There will be times in our lives that we have an opportunity to listen to a motivational speaker whose story is so powerful that it leaves an indelible impression to last a lifetime.
Recently, I had that opportunity when I heard John “JK” Parker speak to a high school football team in Oklahoma with which MomsTEAM is working to develop a concussion management program.
JK and I grew up in the same seaside town in New England. I had not seen him since he was a young teenager and was taken out of his home and placed in a school for boys who needed an “extra set of eyes.” At Thompson Academy on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor, JK developed into a powerhouse football player. He went off to college out west and was destined for stardom in the NFL. Signed by four different teams, he ended up being released before he ever had a chance to suit up for a game.
The three-part video that MomsTEAM produced in Oklahoma in June of 2012 is a must-see for every young athlete who is tempted to use, is using, or is on a team with someone using drugs and illegal performance enhancing drugs, and a must-see for all parents and coaches.
During JK's talk, it was so quiet in the room you could have heard a pin drop; the boys were listening to every word and I know they came away with a lesson they will carry with them for life.
JK has been talking to groups in an informal way and will begin to take his message on the road in September 2012.
MomsTEAM and I will support him as a speaker however we can. We truly think that once kids hear JK's personal story of the struggles he has had his entire life because what he was doing to his body as a 15-year-old, they won't even think about using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. At least that is our hope.
If you are interested in contacting JK please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will make sure he gets it.
And stay tuned to this space for an announcement about his own website.
In the meantime, watch these videos, and share them with your kids. The life you save just might be your child's.
Brooke de Lench is the Founder and Publisher of MomsTEAM.com and the author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins), now available as an e-book on Amazon.com.