DA Kentner writes the column THE READERS' WRITERS for the (Freeport) Journal-Standard and GateHouse News Service. My alter ego KevaD lives under a stairway of dreams where he writes stories and grumbles about everything. Click the pic to visit KevaD's blog.
Drop me a line at dakentner@yahoo.com

I invite you to read my award-winning short story posted on Calliope Magazine's web site.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Author and Football All-Star Bruce Beaton

Three-time Canadian Football League All-Star Bruce Beaton could have easily written a book about his many personal achievements and accolades. But that isn't who he is, not really. This Nova Scotia Hall of Fame inductee chose to retire from football and pursue what truly matters to him – helping people and making a difference in their lives.

To that end, Bruce teamed up with football all-star Dan Comiskey to create a business focused on habit change, personal standards, and behavior modification. The duo subsequently wrote several books on success and leadership, including the acclaimed "The Truth About Success."

Still, Bruce, a father devoted to his children and their growth, wanted to take his message of ethics and betterment beyond the obvious and put it in a perspective parents can utilize with their own children:

"My goal is to help concerned parents meet the parental goal of raising, through organized sport, positive, happy, confident, secure future leaders who might pursue their goals and dreams (whatever they may be) with passion."

In "Little Athletes, Big Leaders: Effective Sport Parenting," Bruce uses eloquence, humor, and sincerity to share with parents what he has learned over the decades. And it is that sincerity that sets this book apart from so many others. The author didn’t write for himself, but for us. He wrote "Little Athletes, Big Leaders" from his heart and in turn revealed the concern, love, and commitment of a father who only wants the best for his children.

When you read "Little Athletes, Big Leaders" be prepared not just to gain insight into methods of inspiration and empowerment, but a look into a man totally in love with life and his family. Yeah. Keep a box of tissues nearby just in case.
http://www.littleathletesbigleaders.ca/

Q) "Little Athletes, Big Leaders" was written for adults. However, you also have Sport Leadership Volume One, an audio CD specifically designed for children. How difficult was it to transfer your thoughts and principals into audio lessons that require a level of entertainment as well?

A) It was not difficult for me because I am incredibly passionate about teaching children success principles through sport. I believe kids need to learn to set goals and they need to learn about the power of small daily steps toward those goals. They have to learn that it takes a long time to achieve mastery at things but if they work hard and practice daily they can become great at almost anything they choose. I love telling stories about athletes that have worked hard, persevered through tough times, and believed in themselves despite short term setbacks, especially when they were young. I really think kids need to hear these stories and my passion is evident in the recording.

Q) You are an excellent motivational speaker seemingly at ease in front of a crowd. To what do you attribute your comfort amongst groups of strangers?

A) There are two reasons why I'm comfortable in that environment. One, I am a content rich speaker who has put the work in for years. Two, my speaking has nothing to do with me. It is all about the listener - I sincerely want to give the listen great content...content that educates, inspires, and transforms. I love caring parents and volunteer coaches. They are the best people in the world. I deliver interesting research and anecdotal stories that these listeners appreciate, and I feel that I have an obligation to show up and help these deserving people with their important work - raising great people.
Q) Sometimes parents walk a fine line between what they want for their child, and what the child's goals are. Are there signs a parent can readily identify when they may well be on a different path than their children?

A) Listen to your child. Really listen. Don't assume. Ask lots of questions. Children usually know what they like, they know what they want, and they'll tell you if they trust that you are interested in their opinion. Then trade apples for apples. Quitting sport to play video games is not a fair trade. Quitting one sport for another, or quitting a sport to pursue music, or art, or something else developmental, is a fair deal. They have to understand that as their guide, you are interested in their skill development, especially in the areas of their strengths and passions, so that they can make a meaningful contribution to society. We all have to contribute.

Q) Volunteer coaches played a huge part in your personal development. What is the one value you learned from them that you believe helped mold the man you have become?

A) I had a coach that consistently emphasized that today matters. He taught me that there was no such thing as stress. he said you set goals for the future, but all you had to do, once that important work was done, was to take small steps toward those goals today. Only focus on today, and just take those little steps. He repeated himself a lot (thankfully) and eventually I got it. That was the most valuable lesson for me.

Q) Okay. You have to allow me one football fan question. What was it like to play with Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia and know you played a part in their success or failure on the field?

A) When I think of Doug Flutie I think about daily excellence. He set a standard, and everyone naturally rose to that level. He never said anything, he did it all be example. It was a fascinating experience for me as a young player to see how one person could have that effect every day in practice. Now, as a parent, I can't believe he did what he did professionally with two autistic boys at home. Just a very committed, impressive Dad and professional athlete. When I think about Jeff Garcia I think about passion. He was such a hard core, passionate competitor. A fighter with tremendous desire, a guy who wanted to win so badly he just carried people forward with his passion. Both were great guys who went on to the kind of success they deserved.

Q) Any parting thoughts for your readers?

A) Absolutely. Your children can be great. They can do big things in the world, and we really need those kinds of leaders. Or they can do little things well, and be so important as family members, friends, and community members. My nine year old daughter wants to be a dog breeder and a writer. Your daughter might want to become a world leader. Both of those things are valuable. There is nothing more important than guiding your children toward a life where they have goals, and purpose, and happiness, and connection. You have to do your best work as a parent when you are the busiest you'll probably ever be, so learn every tip and tidbit you can from some of the great research that's being done, and then cherish every moment! And good luck...we are so blessed to have children, so lucky and fortunate, and I wish you and your children a continuation of that luck and good fortune.

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