Since the time I was in middle school until now, I noticed something has started to change. When I was in middle school and even as a freshman in high school, the attitude about Palmerton was anything but positive. Students did not respect leadership, and athletes did not believe in the programs. I've heard so many negative comments about Palmerton, but there was one that always drove me crazy. I would hear kids say stuff like, "who cares we are just from Palmerton," and "we are Palmerton, we will get killed by [insert bigger school name here]," and
"we aren't going to be anything special, we are from Palmerton." It really upsets me when I hear kids say this. I can't fathom as to why or even where this attitude came from.
When I hear people talk about great sports programs from other school, they act as though Palmerton can't have great sports programs. I am not a psychic or a palm reader, but I do have a conviction about the kids and sports at Palmerton. They are slowly on the rise. Why do I say this? Because the culture is changing. We have worked with the Palmerton High School football team the past two years in the summer. These athletes have impressed everyday. Their skill isn’t the only reason why they impress our DF staff. They impress us with their work ethic, positive attitude, and teamwork! They care so much about each other. The attitude from the leaders is infectious. Programs have struggled because of the leadership. If you hear seniors not care, and you see poor body language as a young athlete, the young athlete learns these habits. It takes leaders to turn around programs. Positive attitudes are more infectious than negative ones. When you hear positive reinforcement, it makes you feel good. It makes you want to work harder. It makes you believe that you are on the brink of greatness. The football team is going to surprise teams this year because they act like one cohesive unit that cares about the good of the team! They understand the necessity of being positive.
I don't think kids understand how great they truly can be. I don't know who's fault it is, but it is a problem I want to be a part of fixing it. I know that as a child and as an athlete, I never had great confidence. I didn't believe I was capable of doing more, but the truth is, I have been surprising myself everyday. What I once deemed impossible for myself, is now tangible.
Just because you are not able to do something now, does not mean that it is impossible. It simply means you are not capable of doing it in this specific moment. You may not complete your goal tomorrow, or next week, or next year, but you will complete your goal when you have done something extraordinary to reach your goal. Your something extraordinary comes in the form of adversity, dedication, strength, confidence, and most certainly failure.
My goal in life is to tell kids that it isn't where you come from, it is just simply who you are that will take you where you want to go. I want kids to know that they are capable of doing whatever they want. Kids need to believe that they are capable of any dream. Kids need to be told that dreams come true. Every day at work I see teenagers doing incredible things. They are pushing past their limits each day. They are strong, not only physically, but mentally as well. I see confidence in all of their eyes. They believe in themselves and in each other. It's an amazing thing to see and it is even greater to feel. What I and all the other coaches instill upon these kids will hopefully make its way into the lives of others through the ones we have already affected. The kids believe because we do. Don't let these kids feel as though they aren't great because they truly are. Let them know everyday that they are capable of doing more. Let them know greatness is within them. Make them believe. Help motivate and inspire them become the best possible version of themselves. And always remember, positive is powerful!