Alumnus shares success principles with athletes

Category:  News
Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 11:50 AM
Alumnus shares success principles with athletes by Amber Chisholm
Michael Barnes spoke to student athletes about responsibility. | Photo: Amber Chisholm

A series of talks and presentations is just getting started for student athletes at Edinboro University.

Michael Barnes, a 1993 Edinboro graduate and current superintendent of the Lakewood City School District in Lakewood, Ohio, presented “A Journey To Manhood.” Here, he shared eight principles of success in the multipurpose room of Frank G. Pogue Student Center on Monday night.

Being introduced by Todd Jay, associate athletic director at Edinboro, Barnes began by saying to the crowd of mostly men: “It’s humbling, and it is truly an honor to be here to spend some time with you all. I’ve missed one homecoming in 30 years, so this place is very special to me.”

Staying mindful of students’ schedules, he requested their sincere time and attention.

“My hope is that you get something from this,” he added.

Barnes currently lives with his wife of 23 years and has two daughters, ages 21 and 20. He holds a spot in the Edinboro University Athletic Hall of Fame, along with similar honors at Euclid High School, where he graduated from in 1989.

His positions over the years include teacher, athletic director, principal, director of human resources and operations, and vice president of the Edinboro Alumni Association.

Speaking directly to the student athletes, Barnes advised them to not take the opportunities and people associated with Edinboro for granted, before then defining the words “principle” and “success.”

Barnes defined principle as “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for something” and explained that it is not a hunch, guess, theory or concept.

For the term success, he shared a picture and quote of the late basketball coach John Wooden, who said, “success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

Barnes then shared Proverbs 29:18, which states, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” He then asked the audience to discuss their own definitions of sight versus vision, before describing sight as “the ability to see what is” and vision as “the ability to see what could be, to see beyond what’s in front of you.”

Vision was also the first of his eight guiding principles. Barnes touched on the topic of both setting and achieving goals with the saying, “proper preparation prevents poor performance.” 

His next principle was to manage your time.

Barnes also wanted attendees to keep in mind that “everything is important, but not everything is a priority” He encouraged them to prioritize their faith, family, studies and athletics.

His third principle was to “be spiritually grounded,” which involves exercising one’s faith. This was followed by his fourth principle, having a growth mindset, something he says is about learning from failure along with having grit and resilience.

He admits that he missed the concept of this in his early life, as his working-class upbringing made it difficult for him to develop study habits. Yet he eventually realized that he could control his effort and thus his outcome, which helped lead him to where he is today.

The fifth principle was to “guard your thoughts,” as all of our actions start with them. Barnes referred to a self-help book from 1903, titled “As A Man Thinketh.” The James Allen work stresses that the mind controls the body. 

This led into his sixth principle, which was, “be true to yourself.” This involves a person finding their purpose and not worrying about “pleasing other people or living by someone else’s standards.”

His seventh principle is about serving others. He mentioned the concept of “pouring into someone’s bucket,” which means giving someone else positive thoughts and encouragement in both themselves and their endeavors.

The eighth and final principle says to choose your circle wisely. Barnes mentioned that a person is the average of the five people they spend time with most, and that they (these five individuals) contribute to as much as 95 percent of one’s success or failure. He followed this statistic by stressing the importance of choosing people who help them.

Similar events are expected in November and further details will be announced.

Additional Photos:

Michael Barnes spoke to student athletes about responsibility. | Photo: Amber ChisholmBarnes' principles covered spirituality, time management, knowing oneself and more. | Photo: Amber Chisholm

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