Family, Mentorship & Legacy – From the Playground to the NBA

Family, Mentorship & Legacy – From the Playground to the NBA

A community event connecting children, youth and their families with emerging basketball stars and their families to talk about life lessons both on and off the courts, family-work, the importance of mentorship and the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

Mississauga, Ontario, January 19th, 2019 –  Let’s Get Together! in partnership with Raptors 905 and National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program and supporting organizations, Mississauga Sports CouncilOntario Basketball Association and University of Toronto Mississauga Centre for Student Engagement, is hosting a one-of-a-kind, interactive family event on Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly Hershey Centre) in Mississauga.

Family Mentorship in Sports

Raptors 905 playersDuane NoticeMyck Kabongo and Assistant Coach, Charles Dubé-Brais sit down with their families to share their personal stories with other families from across the GTA about the importance of family support and mentorship.  This event is to celebrate all Mentors and Mentees as part of National Mentorship Month in January.

Let’s Get Together!’s Executive Director, Alison Canning, says on the topic of family support “Healthy parent involvement and family support is key to a child’s success.  We often teach children and parents separately in the hopes that they’ll connect.  This event is about parents and children learning together and empowering each other – it’s not just about what happens on the court, but more importantly what happens off the court. Messages of gratitude, love, family and faith will be present.”

National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program’s Founder, Kevin Wilson, adds on the topic of mentorship “Mentorship is such an underrated concept that many youth unfortunately do not have access to. By connecting youth to various pro basketball athletes, coaches and other parents that they can relate to, this will undoubtedly help to build confidence, courage and their awareness between ‘right and wrong’”.  Between the game and presentation, families will meet NBYMP coaches and mentors plus mentors from other organizations including the University of Toronto Mississauga Centre for Student Engagement who will answer questions and share their educational experience.  January is also National Mentorship Month.

Second Year Running

This is the second year, Let’s Get Together has partnered with the Raptors 905 to deliver an engaging family presentation.  “From the Playground to the NBA” follows two successful events from last year;  Growth Mindset Talk (March 10, 2018) with then Raptors 905 Players Shevon Thompson, Kennedy Meeks, Kaza Kajami-Keane and Aaron Best and Parent Involvement Matters Talk (January 27, 2018) where Aaron Best and Kaza Kajami-Keane’s families shared their stories of how they raised and supported Aaron and Kaza.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy 

John Wiggins, Director of Team Operations for Raptors 905 says “Raptors 905 is proud to once again team up with Let’s Get Together and continue the conversation around how parents, mentors, coaches, and players can all contribute towards the growth and development of this game that we all love so much.  It’s even better that there is a heightened sense of purpose knowing that the event takes place during a weekend where we will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose legacy was founded on the notion that we must all work together to create better opportunities for each other.  It’s important for everyone to understand that if we are to embark on a journey to success, then as a community we need come together to teach and learn from each other.  Joining us for this panel discussion is a step in the right direction.”

How to Participate

On Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 1:00pm, come watch the Raptors 905 take on the Greensboro Swarm and join the players, Coach Dubé-Brais and their families after the game for our interactive discussion: “From the Playground to the NBA”. Parent/caregivers are encouraged to attend with their child(ren).  Game will be held at Paramount Fine Foods Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga ON L4Z 4B6.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit www.letsgettogether.ca/playgroundtonba

For additional event resources and media kit, visit Get Involved ToolKit

 

Raptors 905 are the NBA G League Champion for 2016/17, Conference Champions for 2017/18 and the lone Canadian team in the league. Founded in 2015, the team joined the league for the 2015-16 season, playing out of Paramount Fine Food Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Let’s Get Together! is a not-for-profit organization that creates opportunities for parents, youth and communities to access learning resources that provide educational assistance and supports student well-being. Their mission is to encourage healthy parent involvement, inspire youth to value learning while making education accessible and equitable.

National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program (NBYMP) positively impacts the lives of youth living in Canada by providing the necessary resources needed to be successful in various areas both on and off the court. The vision for such a program is for all youth living in Canada, to utilize the resources provided from this mentorship platform and to use the game of basketball to become successful in all aspects of life.

Optimism: Can we learn to be ‘Sunny’?

Optimism: Can we learn to be ‘Sunny’?

Originally posted on Bhavya’s blog Living Simply and Simply Living designed to help people deal with their everyday stress and anxieties. She’s looking forward to working with Let’s Get Together! to strengthen the voices of youth through the role of Youth Ambassador. Welcome Bhavya!

As you may have read in my previous blog post, defensive pessimism is a strategy with a lot of potential for those prone to certain levels of anxiety. However, dispositional optimism still holds a lot more traditional advantages to its name; lower rates of depression, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, and protection from the common cold to name a few. Companies want to employ positive workers who’ll increase efficiency and add to a healthy work environment over more downcast ones. The benefits of being an optimist in today’s world are ubiquitous. They might as well sell it in a bottle. Profits would be astronomical. ‘The B Positive Serum, the smallest dose will do’.

It doesn’t seem fair that pessimists are more liable to a plethora of mental and physical illnesses. So why are some people predisposed to think in a positive fashion while others think in a negative one? Can we change our tendencies to those of an optimist’s rather than a pessimist’s?

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman explains and highlights the differences between optimists and pessimists by way of Explanatory Style. This rationale can be used to give some insight into the learned helplessness model (Overmier & Seligman, 1967). Some throw their hands in the air and accept defeat easily when faced with an insurmountable challenge while others choose to persist nevertheless. Those who bow out would be labelled as pessimists while those who endure are likely optimists. Our explanatory style is second nature, a default influenced by past experiences that brings us to anticipate similar events in the future a certain way.

Seligman nicely outlines the differences between the two outlooks in his bestselling publication, ‘Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life’.

” The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault.
The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case. “

Positive Explanatory style and Negative Explanatory style induce different behaviours to a certain outcome or situation on three key points; temporary vs permanent, specific vs pervasive, and external control vs internal control. Does the individual believe that the same event or a similar one will not be subject to change or that it will potentially evolve? Do they hold a general contributing factor responsible for the end result or a specific one? Do they credit themselves with the outcome or an independent force?

Prior to writing this blog and doing a bit of research on explanatory style I took a quiz created by Stanford University students. They had adapted a short test of 48 questions from Seligman’s book that I thought was fun and gave me some understanding of my ‘default setting’. Click here to take the quiz for yourself.

In essence, when a wanted outcome develops, an optimist responds to permanence, pervasiveness, and internal control while a pessimist looks towards temporariness, specificity,  and external control and vice versa. Say a sunny person and a cloudy one both received ninety-eights on their English tests. The former would feel energized under the assumption that they’ll continue to earn such marks, the affirmation that they’re good at English, and that their mark was a direct result of their hard work. The latter would believe that this high-ninety was incidental and not likely to repeat itself, that their success was attributed to their understanding of the individual test subject, and that the questions asked were simply extremely easy.

It seems cruel to be forced under the seemingly constant cloud of doom and gloom that is dispositional pessimism. To fall victim to the learned helplessness model and as a result  perhaps succumb to depression. Research suggests that psychological interventions can increase optimism (Malouff & Schoutte, 2016). Dr. Martin Seligman includes a cognitive therapy method known as the ABC’s in his book.
A – Adversity – The problem/situation encountered
B – Beliefs – What you think about the problem/situation

C – Consequences – How you face the problem/situation

Using the above acronym you record a problem you’ve encountered in your daily life, your thoughts surrounding it, and how you reacted to the problem. Seligman also advises those wishing to transition from pessimism to optimism to either distract themselves when pessimistic thoughts make an unwanted appearance or dispute these thoughts. He writes that the technique of disputing them proves to be more helpful in the future. This is because successfully disputed beliefs are less likely to recur.

Of course these strategies can only be implemented if someone is aware of their inclination to think negatively. Pessimists tend to discredit victory, beat themselves up over failure, give in to the helplessness model, and generally see the worst in themselves and others driving them to exhibit selfish and jealous traits. Don’t label yourself as an awful person if any of the previously mentioned criteria applies to you. That’s all in accordance with your default setting. It’s up to you to flip the switch from negative to positive.

Bhavya Tandon, Student
Youth Ambassador with Let’s Get Together!

 

Bhavya is a high school student with an interest in the sciences, psychology and sociology in particular. She is an advocate for mental health and writes a blog called Living Simply and Simply Living. She’s looking forward to working with Let’s Get Together! to strengthen the voices of youth through the role of Youth Ambassador. A young person with a passion for writing; LGT gives her the opportunity to reach more people with her blog.