54 posts in category Tender Lions

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Embracing the Adventure…With Caution

“A man is never more man than when he embraces an adventure beyond his control, or when he walks into a battle he isn't sure of winning.” - John Eldredge, author of Wild At Heart This week it was Jeff and my pleasure to be interviewed on “The Common Good” AM1160 by Brian From and Ian Simkins. They’re both young dads and were struck by my vulnerability and willingness to talk about the serious mistakes I’d made in the past. Part of my problem early in life was that I was too ...

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It’s Your Son’s Journey…Not Yours!

Alan Stein is one of the most well-known sports performance trainers in the world. In the January 2016 issue of Pure Sweat Basketball Stein writes: “Rule #1 and debatably the most common theme I see with parent/youth-athlete relationship is parents, you must embrace the fact that this is your child’s journey – not yours. Do not live vicariously through them. Put your focus on being a supportive and encouraging parent.” Parents should play a much more important role which is to help ...

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Six Strategies To “Play the Long Game” and Win by Jeff Becker

I’m the Co-founder and Program Director of Powerhouse Hoops, a nonprofit basketball academy in Phoenix. One of our local basketball clubs has stated repeatedly that they “want to beat and be better than Powerhouse Hoops.” They are obsessed with statistics, trophies, and counting wins and losses. I call their frame of reference the “short game perspective”, which unfortunately, many parents today are motivated by at work and at home. At Powerhouse Hoops we’re about developing ...

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“People get fed up dealing with parents and that is what happened with my dad.”

Ten years ago, Marquise Walker was a “YouTube Wonder.” He made videos with LeBron James and Derrick Rose, to name a few. Marquise was extremely talented, articulate and adorable. And…Marquise was only eight-years old. His father paraded, positioned and pushed Marquise like a hot commodity to be sold. The dad carefully groomed him through relentless workouts and travel to tournaments and PR appearances. Marquise said he “wanted to be in the NBA to be on a team and for the money”...

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Restraint – Has It Eluded Us?

Police violence, false social media outrage, wealthy parents buying their kids way into elite colleges, out of control spending, and the ugliness of our polarized political system. These are just a few examples where restraint seems to have eluded us as a society this last week. Oh, and we can’t forget Joe Biden. In 2017 the once rich and powerful Harvey Weinstein was accused of numerous accounts of sexual criminal behavior. The disgraced mogul has been voted out of the Academy of Motion ...

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Prepare the Child for the Road, Not the Other Way Around

I’ve still been thinking about the recent news story of the parents who allegedly tried to buy their kids way into elite colleges. If we want our sons to develop into tender lions then we have to be willing to let them experience real “heavy lifting”, whether it’s physical, emotional, mental or relational challenges. And that includes letting them feel the impact when they may make poor decisions. Jeff and I frequently see well-intentioned parents make nearly every important ...

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Do You Have O.C.P.

"One of the hardest things we must do sometimes is to be present to another person's pain without trying to fix it, to simply stand respectfully at the edge of that person's mystery and misery.” - Parker Palmer All across America today there are after-school and weekend programs that are full of parents who are afflicted with O.C.P. This is what Jeff and I call the Overly Competitive Parent Syndrome. Many parents find it nearly impossible to let their kids experience any kind of hardship ...

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A Fabricated Identity – Mission Impossible

The news this last week was filled with stories that exemplify the worst of the “modern identity” unchecked. Dozens of parents paid to help their undeserving kids get into prestigious universities. This appears to be the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. By “modern identity” I mean that a person has fabricated their identity from within…from their inner desires. This person then says, “I’ve decided who I am going to be and what I ...

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Failure is Awesome!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill I’ve had the great joy of watching my (just turned one) granddaughter go through many developmental stages in the last six months. Her parents encouraged her to roll over, then a few months later to rock on all-fours, and then crawl. Now we’re at the standing up stage, and we’re just a few weeks away from that magical first step. One thing that won’t hear when she takes ...

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Fatherlessness and its Negative Effects on Boys

For those who are new to our blog, my son Jeff and I just published Tender Lions – Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son. As we researched about the impact of fatherlessness on boys, we were pleased to find that young fathers today are actually spending more time with their sons than the dads of a generation ago. But that seems to be where the good news ends. According to the National Center for Fathering, more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical ...

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