Over the past four weeks, Major League baseball players have used this space to share their tips on time management, setting goals, getting organized and developing sound study habits. This week, we’re going to bring the series to a close with Colorado Rockies pitcher LaTroy Hawkins sharing his thoughts on why it’s important to “Get Involved.”
LaTroy has been playing Major League Baseball before any of our high school readers were born. One of the sport’s most respected players, LaTroy is now playing in his 20th Major League season. LaTroy has been actively involved in the Action Team national youth volunteer program for as long as the program has been around. Given his passion for helping others, we thought LaTroy would be the perfect contributor for this week’s topic: “Getting Involved.”
“First, I want to welcome you all back to school. The start of the school year is quite similar to the start of the baseball season. There are going to be lots of jitters at first, but once you face your first batter, or attend your first class, the butterflies go away and you begin to focus on the year ahead – one day at a time.
“Now that you’re back at school, I think it’s important to take advantage of some of the tips offered up previously in this blog series to make time to get involved in activities outside the classroom.
“As my grandmother used to say, an idle mind is the devil’s playground. By using your free time to participate in activities, whether they’re school sports, afterschool clubs, or your church, getting involved will drastically cut your chances of getting into trouble. You’ll also find that by getting involved in something you’re interested in, you’ll be in a positive frame of mind most of the time. And people want to be around positive people.
“I know for some who might be on the quieter side, taking that first step to join a club or sign up for an activity might seem very intimidating. For those who fall into this category, I suggest you take baby steps first. Get involved with a small-group, one-time activity that interests you, for example. By taking this approach you’ll likely have a very positive experience that will make you more comfortable and ready to take more steps. Give some thought to what you think your “calling” is. Then find something related and get involved. When we do what we’re passionate about, we’re naturally encouraged to do more.
“Lastly, if your school is not part of the Action Team, use this as an opportunity to get involved by bringing the program to your school. The Players Trust and Volunteers of America make it pretty simple and easy to start an Action Team, and, best of all, it’s free.
“Action Teams of high school students just like you are doing some amazing deeds for people in need in communities across the country. Look up the word ‘action’ in the dictionary…the very word describes what being an Action Team Captain is all about. Changing lives, improving communities every day. Volunteering is an ‘action’ and an act of kindness that you can practice your whole life. The Action Team makes it fun and connects you with like-minded people from around the world.
“So remember, before the year gets away from you, find an activity you’re interested in or passionate about and get involved. I promise you, you won’t be sorry. Good luck.”
Do you have any getting involved tips to share? If so, please add them to this blog’s comments section.