As a longtime TV News Sports Anchor and now as a motivational speaker, I have always felt a special connection to Kosciusko County. When the Indiana High School Athletic Association told me in 2007 that they were awarding me their Distinguished Media Service honor, they said I could pick where the presentation would take place. I told them a Warsaw-Plymouth basketball game would be perfect!
Besides covering the Warsaw Tigers and all the surrounding teams during my many years at WSBT TV, I have delivered many motivational programs in the area. I never will forget the time in the early 1990’s was speaking on leadership at a function with the Miss Teen Kosciusko County at the time. Before I gave the keynote, she delivered a short talk and concluded it with, “Live your life where the preacher doesn’t have to lie at your funeral!” We all laughed, but then thought there was a lot of truth to what she was saying. I have used that line several times since in talks.
One of my favorite sportscasting memories from Kosciusko County was the stretch when WSBT TV had me zipping around to high school football games in a helicopter. One year one of our stops was at Warsaw when the Tigers played in their old football stadium.
It was homecoming and there was a huge crowd. We landed, stayed for a little bit, and were getting ready to fly back up in the air for the next high school game. When we hustled back to the chopper, a car from the sheriff’s office was parked by it. I was thinking, “What did we do?! Violate air space when Denny Hepler was flying in on his private lear jet?!” The officer came forward to us and told me that there were a couple of bad guys on the loose in the fields behind the stadium and they thought one might have a gun. With a big crowd on hand and the potential for danger, they wanted to know if we would take the chopper up and shine a spotlight on the field to help find them.
Brian Riley of Riley Aviation in Sturgis, Mich., looked at me with a look of “It’s your call, Charlie.” I remember thinking to myself that if the bad guys had a gun, they probably wouldn’t take too kindly to us revealing their location. I could just picture them shooting up at the chopper and putting a bullet in my rear end!
I looked at the officer and said, “Sir, we would love to help, but we have to make another landing at Triton High and then get back before 9:40 p.m!”
One of the things about leadership is that you sometimes have to make a tough call and make it fast.
In 2005, I left TV news after almost a quarter of a century in broadcasting to purse the three professional passions that I have in my life now:
* Motivating people and organizations to peak performance through the Stoke the Fire Within keynotes and workshops I have developed over the years.
* Educating parents, coaches and athletes on how high school athletes can connect with the right fit and scholarships at the collegiate level.
* Hosting group travel experiences for Edgerton’s Travel.
I do a variety of motivational speaking to corporate and school audiences, and I love to share stories of inspirational people from our part of northern Indiana. When it comes to determination, Nick Missos provides a tremendous example. I have talked with Nick many times over the years after learning of a unique way that he handled goal setting. Nick wanted to wrestle in high school at Warsaw Community High School, but he had two things going against him: He was legally blind and he was weak. But, he made a commitment to wrestle, and he was determined to make it.
Like so many things in life, it was rough at first. That’s why you have to have the commitment to stick it through. It is vital! Nick would be the first to tell you he was pitiful at first. Being legally blind he was having a hard time seeing his opponents, and he didn’t have much strength. The match would start and, woom, he would find himself flat on his back with his legs flailing as his opponent pinned him. This usually happened seconds into the match. That’s when the power of short term goals came in. Nick and his coach, Tony Boley, started setting short term goals.
- Make it a minute before getting pinned
- Make it two minutes before getting pinned
- Make it a whole match without getting pinned
I think those are the coolest short term goals I have ever heard of! Too often people set vague goals. Nick was setting realistic short term goals, and slowly but surely the committed, determined young man started reaching them.
He never won a match that 9th-grade year, but he didn’t quit and he got to where he was avoiding being pinned. Midway through his 10th-grade year, he won a match! He helped his team advance fairly far into the state tournament. He was a peak performer, getting the most out of his God given abilities.
I shared his story when I delivered a motivational keynote at a medical office manager’s conference. I got this note later from one of the women in attendance:
“I loved the story of the legally blind wrestler and his short term goals. I’ve been thinking of quitting smoking and I can use your goals example. I am not going to set a goal to quit smoking. Instead, I am going to set a goal not to smoke for one day. Then two days. Then a week. A month, and so on. I think I can meet the long term goal to quit smoking easier using this plan.”
I hope Nick’s story stokes the fire within you to go out and set and achieve your goals.
I look forward to writing on a regular basis here at StaceyPageOnline.com. I will write about a variety of things such as motivation, how Kosciusko County athletes can get college athletics scholarships, and more!
Charlie Adams is the author of Stoke the Fire Within. He delivers a variety of motivational keynotes and workshops to Corporate and Educator audiences. He also speaks on the college athletics recruiting process to help northern Indiana families understand how to navigate the confusing process. Since 2006, he has hosted over 25 Group Travel Experiences for Edgerton’s Travel known as ‘Travels with Speaker Charlie Adams.’ To bring Charlie in to inspire your people or event, or learn more about his motivational programs, you can go to StokeTheFireWithin or reach him directly at [email protected]