Kickoff!

Kickoff!Rating: Rated 5.0 stars (1 reviews)
Author: Tiki Barber, Ronde Barber
Publisher: Aladdin
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Product Description

“Hut! Hut! Go long, Tiki!”

Tiki and Ronde’s twelfth summer is winding down — the nights are gettingshorter and the evenings cooler. That means two things: The first day of junior high is just a few days away, and it’s almost the start of footballseason at last. With two championships and an 8-2 season last year, Tiki and Ronde are ready to graduate from the Peewee League and hit the field asstarting players for the Hidden Valley Eagles.

But junior high is a lot bigger than elementary school. The competition forstarting spots is stiff, and seniority rules. If Tiki and Ronde make itpast tryouts and cuts, will they get the chance to play, or will they haveto spend the season watching from the bench with the other seventh graders?

Inspired by the childhood of NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber, Kickoff! is a story of teamwork, perseverance, and what it takes tobe a champion. Amazon.com Review
“Hut! Hut! Go long, Tiki!”

Tiki and Ronde’s twelfth summer is winding down–the nights are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. That means two things: The first day of junior high is just a few days away, and it’s almost the start of football season at last. With two championships and an 8-2 season last year, Tiki and Ronde are ready to graduate from the Peewee League and hit the field as starting players for the Hidden Valley Eagles.

But junior high is a lot bigger than elementary school. The competition for starting spots is stiff, and seniority rules. If Tiki and Ronde make it past tryouts and cuts, will they get the chance to play, or will they have to spend the season watching from the bench with the other seventh graders?

Inspired by the childhood of NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber, Kickoff! is a story of teamwork, perseverance, and what it takes to be a champion.


Amazon.com Exclusive Q&A with NFL Superstars Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber, Authors of Kickoff!

Amazon.com: How do the lessons learned on the field benefit a player’s academic life?

Tiki Barber: The structure and discipline that it takes to understand schemes and game plans are great tools that transcend the playing field and carry into the classroom. Additionally, because of the strict academic guidelines for athletes, doing well in school is often a requirement for participation.

Ronde Barber: I honestly don’t think they benefit it in a direct way. To me, playing lessons are more life lessons. What you are as a student is more a reflection of what you are willing to put into your schoolwork. And in that way I guess it correlates but only because in sports, if you’re talented enough and have enough drive, you will reap the rewards of the hard work you put into it.

Amazon.com: In Kickoff! Tiki and Ronde are faced with a tough decision: Should they stick with the team even if it means riding the bench? What advice do you have for kids who love their sport but aren’t getting a lot of playing time on the field?

Ronde: You are the only one who can control how hard you work regardless of your current amount of playing time. There may be better players on your team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outwork them. It takes absolutely no talent to work hard, do your best, and be the most focused guy. Eventually we all get our opportunity.

Tiki: I would encourage them to keep their eyes on the prize. If you never stop trying then you will never fail. I would also tell them to try and differentiate themselves by developing a specific skill or to consider a different position that may suit their talents better.

Amazon.com: How important is a positive attitude to a team’s success?

Tiki: A positive attitude is critical to a team’s success. There was a poster in our locker room that speaks specifically to this: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right!” It’s the belief that you can be successful that pulls you through the tough times, on the field and off.

Ronde: You only get out of anything what your mind is willing to accept is possible. The best way to gain success is to prepare for success and then see it through. So if you don’t believe it is possible, chances are it won’t be.

Amazon.com: How can a player get the attention of his or her coach?

Ronde: Do the right things and take coaching well. No one, especially a coach, likes a negative attitude.

Tiki: A good way to get a coach to notice you is to volunteer to do things that other players might shy away from. For example, in football, being a special teams player is important but lacks that glory that athletes crave. By volunteering to do the grunt work, you show your coach that you have the passion to be on the field and help the team win.

Amazon.com: Growing up, what was the most important thing you learned from your coaches?

Tiki: That even though you put all of your energy into something, and still fail, don’t be discouraged, because in actuality you’ve learned a valuable lesson that will help you be successful in the future.

Ronde: Well, I had lots of coaches growing up and they all had important influences on me. It would be hard to say any one is more important than another. But what sticks out to me is the idea of just playing hard. Expect adversity. And force your will on your opposition.

Amazon.com: What advice do you have for students who have a difficult time balancing school and sports?

Ronde: To me the best part of playing sports in school was that it made me organize my time in order to get everything done. Unlike regular kids, student athletes have less free time to commit to their schoolwork. So I would encourage them to schedule their day around their sport. You know when you have to be at practice, and you know when you have to be at school. The time in between you can get a lot done, so make it a routine that you can stick with.

Tiki: Make lists. It allows you to prioritize the important things in your life. When you can systematically check off the day’s tasks, you’re more able to focus on completing them.

Amazon.com: Growing up, did you ever get nervous before a game or in the classroom? How did you handle it?

Tiki: I was always nervous before every game and in the classroom, at test time for instance. I was always able to handle it by visualizing success: Playing the seAmazon.comuence of events through my head helped prepare me for what was ahead.

Ronde: Everyone feels nerves or anxiety at times. I think of it as excess energy. There is nothing you can really do to get rid of it. The best way I know how to deal with it is to make sure you are prepared to succeed. If you know you have studied enough for a test or practiced enough for a game, then you can expect to know how you will do, and in that way you can embrace those nerves and use that energy to your advantage.

Amazon.com: Kickoff! delivers the message that “players make plays, but teams win championships.” How does this message apply to sports and life?

Ronde: I don’t think we can ever really accomplish anything in life by ourselves. We always have parents, friends, coaches, teachers that lift us up and help us along. In a sense, that is your team in life just as a good Amazon.comuarterback needs good receivers to help him or a good running back needs a good offensive line. Only together can they succeed. So when we compete or when we test, yes, it’s the individual that has to make the “play” but it’s the whole team that wins in the end.

Tiki: We all have individual responsibilities in sports and in life. Personal focus and dedication are paramount to being successful individually, but it is the coordinated effort of the many that ultimately brings fulfillment. That applies to a team, a marriage, a job, etc. We are all components of something, and the strength of all components determines the viability of the whole.


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