Our experiences shape our outcomes. We carry the good and the bad experiences of our past forward and, if we are lucky, we learn and grow from the bad ones and are grateful for the good ones.
Extracurricular activities provide both the growth and the gratitude types of experiences for our youth and young adults. Johnnie Johnson, President and CEO of World Class Coaches (WCC) which serves as facilitator of the Moving Families Initiative® (MFI), has experienced both growth and gratitude through participation in these activities during his youth and young adulthood.
Johnnie began participating in extracurricular activities in elementary school in the form of team sports. By the time he reached junior high school he was participating in three sports: football, basketball and track. One sport Johnnie did not play was baseball and baseball was a passion for him at that time. Johnnie’s parents were in the process of divorcing and the family could not afford the participation fees for him to participate with his friends. Until Coach Lawrence Hatfield stepped in.
Coach Hatfield understood the importance of a young man in Johnnie’s situation being surrounded by the positive influences, character-building opportunities and invaluable support of teammates. It was through this understanding of the importance of extracurricular activities in the lives of youth that Coach Hatfield sponsored Johnnie and paid his participation fees which enabled him to participate in youth baseball.
This opportunity not only fed Johnnie’s passion, it lead to him becoming a four-sport athlete during high school to which Johnnie attributes much of his later success. He attended University of Texas in Austin on a football scholarship, became an All-American athlete in college and later was the #1 draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams. Johnnie completed a successful 10-year career with Rams which included being named All-Pro.
Johnnie’s initial experience in extracurricular sports, encompassing youth sports, NCAA athletics and the NFL, ultimately led to Johnnie becoming President and CEO of WCC. Furthermore, Johnnie’s experience participating in extracurricular activities created a passion, love and commitment to family and community. This commitment created the awareness of exactly how important participation in extracurricular activities is in children’s lives, especially when they move or relocate with their parents. This awareness, in part, became the foundation for the creation of the Moving Families Initiative. (For more information about MFI and extracurricular activities, please visit our previous post by clicking HERE)
The aim of MFI is to help make moving less stressful for parents, with a specific focus on assisting kids in dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of changing neighborhoods, schools and friends. For Johnnie, it’s personal.
For more information about MFI, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.