Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sometimes during a moment of silence

“Sometimes during a moment of silence you get to hear everything.”
-Unknown author

Ever watch "For the Love of the Game"? It's a movie about a older pitcher who has learned to clear out all the noise around him in order to focus on throwing his pitch with accuracy. He mutes out all the surrounding sound of the fans, a train passing by, and all he can hear is himself. The quote above could refer to a moment like this, the of silencing of a crowd, or it can refer to a silence among a few, or it can obviously refer to the silence you can create when you are alone. In each instance, you get to experience hearing “everything”.

Allow me to explain the benefits through my own experience…When the noise around me is silenced, I begin by hearing my inner, most deep thoughts. As the silence persists, what I hear expands from my internal thoughts to my external world. I get to hear the world that belongs to me and no one else. If done effectively, everything around me becomes clear. I enter “my world”.

Ever step out of your body and sense the room around you? Have you ever experienced the clarity of your world? It is scintillating if you can do it. Maybe this is why so many people meditate nowadays?

There is little else that I enjoy more than sitting in silence at the end of the day. Some people prefer to take time to meditate in the morning to start their day, to enter their day in a clear mind. They use it to prepare themselves for the day ahead. There are also those like myself that like to use the time at the end of the day to reflect back, surrounded by silence. At some point during my reflection, I will find myself with a smile. Life is good, right? I have a healthy wife and healthy kids. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

The world moves so fast. I have a collection of photographs of my family on my computer, which are used as a screensaver slideshow. It tells me how quickly time proceeds without ever stopping to ask us, “are we going too fast?” It is up to us to ask ourselves that question and attempt to savor more of it. Savor more of our time that is possibly the most elusive thing we know. My favorite way to do that is to sit in silence for some time at the end of each day. It provides me the feeling that I can almost slow time down during those moments.

Go ahead and give it a try. See how long you can stretch the silence out. Keeping in mind that anyone can just sit in silence, but it can be difficult to not start thinking about things that need to get done or conversations you feel the need to either re-hash or pre-hash. That defeats the purpose, however. The goal is similar to meditation: to find inner peace. Allow yourself to completely silence the noise and hear everything. To me, that means allowing myself to touch upon a sixth sense so I can hear “my world”.

I start some coaching sessions with an offer to begin with the opportunity for a quick meditation where I help my client to clear their mind. I help them to create a room of silence in their own minds where things come more clearly. We have so many distractions in this world, it is very difficult to clear our minds and tap into that inner silence and clarity. And that makes it all the more important when trying to make all the difficult decisions we face in our lives.

I suggest trying to become clearer and more confident on our decisions. That tends not to happen when decisions are made under the duress of all of our other distractions. Try to enter the world of silence to gain that clarity, and you will leave it with confidence.

Enjoy Life.
Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Today is the first day of my son's flag football season. I will be coaching his team again, this being the third year. Each year we start with new players, except this years's team is keeping 3 of the same kids as last year. The team consists of 7 or 8 total players. Each of the past two seasons has been successful on many fronts. We have had a winning record each season; we have had fun each season; and every player on the team has scored a touchdown every season. The latter can be a bit of a challenge given the wide range of skill level. I remember the touchdown one of the kids scored last year when he immediately ran off the field to find his mother who had just arrived to tell her the good news. It made for a special moment for that young boy, and for me. 

Football is the ultimate team sport. Go ahead and ask NFL great Warren Moon if he thinks that's true, or the up and coming star quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, on why he chose to play football over baseball. The goals of each season for me is always the same and are used to measure my team's success. The ultimate goal is to have fun playing the sport. I see a lot of talk from parents about making sure the kids have fun, but sometimes it's just lip service. I see many parents reliving their youth through their kids, and driving them hard to be better. I also see coaches who think that the kids can't have fun without winning and sacrifice either the less talented kids or the fun of the game to reach that goal. At some point, that's okay. But that point should not come long before high school. Certain talented kids might be an exception to this, but too many parents think their kid is that exception. I enjoy having control of the team as the coach to make sure these kids can be what they are meant to

Another important goal to the season is to teach the kids to work together. Again, football is the ultimate team sport. One or two star players will not consistently succeed against a team of players. We practice passing patterns and misdirection run plays, and we practice zone defenses where everyone has a job to do. The kids learn to depend on each other and to help each other. It's great to see them congratulate each other for their successes and pick each other up after their failures. The quarterback cannot succeed without the receiver catching the ball. The receiver cannot score without a good pass from the quarterback. A sack may save a pass defender who let his guy get by him. One defender misses, the next grabs the flag. The joy of coaching is watching the kid's joy in playing. I set these boys up to be successful through practicing fundamentals and some creative offensive and defensive designs. When they grasp the concepts and play together as a team, their joy shines like the sun and warms my soul. 

I would like to thank the boys and girls I've coached in the past as well as in this season and into the future. For they give me a certain joy I seek in life, probably without even knowing it. Go team!

Enjoy Life.

Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP

Monday, September 3, 2018

Before you speak...

"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" ~unknown

I grew up the youngest of three children and always found myself the listener around the dinner table. It was tough to get a word in on the conversation, so I learned how to listen and think instead of speak. It is a valuable tool that many people lack.

Being an introvert gives me a head start on this counsel. I have also previously discussed the importance and value of truth. The second gate though, is it necessary, is a little more difficult to determine since it is the most arbitrary. It leaves a lot of room for introverts and extroverts to decide who they are going to be. This is good. One should always be true to oneself. 

The third gate is something that I like to think I have always done well, but I surely have improved on this after meeting my wife almost 20 years ago. She has taught me kindness to others even in the face of adversity. Something that is never easy to do, but freeing when accomplished. Kindness is also something we teach our children. In fact, my kid's school asks for quotes of kindness at the beginning of each year to post around the hallways for every kid to read. I don't know if kindness wasn't very high on the priority list of teachings for my generation and my parent's generation, or if we as adults have forgotten the lessons, but I find it amazing how often adults choose not to be kind. Whether it is through actions or words, this is something I feel we need to practice as much as we preach. Not only do we need to teach the younger generation, but we also need to teach ourselves. 

I enjoy the quote because it reminds me that truth and kindness are powerful. They come into the world through our choosing, and leave it a better place. 

Enjoy Life.

Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP

Saturday, May 9, 2015


“The truth will set you free.” ~John 8:32
I was listening to my favorite morning show and they were doing their bi-weekly “5 Things You Need To Know” segment. One host began her need-to-know by quoting a headline from an article she had read. As she read the headline, my blood pressure spiked. The headline was, “Why Women Should Lie Even More Than They Do”.
People who know me, know that there are very few things in this world that can get my blood boiling. The way I see it, everyone has different opinions and different experiences that lead them to their opinions. The opinion doesn’t matter as much to me as the reason/experience behind it. So if someone tells me that they think sports are not good for kids, which is in direct conflict to my beliefs, I don’t get upset. What I would want to know is why do they think that? Maybe it is because that person’s personal experience with sports was from a situation where they were made fun of because they weren’t as good at sports as others. That would certainly lead to an unfavorable outlook on sports. And there could be a number of other different reasons.
However, the quoted headline attacks my values and my beliefs in more ways than one. First, honesty, trust, and truth are at the top of my core values. Therefore, the headline threatens a top core value of mine. Not only does it threaten my core values, if someone were to just read the headline and not the article, they might begin to spread the wrong word. I understand people sometimes feel pressure to lie, but that’s no matter. They shouldn’t lie.
Why do people lie? I’m going to give you two reasons: They can, and it’s easy. I’m sure you can come up with many reasons why you should lie in any particular instance. It will spare someone’s feelings; it will help me get ahead; I don’t know this person well enough to tell them the truth; and the excuses go on, and on. Some people call them reasons, I call them excuses. That’s because I try my hardest not to lie. Ever. I believe the world would be a better place without all the lies that are told every day, the big ones and the small ones. The fact is that people have grown accustomed to not hearing the truth. The truth can certainly hurt. The truth can also certainly hurt you. “Tony” may say, “if I didn’t lie in my interview, I would have never gotten this job.” So essentially Tony got the job over someone else because he lied. Then the person Tony got the job over suffers. I would ask “Tony”, “do you have to continue to build upon that lie now that you were hired? Do you have to keep telling lies to maintain that false persona you created to get the job?” One lie leads to another and another. It’s horrible. The truth on the other hand, never changes.
I can go on and on about this because I feel so passionately about it. But I really don’t think people want to hear it. I think people want any easy way out. They don’t want to always have to tell the truth because that would be too hard. They don’t want to face the truth because that would be too painful.
I will leave you with a few quotes on truth for you to think about. Please take a moment to consider cutting back on the number of lies you tell each day. Who knows, maybe one day people can start respecting the truth again instead of running from it.
“The truth may hurt for a while, but a lie hurts forever.”
“It’s hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.”
“The worst thing about being lied to is knowing you’re not worth the truth.”
“If you tell the truth you won’t have to remember anything.” ~Mark Twain
Be True. Live Free.
Enjoy Life.
Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP


Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Concussions Dilemna: Risk vs. Reward

Recently, a 24-year old star rookie linebacker for the NFL San Francisco 49ers decided to retire. His reason? He decided that the risk of playing football outweighed the reward of becoming a bigger superstar and making millions of dollars. The risk is directly associated with his long term health. He mentions the concern over brain disease as his #1 reason for retiring. His name is Chris Borland.

I have been following the issue of head trauma for several years now. I have personal experience with difficulties in remembering simple things such as certain tasks I’ve agreed to take on at work or the details of recent conversations I’ve had with someone. I sometimes relate these difficulties with the several minor concussions I experienced in my youth sports career. Only one such concussion sidelined me, but I know there were others. My wife certainly points these things out to me from time to time. She didn’t even know me as a youth, but she certainly cares for my future.

Chris Borland isn’t the only one retiring from football. In just the week leading up to his retirement, two other players 27 or younger decided to retire. These players are considered to be in the prime of their careers. As the decision to step away from the game becomes more common for players in the prime of their careers, even people who do not follow the sport or the issue of head trauma should take notice.

I have a son who has expressed interest in playing football. And while I think that football was the greatest sport experience that I had growing up, I will not let him play tackle football until at least age 12. It’s too dangerous. What is the reward for playing football before high school anyway? Arguably the greatest high profile football player of all-time (Tom Brady) did not play until he was in high school. This tells me that the reward of playing tackle football before high school is small. If Brady can become one of the greatest without even playing the sport until high school, why start earlier and subject yourself to such a great risk? Especially when there are other options. There are other sports. Sports are great for character building, and as long as flag football, soccer, and other sports are offered during the tackle football season, I will have trouble understanding why so many kids still play tackle football. How can an educated person possibly argue that the risk is not greater than the reward? I guess educated person is a relative term.

Football is very big in my town. Many kids are playing starting at age 5. It concerns me that these kids will have so much of an advantage over my son if he decides he still wants to play football later in life. It takes a great amount of patience, understanding, love, and willpower to not give into doubt. The doubt that I may be hurting my son’s future by keeping him away. At least I know I am not jeopardizing his future health. Some of you may be asking why I would let him play in the first place. And it’s a simple answer of risk versus reward. I believe sports are invaluable, and I know that tackle football isn’t the only sport carrying the risk of head trauma. It may be the current poster board for head injuries, but it could be argued that the risk is greater in soccer. I love the fact that my son has taken an interest in sports, but I am prepared to be smart about it. Until he is old enough to make his own decisions, his life is essentially in my hands.

We all face tough decisions as parents. We do the best we can, and follow that with a lot of hope and prayer. I hope that more parents realize the risk of head trauma in tackle football. I pray that fewer parents have to live any part of their life with regret. The latest studies suggest that the risk of lasting brain injury is considerably increased for football players who start playing before the age of 12. There are other options. If you are reading and still doubt the risk, I hope you educate yourself more. Your child’s life is in your hands. Make the best decisions you can. The more educated you are, the better decision you will be able to make. Please way the risk versus the reward.

There are also other opinions. I would like to end this blog by saying that for those of you reading this who continue to let your sons play football at such a young age, I understand that there is a chance that I am wrong on the risk. Even if I am right, not every kid will suffer a brain injury. For your sake, I hope that either I am wrong or that it doesn't happen to your family.

Be smart. Enjoy Life.

Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP


Monday, January 12, 2015

Happiness is a Choice

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln makes it sound like happiness is a choice. In order it to be a choice however, one needs to first be aware of their mood, and in tune with how they are feeling. Only when someone is completely aware of themselves and what they are feeling, can they actually take pause and ask themselves how they actually want to feel. Only then does it become a choice.
As much as I believe that happiness can be as simple as making up one’s mind to be that way, I also realize that there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Obstacles that must be worked through or around in order to be able to freely choose your state. These obstacles can be as small as a pebble or as large as a mountain. Yet either can be moved out of the way.
An obstacle may be a person that is attacking you verbally; or it can be a moment when something that you wanted to happen didn’t. It could be as simple as your favorite baseball team losing the World Series or as complex as a time when you have spent countless hours researching and shopping for the perfect present for someone’s birthday only to have that person dismiss your gift as something they don’t need anymore. Whatever the obstacle, perseverance can lead you through any obstacle.
No matter the obstacle, a master such as our former president, chooses to be happy (or not) instead of being at the mercy of the circumstance. What are the main influences your happiness? Are you the main influence, or is your circumstance the main influence? How do you overcome your obstacles? Do you use a coach to help you? A quote is from many a childhood hero,
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
~A.A. Milne
Happiness can come as easy as your favorite day.
Remember that happiness is a choice. It has to be true if our greatest President said it, right? It may take practice to learn how to get there. It may be something you choose not to be sometimes. But know that you can choose it, that you have the ability to choose it. Knowing it is half the battle.
Enjoy Life.
Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP

Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Day Challenge - A Memory a Day

We all lead busy lives these days. The majority of it is spent at the office, trying to earn enough money to afford nicer things in life. As we grow older, many of us have kids and their lives and activities create to dos put on our list. Many of us have a significant other in our life with whom we certainly want to make time to spend. After that, it can be hard to stay in touch with all the friends we had before we got jobs and before we had children. And what about time to ourselves?

We all make sacrifices to one thing or another in order to make time for something else. For some of us it is sleep that we sacrifice. For others, we lose touch with old friends. Some of us shift time spent with our children or spouse to gain more time and success at work, or vice versa. In most cases sacrifices are made in more than one area of our lives to make up for lost time in other areas. As the old saying goes, “there’s not enough time in a day”.

To make matters worse, we can get caught up in our daily lives that we forget that we are missing time spent on things that are important to us.

I am thinker, an introvert as the label goes. I enjoy time spent reflecting on life. I like to think about my past and learning from things I have done so I can apply the best methods of things done to my future. I recently had a new idea that I wanted to test out. With all the routine and busyness in our lives, I felt like I could be missing opportunities to collect memories. Isn’t that what we live for, to make long-lasting, wonderful memories? I wanted to see what would happen if I kept a journal and recorded at least one memory for 30 straight days.

My experience began on my birthday, the first of the month. What I found was that we tend to miss the fact that we do in fact create memories almost every day, despite our occasional feeling that we are “stuck” in our daily routines. Or maybe it is the monotony that we dislike. The feeling that unless a grand event takes place, we aren’t capitalizing on our time. We therefore don’t tend to realize that we are creating memories from things that may not necessarily stand out right away.  Like mommy singing a lullaby to the kids on their sleepover (my kids occasionally sleep in the same room together instead of in their own rooms, hence the word “sleepover”).

Only by concentrating on the little things at the end of each day did I realize that I am making memories, whether I realize it or not. It was fun to write down a memory each day because it gave me my time to reflect. It helped me to appreciate every day. Each day is certainly a gift and it deserves to be appreciated. Writing my memories down also provided an opportunity to remember more by being able to go back and reading about things that can sometimes be forgotten.

My advice to others is not to fret over our daily lives and wishing we could do more. We are making memories. It is up to us however, to make those memories worthwhile. It can be helpful to stop and reflect on things that are most important to us so that we can make sure these things fit into our busy schedules. It can be fun to think about the memories you made over the previous day or week. Don’t worry that our lives are too routine, just fill that routine with little things that will put on smile on your face the next time you remember them.

Enjoy Life.

Coach Randal Suozzo, CPC, ELI-MP

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