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6

Feb, 2015

2015 Mid Season Head Coach's Message

Mid Season Presidents Message

Dear Next Level Families,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for participating in Next Level Flag this year…we have officially reached the halfway point of the season. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is for all of us at Next Level Flag to be working with you. On behalf of all of the Site Directors, our High School Head Coaches, and our team at Next Level…THANK YOU! We truly hope your sons/daughters are having a rewarding season so far.

Weather Notes

We have been operating Next Level Flag Football for four years and we have always run the league from January to March. We have had two, yes two, weekends in four years that have had been impacted by rain events. That is great news for those of us who run Flag Football leagues, but not so great for our state’s drought. Needless to say, we are not very versed with experience when it comes to rain weekends! We will not cancel games as all of our games are played on turf fields…unless the weather presents a safety threat. Our Site Directors have final calls at their sites, but if you register for Next Level…expect to play!

All of our High School head coaches have been instructed to show up one hour before the game. We would like for all of you to use your best judgment this Sunday in terms of practice. We can do many great things at Next Level, our staff is very experienced…one thing we CAN NOT do is predict the weather. All models show that it is going to be raining Sunday. We do not want kids standing in the rain for two hours but we know the kids will have fun during the games! With that said, if you look out the window before your scheduled practice time, and it is sunny, by all means hop in the car and head off to practice. If it is raining….show up for the game! Since this is America (one of my favorite sayings) use your best judgment for your child this Sunday regarding practicing in the rain. As always, please check in with your Site Director for guidance if you have any questions.

Teachable Moments

I have been the head Coach of Serra High School for 14 seasons. We have had great seasons, we have had good seasons and we have had bad seasons…on the scoreboard. But all seasons, regardless of the outcomes, have presented wonderful lessons and countless teachable moments for our players. I want us all to remember, and seek, the teachable moments as we progress towards the finish line this season.

In most of our locations we have played four games. Records at this point can be one of four things: 4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, and 0-4.  I don’t have to watch a single game…I can examine the records themselves to find teachable moments within them. I would like to use the Extremes as Examples: 4 – 0 and 0 – 4 to illustrate this point.

What if your child’s team is 4 - 0? This is a great opportunity to teach our children what it means to be humble. I would tell my own boys that although you are 4 – 0 right now, first and foremost this does not make you a better person than your opponents. Winning DOES NOT define us as people…nor does Losing for that matter. How we treat people defines us, our actions define us winning does not. I would also take this time to remind my children that nobody cares where you are at halftime….the only thing that matters is how you finish!!! (Just ask Seattle – Sorry Seahawk's Fans).

On the flipside what if your child’s team is 0 – 4? This is a great opportunity to teach our children to never give up. I am kind of a weirdo when it comes to pain acceptance. Like all of us, I seek a smooth existence…work hard, be a good person, laugh and love, be a good husband and hope that nothing in life will lead to pain and disappointment. But as we all know, pain is inevitable.  Some run from pain, others see pain as opportunity to grow. I believe the true character of a person is when one is dealing with pain and disappointment…what is that person going to do? How will he/she rise up? You see this is why I love football…no sport can stir up such emotional highs and lows like Football. (See New England for the highs…see Seattle for the lows).  In the 0 – 4 scenario, I would tell my boys that we never quit, we never turn on our teammates, or our coaches, we always compete and we will always seek to find the meaning, the lessons, through the pain. Keep fighting!!!!

Final Message: Keep the Perspective

Winning is the great elixir of sport. It makes us feel great, we laugh, we hug, we smile we eat Pizza, we get trophies. Next Level Flag Football keeps score, we are a one-trophy league and I expect everybody involved to seek to win each game they play. As stated earlier, this is America and in America we strive to win. We should never strive to win though at all costs, we should never put our integrity on the line to earn that trophy. This is a great challenge for everyone…as the trophy draws near, our ego pulls us in tighter and starts to wage an internal battle…Do Right and Lose, Do Wrong and Win. The temptation to Do Wrong and Win, is a very real human challenge and we shouldn’t feel bad that the question has been posed. The question is how will we answer?

As we head down the stretch I ask that all of us Keep the Perspective….It is imperative that we understand that our young student/athletes at Next Level Flag do not need to be subject to our Adult/Young Adult (HS Coaches) egos and ambitions. Challenging high school referees, yelling, questioning play calls, having a general disdain for Next Level Site Directors will not be tolerated at any of our sites. We love kids, our kids come first, and we must step back and allow this to happen as adults. We must empathize and know that our kids might feel true and utter elation for winning over the next four weeks, or they may feel disappointment. No matter what happens we as parents will have many opportunities to teach valuable lessons about growing through competition…as long as we keep the perspective about what Next Level Flag Football is all about.

We are very excited to hit the home stretch, games will become more and more intense…And fun…playoffs will start…excitement will rise…trophies will be delivered and earned…a 2015 Champion will be crowned. Challenges will arise, opportunities to learn and grow as players, coaches, high school students, and parents will become abundant…my hope is that we open our hearts and eyes to find these opportunities.

I can’t tell you how great it is for all of us at Next Level Flag Football to have you in our program. I speak for all of the Site Directors/Assistant Site Directors when I say that we all TRULY love Next Level Sundays. Seeing those kids run in and out of the stadiums, on the hour, scoring touchdowns, pulling flags, laughing, chanting, smiling, and also crying is a thing of beauty for all of us!

We hope the season finishes with a flourish. We are here to help you and assist you in anyway possible. Never hesitate to reach out and ask us if you need anything…you know where to find us, just shoot me an email anytime…[email protected]com…and I/we will do all we can to make sure your child is having a great experience playing Next Level Flag Football.

Have a great weekend and see you Sunday!

Coach Patrick Walsh

President

Next Level Flag Football

Head Football Coach

Junipero Serra High School

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Next Level Sports

 385 1st Avenue
San Mateo, California 94401

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