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The 5 Misconceptions of Manhood

Joe Martin | December 17, 2018

Like most men who grew up without a father in the home, I was never taught by a man how to be a man; so, I learned to be a man the best way I could: by watching other “males” in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, I didn’t always make the right choices from the “men” I learned from as teachers. I chose to follow my fatherless friends, other confused males, societal norms, and agenda-driven media to show me how to be a man.

Men often overcompensate in order to prove and affirm their masculinity. And based on what I observed, I pretty much narrowed down manhood to the pursuit of 5 things. I call these 5 things, “The A-tions” or the 5 Misconception of Manhood. Allow me to quickly explain each:


Men often overcompensate in order to prove and affirm their masculinity.
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1. Education

This is when we try to define our manhood by how smart we are; where we go to college; how many degrees we earn; and how much we know based on how much others don’t know. In other words, if I’m smarter than you, then I must be a better man than you, right? Wrong! Overcompensation was me getting more degrees than a thermometer and earning a doctorate degree before I was 30 years old. Manhood is not determined by how much a man “knows,” but rather how much he “grows” in wisdom as a man.

2. Occupation

This is defining manhood by what you do for a living; the title or position you hold or achieve (think CEO, Doctor, President, Director, etc.). That’s usually why the first thing a stranger usually asks you when you’re on a plane is “What do you do?” Overcompensation for me in this area was becoming a business owner by age 22, a university professor by age 24, and a published author by age 26. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Manhood is not determined by what man does, but rather by who a man is. We are human beings, not human “doings.”

3. Compensation

This is when we define our manhood by how much money we make; what we own; our net worth; and what and how much we can buy. More times than not, our level of education and our chosen occupation dictate this. At least for me, it did. Manhood is not determined by how much a man makes, but rather by how much of a difference a man makes in the lives of others. Income with no impact is wasteful.

4. Reputation

This is when we attempt to define manhood based on popularity, notoriety, and respect. How many people know us; follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook; value what we have to say; desire to be us, be with us, or we have the ability to gain access to them. This speaks to our desire for “significance” – to be and feel important. For me, and for a lot of men, it was my ability to attract, sleep with, and impress beautiful women. It was also me pursuing standing ovations and the praises from the people in my speaking audiences. Just think awards, affirmation, and achievement. Authentic manhood is not defined by a man’s reputation, but rather his character. Reputation is who people think you are; character is who you are when nobody’s looking.

5. Intimidation

This is when a man attempts to define his manhood by how many other men fear him or look up to him. This speaks to our desire for power and influence, and every man has an innate desire for it. And men will often pursue intimidation through almost any means: physically (I’m stronger, bigger, faster, and tougher), financially (I’m richer), professionally (I’m more influential), intellectually (I’m smarter), socially (I’m more important), relationally (I’m better looking, dress better, more sophisticated) and even spiritually (I’m a better person). Intimidation also shows itself as anger and control issues in our family when the people closest to us fear us the most (i.e., wife and children). Manhood is not defined by how many people fear you, but rather by how many people believe in you and trust you.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to being a man, I’ve had to learn the hard way that true manhood is not measured by the number of degrees I have, the position I hold, the number of people who know me, or the size of my paycheck, but rather by God’s opinion of me and serving others.

The post The 5 Misconceptions of Manhood appeared first on All Pro Dad.

3 Ways to Discover Your Purpose

Joe Martin | December 03, 2018

One of the most important questions a man could ever ask himself is, “Why am I here?” What could possibly be more important than why God made you? Personally, I believe the two most important times in a man’s life is when he finally discovers WHO he is (his true IDENTITY) and WHY he is (his PURPOSE).

The problem is, most men either were never taught or shown how to identify their purpose. So, allow me to share with you 3 simple ways (steps) to finding your purpose.t

Step 1: Hang around passionate, purposeful people.

Let’s face it, the people in our lives will either influence us in a positive way or infect us in a negative way. As you get closer to finding your purpose, all it takes is the wrong person at the wrong time to discourage you from pursuing it. Innocent phrases from those we love and care about the most can extinguish even the most heart-felt desire:

“You can’t do that.” 

“It’s impossible for you to do/be that?”

“You’re not ______ enough to do that.”

“You won’t make any money doing that.”

Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same. As the cliché goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” So, start flying with the eagles and stop hanging around turkeys.


Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same.
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Step 2: Spend more time by yourself and less time around other people.

I know this step seems to contradict the first step, so let me explain. I’m not talking about being a recluse and isolating yourself from society. But it’s almost impossible to “find yourself” and discover your purpose if you’re always around a crowd of people. We often use other people as a welcomed distraction, because we feel uncomfortable being alone for any length of time.

When finding your purpose, you’re going to have to know, learn, and understand yourself better. And you can only do that through self-reflection. Instead of binging on sports, Netflix, gaming, porn, or drinking, try taking 15-20 minutes day, without distraction, and studying your secret desires, unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities.

Step 3: Ask yourself and answer the tough questions.

This is the natural progression from Step 2. Once you choose to spend some time alone, without distractions, take out a sheet a paper and write down your answers to the following questions without fear, judgment, or justification. Don’t worry, no one ever has to see them; so be honest:

  • What topic, idea, issue, or problem in the world do you talk about, that when you do, you lose track of time? Hint: Your purpose is always associated with a problem YOU were meant to be an answer to.
  • If you could master, research, and study anything, deeply, what would it be?
  • When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you receive the most compliments for?
  • When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you have the most confidence in?
  • Given your unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities, what would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What would you attempt to do professionally (for free) if you never had to worry about money and paying bills?
  • What do you find yourself doing that brings you the most joy, but at the same time, it seems to bring joy to others when you do it?

If you answered all of these questions honestly, without fear, judgment, and justification, you will see an obvious pattern to your answers. This is a clue of what you were made and created for.

The world is waiting for you to pursue your purpose. It’s not a question of can you, but will you?

The post 3 Ways to Discover Your Purpose appeared first on All Pro Dad.

3 Ways to Discover Your Purpose

Joe Martin | December 03, 2018

One of the most important questions a man could ever ask himself is, “Why am I here?” What could possibly be more important than why God made you? Personally, I believe the two most important times in a man’s life is when he finally discovers WHO he is (his true IDENTITY) and WHY he is (his PURPOSE).

The problem is, most men either were never taught or shown how to identify their purpose. So, allow me to share with you 3 simple ways (steps) to finding your purpose.t

Step 1: Hang around passionate, purposeful people.

Let’s face it, the people in our lives will either influence us in a positive way or infect us in a negative way. As you get closer to finding your purpose, all it takes is the wrong person at the wrong time to discourage you from pursuing it. Innocent phrases from those we love and care about the most can extinguish even the most heart-felt desire:

“You can’t do that.” 

“It’s impossible for you to do/be that?”

“You’re not ______ enough to do that.”

“You won’t make any money doing that.”

Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same. As the cliché goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” So, start flying with the eagles and stop hanging around turkeys.


Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same.
Click To Tweet


Step 2: Spend more time by yourself and less time around other people.

I know this step seems to contradict the first step, so let me explain. I’m not talking about being a recluse and isolating yourself from society. But it’s almost impossible to “find yourself” and discover your purpose if you’re always around a crowd of people. We often use other people as a welcomed distraction, because we feel uncomfortable being alone for any length of time.

When finding your purpose, you’re going to have to know, learn, and understand yourself better. And you can only do that through self-reflection. Instead of binging on sports, Netflix, gaming, porn, or drinking, try taking 15-20 minutes day, without distraction, and studying your secret desires, unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities.

Step 3: Ask yourself and answer the tough questions.

This is the natural progression from Step 2. Once you choose to spend some time alone, without distractions, take out a sheet a paper and write down your answers to the following questions without fear, judgment, or justification. Don’t worry, no one ever has to see them; so be honest:

  • What topic, idea, issue, or problem in the world do you talk about, that when you do, you lose track of time? Hint: Your purpose is always associated with a problem YOU were meant to be an answer to.
  • If you could master, research, and study anything, deeply, what would it be?
  • When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you receive the most compliments for?
  • When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you have the most confidence in?
  • Given your unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities, what would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What would you attempt to do professionally (for free) if you never had to worry about money and paying bills?
  • What do you find yourself doing that brings you the most joy, but at the same time, it seems to bring joy to others when you do it?

If you answered all of these questions honestly, without fear, judgment, and justification, you will see an obvious pattern to your answers. This is a clue of what you were made and created for.

The world is waiting for you to pursue your purpose. It’s not a question of can you, but will you?

The post 3 Ways to Discover Your Purpose appeared first on All Pro Dad.

11 05 18 define success 1000x500

4 Lies Men Believe about Being “Successful”

Gary Abernathy | November 05, 2018

If a man turns on a tv, opens his internet browser, walks past any magazine rack, or drives past billboards, he is confronted on all sides by one thing – lies about what he’s supposed to be and how we define success. Primarily, those lies revolve around 4 things:

  1. Money
  2. Sex
  3. Material possessions
  4. Glory & fame

Our culture demands that men believe those things are what define success; yet that same culture is full of depression, divorce, disease, debt, delusion, and crime. Is that success, or just a hollow shell of existence? But a truth that runs counter to these lies is that giving, serving, integrity, and sacrifice lead to genuine happiness, prosperity, and lasting success. We do have a choice. What are the lies men believe about life success? Let’s take a look.

1. Financial Status Determines Importance

Envy is a rotten apple that we are constantly prodded to bite. We place those with the most on high pedestals and then seethe as to why it’s not us. Envy is what is marketed to men on every available medium, and the solution to getting what we want is greater financial status. We are told only men of wealth and power matter. It’s a lie but it’s fed to us on a daily basis and we swallow it. Don’t believe it.

2. Vanity

Think of another dad that you truly admire. That guy that motivates you to be a better husband and father. Does anything about him remind you of the imagery we are sold about manly success? The image of the impeccably dressed-for-success man, and his smoking hot supermodel wife and perfect kids? You probably answered no, because the guy you admire is not like that at all. In reality, he’s ordinary on the outside, but his intangibles are off the charts. Committed, faithful, loyal, wise, patient, strong yet compassionate. We aren’t sold that guy.

3. More Stuff Will Make Me Happy

In reality, more stuff = more headaches. We are led to believe that the bigger house, the luxury car, the boat at the lake, and all that nonsense will make our lives happier and better. Nothing is wrong with any of those things. Except they are just that…things. They have no ability to affect emotional stability. There are great numbers of men living simple existences that are infinitely happier than those busy gathering stuff attempting to buy joy. Happiness comes from the satisfaction of living life with integrity.


Happiness comes from the satisfaction of living life with integrity.
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4. Always Take the Credit and Glory

The unsung hero is not who men are taught to strive to become. We love our heroes and icons, even though more times than not the reality is they are taking far more credit and glory than they deserve. Successful outcomes require many moving parts working in unison, and rarely can one man alone save the day. But that’s the lie we believe. That only the one given and taking the credit and glory matters. However, there is a beauty and power in being the man who gives credit to those around him. He’ll truly be a success.

The post 4 Lies Men Believe about Being “Successful” appeared first on All Pro Dad.

10 05 18 role models 1000x500

Become a Role Model Worth Following

Mark Merrill | October 05, 2018

As we strive to be role models for our kids, there will be plenty of times we fail. Our children have a funny way of calling us out when we do something that is inconsistent with what we are teaching them. For example, it’s a bit of a wake up call to have your children stop you mid-sentence because you’re talking with your mouth full at the dinner table after you’ve told them they shouldn’t.

If you desire to be a role model, who is worthy of following, here are 6 areas in your life that need to be evaluated and changed accordingly.

Your Language

Watch what you say. Whether you think your kids are listening or not, they hear you. Be careful not to call other people names, gossip, or curse if you don’t want your kids doing the same things. 

Your Tone

How you talk to someone is just as important as the words that are used. Be careful to speak to your spouse and others with respect.

Your Attitude

Negativity breeds more negativity. Have a can-do attitude for your child to be prepared to take on the world. Sometimes even the smallest attitude adjustment can go a long way.
Are your elbows on the table? Do you hold doors for women when out in public? Your children will be little gentlemen and little ladies only if you model it yourself.

Your Confidence

Exhibit confidence to your kids in doing what is good. Always do the right things for the right reasons.

Your Forgiveness

We all make mistakes. Are you modeling the father’s forgiveness for your children? And do you apologize when you are in the wrong?

Your Love

The greatest gift that you can give your children is love. Be a model of love to your kids. Show and tell your children that they mean the world to you. They will learn to love the way you do.


The greatest gift that you can give your children is love.
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The post Become a Role Model Worth Following appeared first on All Pro Dad.

10 01 18 value added 1000x500

3 Things You Need to Change to Become a Value Adder

admin | October 01, 2018

Have you ever spent time with someone and felt more drained than ever? Are there people in your life that always drain your energy? This person can be described as being a life sucker. One prominent reason is that they are constantly needing others to validate them or spend a majority of their time complaining. On the other hand, a value adder is someone who, like the name suggests, after you are with them you feel like there was value added to your life. They tend to consider the needs of others before their own. Value adders would rather give than receive and tend to give others a boost of energy rather than take it. The question is, which are you?

I know most of us want to answer this question with being a value adder, but unfortunately, there are few who actually live lifestyles that aren’t self-absorbed. So here are 3 things you need to do to become the value adder you desire to be.

1. Find Your Worth

Where do you seek your worth and value? Is it how successful you are? Is it how great of a father you are, or maybe does it depend on how well your marriage is going? From experience, I can tell you that your successes are not the answer to finding respect and removing your insecurities. Accomplishments may give you a feeling of momentary fullness, but once they fade, you will be thirsty for your next glass of validation. The cycle will continue until you find rest in an eternal sense of worth and significance.


Accomplishments may give you a feeling of momentary fullness, but once they fade, you will be thirsty for your next glass of validation.
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2. Change Your Mindset

Transforming your mind is important if you are seeking any change. Life suckers currently have a mindset of being self-absorbed. To become a value adder, you need to ask yourself these questions: Who can I encourage at work? Who haven’t I spoken to in a long time that I can call? How can I serve the community? What can I do to help my family?

3. Apply the Change

What good does it do if you do not act upon your changed mindset? Instead of just asking the questions of how you can think, you need to follow through with actions. Instead of just thinking about an encouraging phrase, actually sit down with a co-worker and say it to them. And instead of knowing the person you haven’t talked to in a long time, actually call them. Instead of thinking about ways on how to serve your community, go to a homeless shelter or give a kid a Christmas care package by participating in Operation Christmas Child. Instead of just thinking of ways to help your family, actually get your hands dirty and help wash the dishes, fold some laundry, or take time to help your kids with their math homework.

As we all know to build a new habit it takes 30 days. Apply your new mindset for this amount of time and see where it takes you. See the impact it has on your relationships and even on your personal health. Your impact will be long-lasting because you are choosing daily to change the lives around you for the better.

The post 3 Things You Need to Change to Become a Value Adder appeared first on All Pro Dad.