With a Game Plan for Success, Anything is Possible


By Brett Kern

I’ve always believed that no matter where a kid is from, if he or she puts her mind to something, practices, and aims high – anything is possible. But kids can’t do this by themselves, they need support from good teachers and coaches along the way.

The author Malcolm Gladwell talks about those who achieve excellence put in roughly 10,000 hours of focused effort toward their goal. But I would go further. In addition to 10,000 hours – you need an amazing coach and you need to test yourself.

As a professional punter, I could have caught and kicked almost a million footballs over the course of 10,000 hours but without the right coaching over the years – guaranteed – I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Just like coaches drive athletes like me to greatness, teachers are the key to opening doors for students to achieve greatness. Day in and day out they’re driving students in the direction they need to go, pushing them to try harder and test themselves.

newsom-headshotThat’s why, when I learned about the Educators for High Standards’ Aim High Fellowship which honors a Tennessee teacher who is leading the way with high standards and challenging students to push themselves to do their best, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with her. Her name is Kerri Newsom and she teaches kindergarten at Dyersburg Primary School in Tennessee. She’s the kind of teacher that supports her students every step of the way.

I’m going to be working with Ms. Newsom and her class of kindergartners this year as they set goals, work hard and test themselves. I’m going to be reminding the kids that I got to where I am today by listening to my coaches – and that Ms. Newsom has a game plan for success that is going to help get them to where they need to be successful in 1st grade and beyond.

Please show your support for Ms. Newsom and her Dyersburg Primary School kindergarten class by giving them a shout out on Facebook!


Brett Kern is a punter for the Tennessee Titans.