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March 8, 2019
Ignore the Critics
Spring time is approaching, which means baseball’s preseason has gotten underway for major league teams around the country. This is an exciting time for young baseball prospects. Training camp is filled with minor league players who've arrived this spring hoping for a shot at making the big league team. While most of them walk in and out of the ballpark each day in relative anonymity, one major league hopeful has found himself in a familiar place: the spotlight. It seems like wherever he goes, Tim Tebow manages to draw a crowd.

Tebow spoke candidly last week at a press conference after his New York Mets spring traning debut. You’re probably familiar with Tebow’s story: after one of the great quarterback careers in college football history, Tebow found moderate but short-lived success as an NFL player. After three seasons – at the age of 25 – Tebow found himself without a job in pro football and looking for a new career. He decided to take a crack at baseball.

Tebow hadn’t played competitive baseball since high school, and his transition to a new sport was met with plenty of criticism. Some people called it a publicity stunt. Others predicted he’d fail miserably and be out of the game in no time. Surprisingly to many, though, just the opposite has happened. He’s continued to improve and has even managed to work his way up the minor league ranks. Whether he makes it to the big leagues remains to be seen, but his performance has been impressive nonetheless. And even though many are still openly critical of his pursuit, Tebow continues to press on.

That criticism Tebow has faced throughout his athletic career – but especially now throughout his short time in pro baseball – was the focus of a question at last week’s spring training press conference. A reporter asked how he deals with all that negativity, and Tebow’s answer is the focus of this week’s newsletter. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, please take a minute and listen to these words from a champion, in sports and in life:
I’m not sure how exactly you might choose to make it happen, but I’m hopeful you can find a way to get this video in front of your child at some point soon. Here's the link:

We can all take Tebow’s words to heart, even us adults. But these challenges – whether or not we'll face our fears, ignore our critics, and chase our dreams – these are challenges each of our kids are facing already or will be facing soon.

So use the words of this champion athlete and man to set an example for your child, and to help them take another step toward his or her champion self. Let Tim Tebow help to teach, train, and equip them with the strength and courage it takes to pursue their best life, and to ingrain these words into their heart and mind:

-“You’re always gonna have critics and naysayers and people that are gonna tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t.”

-“Succeeding or failing is not making it to the bigs or not necessarily fulfilling that, it’s having to not live with regret because I didn’t try.”

-“I feel bad for all the young people who don’t go after something because they’re so afraid of failing that you’re gonna live with a lot more regret than you would have if you tried and you failed.”

-“The reason that a lot of people don’t go after things is because of how much you’ll be criticized and what if I fall flat on my face?...Fear and doubt and all those things creep in and I just don’t believe that’s the healthiest way to live. I don’t want to have to live with fear and doubt every day.”

If your child is planning on playing the game at a high level, or doing anything big and important in life, then they'll face plenty of criticism on the journey. How they handle that negativity will go a long way in determining their success. I hope Tim Tebow's words can encourage and empower the champion athlete and person you're raising today, and that you'll be encouraged, too, to keep leading them forward – despite the critics and naysayers – toward the greatness they were created to find .

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