Pivot to Win
By Greg Bach
Growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, Jordan Babineaux had big dreams and grand plans for fleeing the drugs and violence that shadowed his childhood years.
“It was very adverse conditions and I always had this vision of escaping, and I always had a bigger picture in mind,” says Babineaux, who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL. “I had the desire to do something special.”
Babineaux has checked a lot of boxes on his journey to helping others navigate their own paths and seize their own success.
A broadcaster, entrepreneur and author of the recently released PIVOT TO WIN, Babineaux has a big heart when it comes to inspiring others and making a difference in their lives – especially for youth.
Babineaux’s father passed away when he was eight years old. It was his mom, and his coaches, who were huge influences on his life moving forward.
“Once you have a group of people who can hold you accountable, it’s more likely that you can achieve the results that you want,” he says.
He took that message and those memories with him when he helped coach the secondary of a high school football team for a couple seasons.
“Far more important than being a good player I wanted to instill in them some foundational pillars that they could always lean on and come back to,” he says. “And those were: Did you do something for yourself today? Did you do something for someone else? And did you help the community? If you can answer those three questions every day what you want to achieve will reveal itself.”
Giving young athletes something to latch onto can be pivotal in spurring development.
“Our kids need foundation,” he says. “Instilling these self-believing type of principles within kids is paramount for their development and the person that they can become.”
REVVING UP ROUTINES
Helping young athletes dial into routines provides that much-needed framework for being productive.
And fulfilling dreams.
“A routine is just a process of doing things that can help us influence the result that we are looking for,” Babineaux says. “It doesn’t mean that success is automatic or that winning is automatic, but it does feel like we are in control. So I think a routine in youth sports is also a key pillar for helping those young kids develop into being better players and better people.”
As coaches of young athletes, it’s important to discuss with them that there is no fast-track to success and that all the moments along the journey – the good ones and painful ones, too – should be savored.
“It’s not so much about achieving the destination or the goal,” Babineaux says. “It’s about who we become in the process. Instant gratification is something that we all desire, and it’s a human flaw that we all have to battle and fight, but there’s nothing like the process and who we become on the journey.”
THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE
During his NFL career, not every game went as hoped. Big plays were surrendered, tackles were missed and mistakes were made. But his message to young players, and one he wants coaches to deliver to young athletes, is that those experiences are mighty valuable in one’s development.
“You embrace adversity head on,” Babineaux says. “One situation – good or bad – doesn’t define who you are. When you go through those adverse situations, that’s how you build your grit; that’s how you grow your perseverance; and that’s how you become more resilient. Things are going to happen, and it’s all about our perspective, our attitude and our actions.”
Kim Carducci, a former collegiate athlete and author of The I of the Tiger, on bolstering mental health and helping young athletes navigate the many challenges that accompany competition
Four-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender on savoring the joys of competing, conquering pressure, staying focused, and more
Football coach Rob Mendez on teaching young athletes the all-important values of working hard, being resilient and chasing dreams
In recognition of Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month, check out Part Two of our conversation with Lisa Yue, Board President of the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation