I hope that you are enjoying your summer vacation since they always seem to end too soon. However, this is a different summer for you. It is a summer of transition where you will start to define the next chapter in your life not only on the field but in the classroom as well. I hope you are as excited to join our family as we are to welcome you to campus.

As you step onto campus, emotions will be overwhelming. You may feel excited, anxious, and possibly a little fearful. It is a time of unknown and everyone goes through it. You will meet all sorts of people; every student here has their own story so keep in mind that you are the author of your own chapter and that you control every step of your life. Keep this in mind every day you wake up, and before you know it you will have brought success to every aspect of your life.

When you step on campus, you will immediately be part of a unique team. This takes energy, hard work, and discipline to take charge of your life and balance the ever demanding challenges of being a student athlete. Stay on top of your studies, and let everything on the field come to you. There will be adversity waiting around every corner but remember that you have already set yourself apart from others. It is exactly this quality that brings excitement into our locker room as we look forward to the season.

I hope that you are eager to get on campus. You are becoming part of a legacy that is bigger than either of us. It will not take you long to understand what I am talking about, as you will meet other men that want to succeed just as bad as you. There is a reason that you were asked to become a part of this team and that is to win a championship. It will not be easy, and our team and coaches will challenge you every day. Expect nothing less than the very best from yourself and remember that it takes hard work to fulfill dreams.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to meet you in the fall.

Your teammate

Throughout my career motivated individuals have surrounded me. This inspiration at times was tough to feel during the daily grind, and other times the real life energy was obvious. When our paths cross, I am proud to see that the athletes come up to me for a handshake or high five and the stories they remind me about put an instant smile on my face.

This new segment will showcase the letters that many have written, myself or the athletes and coaches that I have worked with; to share their inspiration with those we call “teammates.” As you read through the messages that are shared, please remember that what is inside you can separate you from the rest. Look around and you may be surprised how many others are in need of just a little enthusiasm to push them closer to their goals: professionally, physically, mentally, etc.

I will begin with a letter that I sent to a team that I am still very proud of to this day. No names needed. Just a sincere message that I hope can impact others to pay it forward by giving energy to those around them.

Please leave your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. How are you preparing your team, coaches, administrators, staff, co-workers, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers to have a positive mindset in both good and challenging times?