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Chief Encouragement Officer

Coach Jim DeLine has been inspiring schoolkids for 37 years

For nearly four decades, beloved elementary school P.E. teacher Jim DeLine has been helping generations of young Austinites to focus on the right things, fulfil their potential and be resilient enough to recover from the things that knock them down. Retiring from his place at Highland Park Elementary this summer, the sports advocate who has coached teams of archers from five Austin public schools to victory at the National Archery Championships for the last five years, shares the motivational messages he’s been delivering to children for decades… words we could all do with remembering.

You have to start to succeed “Regardless of skill, regardless of ability, people can all contribute something to the end goal – in a tournament, in a project, in a school, at work. And it starts with showing up and making a commitment to learn and improve – that’s the first victory.”

The most important step is the one you are on. “Be present. Be aware. Make sure your head is where your feet are. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Stay humble. Keep working on where you are. I tell the kids a dream without a plan is just a wish. You have to put the work in, day by day, step by step.”

Be faithful to the little things. “The devil is in the details. Mindfulness is one of the things I talk a lot about with the kids. Use your brain, think about your actions. We have an archery team acronym, T.E.A.M. T is for tournament scores – and success in anything you do is important, but only 25% of what I want the kids to learn. E is for effort, A is for attitude, and M is for mindfulness. This acronym works for life.”

Community.  “When we rise, we rise together. Teamwork and trust are two things that we should always value.”

Comparison is the thief of joy. “The minute you compare yourself to others, you lose more than just the game. You lose the fun - and what's the point in that?”