How Can We Help?

Written by Posted On Friday, 10 September 2021 00:00

I have always interpreted Labor Day to mean we take time to celebrate those who labor i.e., “physical or mental effort.

I would hope that includes all of us. We should all possess either or both of those traits. As Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Then, how is it that we find some who seemingly have lost their way?

My goal in life as a coach/teacher/principal/superintendent has been to help, educationally and emotionally, those whose paths crossed mine and may need my help in finding a way to improve their lives.

For 31 years it was my privilege to work for the National Football League. While my role was to officiate NFL games keeping the play on the field honest and fair, I have watched many players fall by the wayside either during their life on the field or after they retired. I have been disheartened with those who seem to have lost their way and I have been frustrated not being able to help.

It seems peculiar that when a batter has trouble hitting or a basketball player has trouble with free throws or, well, you get the point, the coach often steps up to provide extra or special attention or seeks outside help to correct that player’s problem. But when it comes to personal problems, they either don’t know or maybe feel it’s too “personal” to help. Many do step up to help.

I don’t understand nor agree with athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs (PED) attempting to improve their God-given abilities. It is shameful to watch talented athletes use these and other drugs, e.g., alcohol, heroin, cocaine, thinking there will be no harm.

Please don’t try to tell me that “until you walk in their shoes, you don’t understand the pressures I’m under to perform at this level.” I’m reminded of the words of an athlete who said: “Pressure? You don’t know pressure until you find you are unable to put food on the table to feed your family!”

At the end of this week is 9/11. While tragic, with all the lives lost we – as a country – pulled together to help each other as we continued to move forward. Do we still have that ability?

Will you log-in your thoughts on the subject of helping others?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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