We compare achievement in academics to achievement in athletics and entertainment because there’s no better analogy for showing the impact of motivation and engagement on results and success. It seems more natural for us to reinforce the level of motivation behind students who work hard to succeed in sports than those who work hard to succeed in school.
We can see how students are attracted to the popularity among their peers, and the recognition and celebration they receive in their schools, in their communities and in the media. We can see how the hours of practice spent on the football field, the basketball court, the baseball diamond or the golf course can pay off in big dividends in their popularity and in major bucks, IF they’re a part of the lucky but rare .005% to .02% to go pro.
So, in this closing Culture Effect blog of the 2010 year, we leave you with a great example of the payoff of motivation, engagement and practice. Eleven-year old Jayshawn August is a phenom on the basketball court who is getting mad props in his school, and in traditional media and social media. And he deserves it! The young man is a case study for the benefits of hard work, discipline and practice–he works out every night from 4 to 8 pm, does 200 push ups, 200 sit ups and 150 squats every night! He’s so motivated to achieve his goal of being an NBA player that he’s the one driving his parents…not the other way around. In his father’s own words, “because he takes it so seriously.”
Check out our video of him–he can dribble behind his back, through his legs and every which way possible, all while moving, all at the same time. He plays 2 on 1 against his big brother and cousin, and wins! His 5th grade basketball team is so good they play the 6th grade team…and they win! He runs a 4:50 mile–faster than any 11 year old who has run a mile in any competition.
Are you excited? Want to learn more about Jayshawn? You should be! He’s worked hard for it. But, for some reason, we’re challenged to get as excited about motivating our youth to work that hard in their studies. We can’t seem to bestow the same level of respect, recognition and reward for those students who exhibit a similar level of dedication, effort, and intensity directed toward academic pursuits.
So, we share this video with you not to condemn the Jayshawns of our communities. But to challenge us all to inspire and motivate the same level of effort in academics. Our kids need us to do that. Our schools need us to do that. Our communities need us to do that. Let’s motivate our youth to excel in the classroom–in 2011 and beyond!