02/28/2023 Why Sharing Your Story Is So Important

Yesterday I was presenting in ATL at an event run by Baylor’s Sport Management program, in partnership w the Atlanta Hawks. The event’s on its 4th yr & is a phenomenal idea. 

Baylor partners w colleges all over the country to run a bracket-style tournament – first virtually, fall semester – where students who are Sport Management majors, compete against one another in role plays to “sell” a prospect. Industry execs are the mock “prospects” & also judges. 

The top 100 students (as scored by the judges) then get invited from all over the country, to Atlanta, to compete, face-to-face. Here’s the kicker – the 4 finalists – compete in front of the ENTIRE group, doing a role play. Look at the pic slides that follow➡️. Imagine being in college & getting all the way there, competing in person all day, & then your skill is critiqued in front of a room of 100 peers, & pro sports hiring managers from arnd the country. Stressful much?

So my friends running the program (kudos to them for seeing the importance), asked me to come out & do 2 sessions on MH, & how we need this next generation coming in to be the game changers who lead w vulnerability & talk abt their stuff. My story’s a cautionary tale of unprocessed trauma that literally cut me at my knees at the height of my career. That’s for context. Here’s the real story:

When I was done, I had folks come up, exchange cards, ask how we can work together, share some commonalities, etc. Then, a girl in a perfectly pressed suit, looking like a million bucks came up to me, looked me in the eyes & said: “We need this. Please keep doing this. My mom just died of suicide 3 months ago.” Then tears. 

This COLLEGE student, after losing her mom, competed all day in that stress, & came to me, to tell me abt HER loss, selflessly to say: WE need this. 

Ppl vent after events. Ppl cry. Ppl share. She was using her story to cry out – WE need change. She didn’t have to. She could’ve kept quiet. We ended w a hug, more tears, & a promise that we wont stop & her & her mom are now a motivation for us. Consider sharing your story – your story motivates others in so many ways. Her’s motivated me.

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