Archive for January, 2011

Photo Friday

Thinking of my Bears this week…GO Chicago!


Two Questions for Coaches (and parents)

This week Valley Mills Upward Basketball games will begin.  All day long families will be coming to the church to watch their kids play basketball and cheer.   I was told about this video from a good friend of mine, Brad Mattax, from Upward Sports.  In the video below Stan Van Gundy, who has coached in the NCAA and NBA, talks to youth coaches about winning vs skill development.  If you are a coach or have kids involved in sports it’s a must see.  I wish more coaches and parents would hold to the concept of what coach Van Gundy speaks of.

Watch the video below and ask yourself:

  1. Do you want your kids or the kids you coach to be taught how to play?
  2. Do you want just want to win games and trophies?

A Good Read

Last winter I had the pleasure of hearing Austin Gutwein speak in front of a couple thousand Children’s Ministers.  His life story was captavating and inspiring.  What made his message so special is that Austin, at the time, was only 12 years old.  His book (yes, his book) “Take Your Best Shot” is his story  about how one can make an incredable difference in the lives others.  His book challenges you to know you can make a difference and not giving up if the dream seems to large.

At the age of nine, Austin Gutwein was moved when he learned there were over 15 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS – 12 million living in sub-Saharan Africa. Thinking everyone was doing something to help these children, Austin decided he had to do his part, too. He decided to make a difference for just one orphan—one free throw at a time.

That first year, Austin went to his school gymnasium and shot 2,057 free-throws representing the 2,057 children who would lose their parents during one school day. Now, Austin’s basketball marathon – Hoops of Hope – has spread around the world. Austin’s passion has motivated tens of thousands of kids, teens, and adults to make a difference. Austin and Hoops of Hope have raised over $2,000,000 for orphaned children in Africa. Since 2004, Hoops of Hope has helped build 2 medical clinics and a high school serving 1,000 children in rural Zambia, 2 Hope Centers in Swaziland, and built a water project in Kenya. They have provided hundreds of bicycles and supplied medical clinics with more than 1,000 medical caregiver kits to assist HIV/AIDS infected parents with the basic supplies they need to live longer so they can provide for their children. The money Austin’s organization has raised has kept thousands of children in Africa from becoming orphans. Hoops of Hope is currently building a second school in India, and this year will provide 1,000 filled backpacks for students at the high school in Zambia.

“Take Your Best Shot” is a great book to inspire your child and even yourself to make a difference in other peoples lives.