Be the Nice Kid - Part 1


I was a dorky kid.

I didn't really know it at the time....and by the time I figured it out, I really didn't care.

I was quiet. I played the saxophone (faked it my first two years!). I didn't like playing video games, but I could memorize the Legend of Zelda map and loved doing stats while my friends played old school (not old at the time) baseball. I had some close friends, but not a ton of them. I flew under the radar for most of my days in school.

When I got to high school, it was pretty much the same thing. Most people will say it's because my mom never gave me a chance to speak, because she did it so much (with gusts of up to 150 words per minute!) But, I knew a little better. I was just quiet.

I played golf, I reffed basketball and I didn't go out of Saturday nights because I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live. That was my fun.

And it was okay.

When I got to college, my freshman year roommate (who is now one of my great friends), talked less than I did. I realized that one of us had to talk, so it began... And now I speak for a living. Go figure.

From teaching for the past 13 years, I've run across a huge variety of kids. There are quiet kids and loud kids, athletes and non athletes, smart kids and happy kids and competitive kids. You name it, I've seen it.

The cool thing about all these kids is that it's all okay.

They are all kids who just want to be happy.

So no matter what kid comes through my camps, I try to make them happy.

It's kind of the same way I raise my kids. I get the question all the time....are they going to play golf? My response is always the same. "If they want to."

Because I don't care if my kids are good at golf or even play golf. I want them to be happy, kind kids. That's it. If Ethan wants to be a ballerina and Ella wants to be a ninja, that's cool with me. I just hope I have a happy ballerina and a kind ninja.

If you come to my golf camps, classes, events, or just see me at the range, I teach some pretty simple concepts. Be kind. Use your manners. Have fun. Do the right thing. The list goes on.

So as the first day, first week, and first month of school gets started, I want to address the kids in my classes, the kids who have taken them from me before, and the kids who will eventually take classes from me. What I teach during golf lessons is the same thing that will help you at school. I will welcome you with open arms when you take lessons from me. And, I'd rather have you be a great person than a great golfer.

Dear Students:

As you start this school year, I want you to remember a few things.

You are awesome. You are smart. You are fun.

You'll get nervous. You'll get tired. You'll do boring things in class. You'll do super fun things too. You'll meet new friends. You'll have teachers you like a lot and some you only like a little. You'll have easy work and tough work.

And it's all okay.

Lots of things happen at school. Some you'll like and some you won't. But through everything that happens...Be the nice kid.

When you see that kid in class that doesn't seem to have any friends...go talk with him. When you see that kid who dropped her books...go help her pick them up. When your teacher asks a question that you know...answer it. When your friends are doing something you know is wrong...walk away.

Be the nice kid.

I've taught golf to thousands of kids over the years and my goal is not to turn them into professional golfers. My goal is to help them become nice kids.

Go to school every day and see if you can make someone else in your class smile. Make someone else laugh. Make someone else feel good.

Be the nice kid.

It's easy to go along with the crowd and make fun of the kids who seem a little different. Guess what?..everyone is different. Everyone has their thing. Some kids are smarter than you, some kids have cooler clothes than you, some kids are better at sports than you. It doesn't have your thing too. Be the kid who can get along. The kid that is generous. The kid that is happy for other people. The kid that does the right thing. The kid that tries his best.

Be the nice kid.

If you have homework, do it. If you have a test, study for it. If you have a project, finish it.

Most of all, when your parents ask you to do something, listen to them. They aren't here to guide you in the wrong direction. They support you and love you. They are the ones that will help you the most along the way. Sure, there will be times when you think they are crazy and have no idea what they are talking about. Just trust them. They are here for YOU. Just like you treat your classmates at school, be nice to your parents.

Have fun at school, do what you're supposed to do, and be the nice kid.

I'll see you soon.


Bryan Skavnak