The Hockey Professor
Posted by Dean Holden at June 30th, 2012
By Allan Andrews, June 2012
“It seems a man comes into the World with a little ready Raw material – Himself. His folks can only give him a sort of push and a mite of teaching; but in the long run what a man becomes is his own problem. There’ve always been hard times, there’ve always been wars and troubles – Famines, Diseases and such like – and some folks are born with money, some with none. In the end it’s up to the man what he becomes, and none of those other things really matter. In horses, dogs and men it is Character that counts.” – Louis L’Amour
It’s that time of year when many young people are moving into a new phase of their lives; Graduating from middle school, high school, university, going on to a prep school or moving from minor hockey to Major Jr. or Jr. ‘A’ programs. In all of these new adventures, the character of the individual will play an important part in future success and or failures.
Two interesting stories on a US news channel recently caught my attention on this very topic. One story entitled “From Homeless High School Student to the Halls of Harvard”, told of a homeless North Carolina teen that beat all odds by graduating from high school and being accepted to Harvard University on a scholarship.
Dawn Loggins experienced childhood complications of evictions, a parent involved in drug abuse, hunger and finally abandonment, left alone, by her parents to fend for herself. Homeless, she stayed at friend’s houses and with a university employee who took her in. Dawn Loggins took on a job as a janitor and went to school each day long before sunrise to pick gum of floors and vacuum hallways.
After graduation she said, “My future is going to be great… and I’m not going to have to worry about where my meals are coming from and where I’m going to sleep”. As she went forward to receive her high school diploma, the hall filled with thousands of people erupted in applause as they recognized a person of real character.
It was a proud moment for 64 inmates recently at the Cleveland Correction Centre as they graduated from the Prison Entrepreneurial Program. Most of these inmates never wore a cap and gown; however they seized the opportunity to start a new future. One inmate said, “The first class blew me away, because it was about character, about who we are, who we’ve been and what we’ve done in the past and where we want to go tomorrow.”
The Class Valedictorian said, “It is a priceless opportunity to become something new.” He said it was so important for them to give back to a community that they took something from. It was obvious that the training he had received through this program had developed his character and given him hope for the future.
Eight hundred inmates have graduated from this program in the last eight years; all of them have found work in the first ninety days of their release; one hundred have started their own business.
In sports, business and in life in general we go through phases of new beginnings. Character will always play a large part in whether we succeed or fail. It is important to remember that failure is not final, even if we fail at first, we can always start again. Willie Jolley’s Book, “A Setback is a Setup for a Comeback”, says it well.
It is also important to note that we don’t decide our future, we decide our habits and our habits decide our future. It takes big dreams, hard work and most of all character to develop the habits that will lead us to success. John Wooden said, “Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”
As you continue to chase your dreams, we at Andrews Hockey Growth Programs salute you and wish you well.