More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

The dangers of trash talk

Here are two examples of why you shouldn’t trash talk:

  • This past fall, my son’s team played a team from a neighboring league. One of the opposing team’s players said my son’s team was “fat and slow.” When that boy came up to pitch, he walked in five runs.
  • This week, a boy told a friend that my son “sucks at baseball” because he was drafted a division higher than my son. Later that day, the boy’s team lost by ten runs.

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Public education – attack at your own risk

An example of image versus reality:

  • Image: A TV ad touting California. Shots of California’s natural beauty, celebrities, state landmarks, celebrities, and ending with our celebrity-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger saying that California is a great place for business.
  • Reality: The same governor’s budget cuts billions from education, including $4.8 billion that voters elected to dedicate to education though Proposition 98. School districts across the state are forced to cut millions from their budgets, lay off teachers, cancel educational programs, and even close campuses.

And you would still consider California a great place for business? Read more »

Proud papa moment

Take some kids, a clear sunny day (after weeks of off-and-on rain), and a baseball. You get spring.

My son at Little League Opening Daydvd films

Competing by cooperating

The news has been filled lately with stories about the dark side of competition. Roger Clemens has testified to Congress about allegations of HGH use, while Barry Bonds has been accused of lying to juries. The NFL has been clouded with the Spygate scandal where the New England Patriots have been accused of taping other teams’ signals. It’s enough to make parents want to pull their child out of sports to take up interpretive dance.

But there is a better way of handling competition – a way that not only encourages people to play fair as well as improve the quality of play. It was something I learned two years ago. It’s something I like to call cooperative competition.

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The blueberry pie approach to dealing with problems

I’ve been reading Got What It Takes? by Bill Boggs. In this book, he interviewed dozens of successful people about their secrets of success. But it is a story that he told about himself and his family that has made the greatest impact on me. It was about a piece of blueberry pie. Read more »