter word, in 8 steps turn ARMY into NAVY. Hint the 1st step-word, is ARMS. Reply with your solutions if you think you are smart to figure it out!

*If you have books/gifts that you have given graduates, please reply with them, we'd love to be able to share with others some of your great gifts!

 
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