Do you remember the first time you were introduced to sports?
Was it a family tradition to go to a sporting event or a holiday custom that transformed the family backyard into a competitive gridiron?
Regardless of the sport, every athlete can quickly reflect to the exact
moment they found their first love.
In some cultures, sports are considered a rite of passage either to build or continue the trials and triumphs of a legacy.
Whatever the pairing of parents and children, sports will always be moments of affection, growth, and hope in the eyes of the beholder.
The Benefits of Sports
For years, researchers have discussed the benefits of participating in sports.
For instance, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) conducted a review on the psychological and social benefits of participating in sports as children and adolescents.
Eime (2013) found that participating in sports not only improve their physical fitness and health, but it also improved their mental strength in academic performance.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits, sports can adjust your social environment as well by increasing your interpersonal skills and peer relationships.
As former athletes, avid sport enthusiasts, or parents of young athletes, we are all too familiar to these facts.
Audrey Codner (#13) rebounding against Temple University, January, 1994. Notice the grab on the wrist.
As a former collegiate and professional athlete, I appreciated the attention from adoring fans, being granted opportunities to travel to various countries to interact with many people and getting paid to showcase my talents on and off the court.
Although experiencing these and much more was great; however, witnessing the transformation of strangers and rivals from various parts of the country (at times, various parts of the world) to becoming a strong family unit will always be one of the most impressive feats any sport team will encounter.
Every team has a goal: to use our talents to join in battle to conquer friends and foes of other teams to reach the peak of the championship.
Regardless of gender, level of competition, or sport, building a relationship, a program, a family was the most challenging yet beneficial time that every athlete will face in their career.
But what do you do when the Friday Night Lights don’t shine for you anymore? What do you do when the phone stops ringing and the fans have moved on to the next happening star?
At one point in your career, you dreamed of the time when you can have some peace and not worry about trying to keep your private life private.
The one day you can be alone with your own thoughts without feeling like you are letting people down. But this is different…this is a space that is missing in your soul and you do not know how to define it.
No one ever told me that I will experience such a feeling of pain in my life. We tend to hear and experience such pain in many sad breakup songs, but they are directed to the lonely hearts not athletes…right?!?
Is this a breakup? Where were the signs? How was I to know that there were problems in our relationship? How can I put it right?
Moment of Reflection: The Beginning
My love for basketball started when I was in high school.
I was 6 feet tall and “big boned”. A few people in my life said that I could either be a model or a basketball player…I guess I chose basketball because I was not about that carrot-celery life.
The first time I saw basketball was on ABC’s Wide World of Sports but never really had an interest at the time.
It was my first day of tryouts and I had no clue what I was doing. The coach told me to run, I ran. He told me to slide, I slid.
After 3 days of what I called torture, I noticed my name was on the list. I made the team! I had no clue how.
So, after our first practice, I walked up to the coach and asked him “how did I make the team?” There were so many other girls who were better than me. Coach Matt looked at me and said, “you can’t teach height!”
Three years later, I moved from not knowing to being known!
Letters from potential colleges started pouring in. Top named colleges wanted me in their programs and many people wanted me to help them with their business ventures.
I was loved by all, viewed by many, and respected by a few. All of this did not matter to me because my focus was on the Championship.
From the Catholic League to the Atlantic 10, I worked hard for the school, for the team, for my family, and for all those who needed me to succeed.
Many people see athletes having the good life. Being able to create a life of luxury for their families and friends is worth all the abuse, hard work, stress and strain just to see them happy.
I love when you ask someone about Kobe Bryant or Moses Malone, the first thing they will say is that I know everything about him then continue to recite all their statistics.
Is that all we are to people? A trivia question on Jeopardy?
But how can I blame them…this is all that we present to them. This is all that they dream of. The dream of being known and relevant through cultures and generations.
But now it's time for me to get to know who I am.
I have been on this earth for many years and I still have no clue.
I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a doggie mama. I am a stepmom. I am step grandmother. I am a friend. I am now a business owner (something my father always said I should be).
With all of these facets, I am still confused.
I am still lost. I am still alone. It's funny that the loneliness place to be is around people. They feed you with what they think you need. They tell you what you want to hear. They tell you your next steps. Then you graduate.
They thank you for your service with a picture, a token snapshot of what they viewed as your best moment to help you to remember the “good times”. Who knew that your last reward would be your best moment? But… now what?
I FEEL LIKE A FAILURE!
I don’t want to be that G.O.A.T who is now working at Lids just to feed their family. I don’t want to be a local bartender where most of my patrons recognize me and constantly talk about yesteryear.
How can I fill this “hole” in my soul? How can I shut off the noise of ‘would of-should of-could of’?
Making a Decision
We all have choices: some good, some bad. No matter what, we must make a choice.
But when you are in a place of internal strife and darkness, making choices just adds to the stress. I made a choice to share the darkest part of my life to you in hope to help a future athlete through their own struggles with their next steps.
You are not alone.
There are many of us who went through the undefined emotions and found a way through it.
Unfortunately, there are many who have not. This is the main reason why I decided to share my thoughts.
Recently, I lost a former student-athlete to suicide. We have talked about the changes he was encountering but the darkness consumed him to a point of no return. His dream of being an NBA player was quickly dejected when he graduated from college.
His dream was his drive. It was his reason to breathe. It was his reason to exist. Since he was not about to do this; he probably saw no reason to move forward. He knew he was loved by many and respected by all, but he just couldn’t see pass the fact that his dreams had to change to fit his new reality.
He is not alone.
Many former athletes continue to make bad decisions to help fill this undefined “hole” in their soul. From self-medication to self-harm, many athletes are trying to make themselves relevant at any means necessary.
Some found help through professional counseling or alternative mind reset programs.
But I developed the notion that NEVER show your weakness! But I needed help. So where can athletes go to get help during the transition phase from sports?
What I know now that I wish I knew then
When I was in high school, every student had a personal meeting with the guidance counselor to talk about possible college majors and what I would like to do for a lifelong career.
I always wondered if anyone REALLY know what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives at the age of seventeen. Unlike today, there are children as young as 8 years old starting their own Fortune 500 businesses and looking to expand. WOW!
All jokes aside, things are changing but how athletes, amateur or professional, are still being treated the same way: taken advantage of and not prepared for the world ahead.
Most non-athletic college students and faculty view athletes as the privileged ones on campus. They do not have to pay for their books, worry about getting good grades, and have the school community at their feet…so you think.
The grass may seem greener on the other side it’s because they use more manure.
Student-athletes cannot experience college to the fullest like most. They cannot experience internships for their majors due to time restrictions and emotional restraint from coaching staff stating that you are being selfish and not thinking about the team. “Don’t you think other people want to go on internships for their majors? What makes you so special?”
The funny part is that to get a job of some caliber you need experience. No internship + No Experience = No Future.
Many coaches think they are doing their part by having a brief “heart-to-heart” talk about what you want to do with the rest of your life one week after the end of their Senior year.
How was that going to help me and my future? What does life look like after basketball? What options do I have?
To better prepare, I feel that every college/university should have a dedicated person (or a team of people) to help student-athletes to discuss, design. and implement an exit plan prior to the start of their Junior year. Not only to start having discussions, this program needs to be a graduation requirement for all collegiate athletes.
I worked at a local high school as a math teacher and the school developed a Capstone program to help students to get a taste of the real-world application of potential careers. It allows students to get a better perspective about possible majors and potential careers that will encourage their talents as well as their pursuit of said careers through real-world application.
It could be a worldwide event for all local businesses to adopt a college athlete during the summer of their Junior year to complete a summer internship of their major. This type of program in hand with realistic discussions about next steps can assist with lessoning the shock of athletic transition and the feeling of abandonment.
In addition to the program, I believe that every university should have monthly check-ins throughout the first year of post-graduation to all student-athletes to ensure a high level of support while the athletes transitioning to real-life scenarios. I understand that there will be a lot of metaphorical red tape in dealing with this task but if not here, where will student-athletes gain access to this needed support?
After playing overseas, I had to find my why. I had to re-learn about the other parts that make me the natural-born leader I am today. It takes a lot of strength and many hours of reflection to develop a snippet of knowledge about oneself.
I was not prepared for the life I had before me but I can be there for those behind me. The only way I can is to try. Yes, just like that…try.
Try to find my heart. Try to find my voice. Try to find…ME!
This is not easy at all. To make myself relevant again (but for myself-not for a school, sports program, family), I need to help build someone else up. I am still learning and I am starting to feel comfortable about the woman that I am becoming.
It is a scary place but with my faith and surrounding myself with strong- willed people, I can see my truth a little bit clearer every day.
This was one of the hardest assignments I ever had to complete. As I reflected, the feelings of loneliness quickly emerged but I felt ok about it because I had to think beyond me.
I am thinking about the parent who wants the world for their child, the coach who would fight for their players, the sports enthusiasts that wants to know more about seeing both sides of the athletic story, and the athlete who does not know how to define their feelings towards life after sports.
Just because the Friday Night Lights do not call to you anymore, it does not mean that is the only light out there that matters.
Shine your light Boo Boo!
Shine your light!
Go to my social media channels to sign up for notifications for
upcoming livestreams and support resources about Life After Sports.
Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: Informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 98. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-98
This is truly an honor to be a part of such a great visionary. @Chebrown saw something in me to help spread the words of "Building Confidence and Making Connections" through mathematics throughout the world. Take a moment out of your day to participate in a great event.
The Comeback Champion: From Impossible To The Inevitable. Finally ONE Stage, One Moment, One Mission to give away the success secrets to come back stronger after a setback and live like a Champion.
Be My Guest-No Charge
If you purchased a ticket to see each of these speakers at different events it would cost you well over $10,000! We are giving you an opportunity of a lifetime at no cost…Why? Because the Champion Nation has one mission: to provide busy Entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to support the vision for the people they were called to serve.
You asked and we will provide. This 5-day virtual summit is designed for the busy entrepreneur who is looking for resources like branding, marketing, automation, sales, and so much more to help you to truly have an impact in the lives of those who you were called to serve all from the comfort of your home.
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You Are A Champion!
See you at the summit.
What do you get when you gather together the best tutors with the best leader of online tutors in one place? You get an informative live stream on networking through the Insider Secrets Club.
This afternoon I had the privilege to participate in this panel of online tutors from around the world. We discussed the importance of networking and supporting each other as tutors and brilliant educators. Tutoring can be a lonely business especially when you need reassurance while working towards your business goals.
If you are a tutor looking for a support system in your business, the Ultimate Support Group for Online Tutors and the Insider Secrets Club are the places for you! If you have any questions or comments about this video, please place them in the comment section below.
Are you a student who is tired of getting points taking off their assignments or high percentage assessments because of one simple mistake? Do you spend hours study only to end up on the losing end of grades just because you made one simple mistake? Do you hate when teachers mark the whole problem wrong just because you forgot to put the negative sign down in your final answer? Been there and done that. No matter if you are a student, parent, or life learner, everyone has made one or all five of the most common mistakes in math at one point in their lives. I am here to show you how to approach and identify these math problems prior to submitting your work.
My name is Mrs. Audrey Codner-Gibson and I am the owner of ACG Math Tutoring and I am a 19-year Secondary Math teacher and tutoring coach who decided to leave the classroom to help students all over the world to see math as a possible goal to achieve as well as a feat that they can accomplish.
I was not always this great teacher you “see” before you. When I was growing up in Philadelphia, PA, I was not at all as confident in math as I am today. I HATED MATH because I did not understand the purpose of math. Yes, I understood the basic concepts of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, but when algebra kicked my world into a rapid downward spiral I had no idea how I was going to making it to survive middle school. No matter how hard I tried, Algebra was right there taunting me and leaving me emotionally empty.
It was not until high school; I had the best teacher who taught the class how to see Algebra for what its worth and how we could connect its ideal through step-by-step instruction. I hope that everyone has a teacher like this at least once in their lives, but until now allow me to show you the 5 most common mistakes that students make and teachers what to scream every time they see them.
Subtracting Negative Numbers
After learning about integers and how they work in algebraic expressions and equations, students from various academic levels will always make the common mistake of subtracting negative numbers. When encountered with subtracting negative numbers, many students will either make the minus sign longer or just ignore the negative sign completely.
For example, x - -2 = 6 would either give a student an answer of 4 or 8 depending on what the student sees. One way that could simplify the situation is to place a set of parentheses around the negative two to see the separation between the minus sign and the negative two. When you are subtracting a negative number, you are actually multiplying the negative number with the minus sign which causes you to think of the multiplying negative numbers rule (a negative times a negative is a positive). Or simply, when you move down the negative direction of a number line you change direction twice which cause you to move in the positive direction. It’s like you going out of the door then returning back in the house to get something you forgot.
Simplifying exponents using their properties seems to the be the second most anticipated error secondary teachers experienced through their careers. When I ask a student to simplify 4^2, for example, I most always get an answer of 8. There are times, I cut a student off at the pass and tell them “don’t say eight”. Of course, this puts students in a state of confusion because 4 * 2 is equal to 8. But that is not what the expression is asking. 4^2 can be extended out to 4 * 4 because the expression is telling you how many times the base (which is 4) is being multiplied to itself (you get that answer from the exponent. So save your teachers sanity and try to remember that when dealing with exponents, please extend the base out and don’t simplify multiply the base with the exponent.
Order of Operations
No matter where you are from and how old you are, everyone knows the acronym for the process of Order of Operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS) or (BEMDAS-in Canada). When simplifying algebraic expressions, there is a process you must perform to get the correct answer. It’s like making a PB&J sandwich or getting dressed, everything has an order to stay within social norms. Each letter represents a step in the process. P represents the parentheses (or B represents the brackets or braces), E represents the exponents, Now here is the kicker, the M and D come next and they represent Multiplication and Division; however, there is a rule within the rule. After you deal with the exponents, you are either doing multiplication or division first based on what comes first from the left to right. This is where many students go wrong. It is not just you. In fact, there was a huge push on Facebook for a simple expression where the answer could be either 16 or 1that made the national news! As long you remember that you must do multiplication/division prior to addition from left to right, you will be on the right track. Therefore, the rule is designed this way:
Now you have seen the 5 most common mistakes students make in math and learned how you can fix them prior to submitting your assignments, what are you going to do next? Hopefully, this article made you think about how you can do math just by tweaking a few things instead of redoing everything in your thought process. Remember, in math, there are patterns and rules to everything. I know that it is hard to remember all these and many more rules but through practice and taking things for what they are in a step-by-step sequence, you will have a better chance to raise your grades and expand your content knowledge compared to someone who sits and complain about how they will never “get it”. By taking the first steps towards bettering yourself and wanting to make a chance in your current mindset, I want to say that I am so proud of you and keep moving forward in your academics. Because the world needs you and what you can bring to the table of life…YOU!
Even after all of this and you feel that you need more support in your math abilities, I do have FREE (yes Free) algebraic foundation skills videos on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9j_8oJSGV3Od_IvDZqjiJw/videos?view=0&sort=da&flow=grid). If you would like more of a personalized one-to-one or small group tutoring, you can go to my website acgmathtutoring.com and sign up for a FREE Meet & Greet (YES, we LOVE FREEBIES!) to talk more about how I can help you achieve your math goals with little stress and more confidence.
In closing, I want you to remember that you can do math! Just take your time and learn to adjust to the given situation. You can do it!
Today I had the great opportunity to speak on a panel about the other side of having your own online tutoring business...doing your taxes. We were so excited to talk to Edrina from Accountant by Edrina. If you are considering developing your own online business regardless if it is through tutoring, you need to watch this video. Watch until the end of special discounts and how to sign up for the Accountant for the Day or DYI accountant course.
Today, I had the opportunity to share my truth towards the injustice I have encountered as an educator and tutor. It is an honor to be a part of this prestigious group of African American educators from different parts of the United States. This 1 hour long video talks about the pain and misconceptions many black people face while using their skills to improve their economic and social situations through education.
To help my neighbor parents and their children, I decided to create a Math Hunt activity to get kids out of the house for a moment and do some math in a fun way. As you can see there are arranged in 10 stations. Each station has 5 educational level: Pre-K to Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, 6th-8th (middle school) and high school. Students can pick the level appropriate for them the submit their work to me via email the correct answer.
Many parents appreciate the activity which gave them a break form the new norm, and the kids looked forward to the activity every Thursday.
Fun times = closer community!
Today was my first day of reflection as an young Black lady! Rita Pierson gave me life this evening by reminding me what kind of effect I have on my students and why I continue to teach in and out of the classroom. Thank you and enjoy!
So you are probably wondering who is ACG Math Tutoring and why they want to help my child with math? Well, it all started with the three people you see in the picture above...my family. This picture was taken at UMBC during the Winter commencements of my Master’s degree in Math Education. As the first in my family to graduate from college twice, my parents were the driving force behind my love for education. I always wanted to help people as long as could remember. From playing school with my dolls and neighborhood kids to being a leader in academic excellence in several secondary schools, I believe that I can be a service to our ever-changing society. Through hard work and patience, I learned how to listen and react appropriately to any given situation.
After many years of learning from the best teachers in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland respectively, I feel that I can be beneficial to more people who struggle in math through tutoring. During coach classes, many of my students would bring their friends from other classes to attend our sessions. By the end of the session, their friends would say “why aren’t you my teacher!?! I get it better with you!” And I always say to myself, why aren’t I their teacher? Through tutoring, I as well as potential students can choose who they can learn from. Making connections and provide step-by-step instruction are the essential parts of any learning platform. I like for students to have a say in their learning while opening up to alternative ways to connect the task at hand with various forms of technology and experiences. ACG was a nickname given to me by my former administration because they did not want to call me by my full name every time they needed to address me. Who knew that Audrey Codner-Gibson could also translate to the math I like to tutor, which is Algebra, College Math, and GED!
I want to help those to breakdown the barrier of math to achieve the career, the goal, the dream they have always wanted to accomplish. Through tutoring, I want to help everyone around the world to see mathematics in a newfound light that shine bright for all regardless of any differences from the social norm. Let me help you achieve your goal. Visit my website @acgmathtutoring.com for a free consultation. Happy 2020 world!