Results tagged “hero” from Hawk Talk - Christian

I've been keeping kids off the streets for almost six years already.  I have these kids for a good two to three hours on scheduled days to do two things:  play baseball and have fun.

A lot of people ask me if I get paid to coach baseball.  I tell them no.  I think teaching my young players life lessons, how to handle rough situations, and most of all how to play the greatest sport in the world (under my book) is good enough for me.  Money cannot match the price of coaching baseball.  Heck, I think it's priceless.  Giving back to the community is something that I have enjoyed for many years.  I just have a great feeling inside.  I honestly can't explain that feeling, but I know for a fact that I'm doing something good, and making a difference to my players' lives.

I can tell you straight out that the world we live in is very different than what it was two decades ago.  Nowadays, you see gangsters walking down the street, giving other people bad looks, swearing their heads off, and being complete punks.  If you give them a bad look, you are a potential target.  These gangsters grew up without anyone to look up to.  If they had someone to look up to, it must have been a gangster himself/herself.  Bad influences causes kids to jump into the wrong path, which leads to a bad life.  As a coach, I want to change that and prevent these kids from making wrong decisions earlier in life.  I want these kids to grow up to respectful young men, who is not a drunk, a druggie, or a criminal.  Sure, I can't hold their hands 24/7, but I believe that distracting them from the hardships of life 3 hours at a time can make a huge difference.  Instead of hanging out in the streets and learning how to beat up a kid, the kid can learn something new and POSITIVE.  It does not have to be baseball, or sports in general.  Taking dance lessons, drawing, hanging out with the family, reading, or playing a musical instrument can pull kids away from the "hard knock life."

That's why I'm here.  That is why I give up 6-8 hour work shifts.  That is why I give up studying hours.  I want to be there for the kids and to make a difference in their lives.  I want them to learn how to play the game correctly, how to handle situations, how to be better people. 

I'm proud to be a baseball coach and this is my call to all of my readers.  If you want to make a difference, go out of the box or "plus ultra."  Show your true colors without money or fame in your minds.  Take time to give back to your community.  Every community needs a hero, and you can be one.

- Christian

According to, a mentor is "a wise and trusted advisor," while a hero is "a person noted for special achievements in a field... or a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits..."  This person I am talking about has a golden heart, a sense of humor that would make everyone smile and laugh with him (or at him depending on the joke or remark, haha), and intelligence that probably could not be measured  anything in this world.  He cares so much for his students, his fellow professors, his family, and friends.  Most of all, he is so dedicated to his work.  This blog is dedicated to my advisor and Exercise Physiology I professor, Dr. Sean Collins. 

The first few weeks ever in UML was a bit scary for me.  I came fresh from an all boys high school in Malden, MA and I didn't know what college life is like.  I would look around and see how different the college life is from private school;  I knew I felt left out.  But as soon as I met my advisor, Dr. Collins, the transition from college to high school became smoothier.  Seriously, everytime I visited him in his office, I would always come out with a smile and a chuckle (and sometimes a hold-release slip so I can register for classes).  He is a great guide, teacher, and hero through my career in UML.  As a hero, he gave light to my fellow students and me.  When he was a student, he struggled trying to improve his grades; at one point he was in academic probation.  When all hope was lost, he closed his eyes and told himself to never give up.  Next thing you know he is a professor in UML teaching one of the hardest subjects on campus.  As a student would say, he went from an almost-failure to the brightest and most respected individual on campus.  His story gave me the drive to work as hard as I can to reach for my goals.  He helped me become the student I am now - professional, well-rounded and brillant.  I can honestly say that without his help, care, and love for what he does and what he continues to give to the EP and UML community, many would not even be here in this great university. 

I remember one time when my friends and I were studying for one of his exams, I certain nickname came up for Dr. Collins:  Papa Collins.  We could tell by his personality and care for what he does that he is a family man who loves his wife and children.  Sometimes I think our classes and meetings with him is more like a father teaching his kids the lessons of life, guiding them through the storm, and picking them up when they need the most help.  He is just that father figure that all of his students needed in school.  I don't know if any of his students feel this fatherly or "best friend" figure with him... maybe its just me. 

I really hope that all of you future EP/PT (or other majors) students would get a chance to meet this wonderful man, my advisor, and professor, Dr. Collins.


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