This year, Council for Drug Free Youth partnered with Lincoln University for two all school basketball assemblies, one at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and one at Lewis and Clark Middle School, in an effort to encourage students to stay in the game by being drug free. These interactive and educational basketball events included role models from Lincoln University, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Boys and Girls Club competing against middle school teachers, administrators, counselors and staff. Lincoln University’s Blue Tigers came to lend a hand and offer some coaching advice while showcasing their talents. Students cheered as the teams played while music complementary to the demographic blared from a Blue Tiger’s Ipod.
During the game, players took timeouts to share personal insights with the students explaining why they chose to stay in the game. Carrie Tergin described with heartfelt clarity her experience of being on City Council, running for another term, and not getting re-elected. She could have thrown in the towel and given up but instead she persevered, ran for Mayor, and is now one of the most visibly positive forces in our community. She stayed in the game.
The Blue Tigers basketball team not only brought energy and enthusiasm to the events, they exemplified the importance of being drug free. Healthy and vibrant, they demonstrated the benefits of leading a healthy life by showing off their talents during halftime. The students were visibly impressed and motivated to stay in the game simultaneously.
But staying in the game isn’t always easy, especially during the holidays. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with so many
festivities and so many expectations. Just as the assemblies had to come to come end, so do the holidays and that can bring on feelings of sadness and depression.
So what’s the best way to handle it? Sometimes calling timeout and temporarily benching yourself is a way to stay in the game. Timeouts can be important and can give you time to evaluate and reconnect with yourself. This holiday season take a timeout and ask yourself "Why do I stay in the game?" Discover what is important and what matters to you. Devise a Game Plan to stay in the game for the upcoming New Year. Establish goals and guidelines for yourself and how you are going to accomplish them. Look to community members you admire for inspiration and support.
If you have been temporarily benched in your life, you are not alone. Ask yourself how you can get back in the game. Reach out. Get help. Don’t let the stress of the holidays get the best of you.
Just keep your eye on the ball and stay in the game.