Student Athletes, Drugs, and Parents: Take Time To Think

As youth motivational speaker, Jeff Yalden, prepares to speak to student athletes and parents at the next high school he will be visiting, he has received an astoundingly high number of phone calls and emails from student athletes using illegal drugs and alcohol. Students like these are being suspended all over the country in basketball, soccer, football, baseball, softball, and other various sports.  In one occurrence, a group of students has the potential to destroy their team and maybe even their own individual futures.

The school that prompted international speaker, Jeff Yalden, to create this video had 14 students suspended from winter sports, who are ready to face the superintendent as a result of their actions.  In most schools, there is a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.  This means that if you are caught or seen at a party, you are immediately suspended from your team for anywhere from a few games to a whole season.

When you sign your school’s zero tolerance party, you are making a promise to abstain from illegal substance use.  As Jeff states, “You signed the contract.  There are the consequences.  Don’t do it.”

Many students choose to break this contract.  To make matters even worse, they are sharing their illegal activities through social media websites, be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  In the video above, Jeff tells the story of one girl, who posted photos of herself engaging in illegal activities on Facebook. When people advised her to remove them, she responded, “Why?  I got 20 likes as a result of it!”  Young people in this day and age are living and breathing online, disacknowledging the fact that one post such as this can destroy their future.

“Are you more concerned with the people that are accepting your negative behaviors than you are you as a teammate [and] a student athlete, college scholarships, your job, and your parents finding out about this?  Think about the choices you make and the consequences you have to accept.”  You may be a state champion, but one post can throw everything away.  College admission officers and coaches will see this, and it will very likely sway their decision and opinion of you.

“I think we need to concern ourselves less with what the coaches and the school are doing, and we need to concern ourselves more with what we as parents are doing at home.”  If you and your child signed a zero-tolerance policy, even if your child is accused of using substances that he or she did not, he or she was still in the mix of people engaging in these activities.  Therefore, your child will be suspended, as will be everyone else caught at the party.  “The greatest thing we can teach our kids is that there are consequences to our actions…We need to put the responsibility back where it belongs.”

The consequences of underage drug and alcohol use extend much further than those enacted by the school.  This goes back to insurance policies, this occurring on your property, and the provider of the substances.  One night can destroy an entire life. Letters from colleges may disappear, jobs may be lost now and not found in the future, and your reputation could be forever tarnished.

Teens must remember the 4 T’s, a phrase known by the millions of people worldwide that have heard Jeff Yalden: Take Time To Think.  Years ago, only bad kids were involved in drugs, alcohol, and illegal activities; today, even the good kids are part of this unfortunate culture.  Young people that you would never expect are engulfed in this lifestyle, a ticking bomb waiting to explode.

The consequences can be huge when 14 people are suspended in one school.  It has the potential to ruin an entire basketball season and even eliminate the whole team. However, the consequences are a result of your choices and actions.

Hopefully, you and your friends have zero part in this lifestyle, but if you do, posting it on social networks is one of the worst choices possible.  Do not promote what you are doing. The Internet is a smaller place than you think; one Google search of your name may be enough to destroy your future.  You are smart enough and know better than being part of these activities and then making matters even worse by sharing them on Facebook. Parents: know what your kids are doing and prevent things like this from happening.  If your children make mistakes, hold them accountable for their choices and actions.  While this may be hard, it can be the time when you are the greatest teachers.

As a youth motivational speaker and teen coach, Jeff Yalden is dedicated to helping teenagers make the right decisions and turn their lives around.  If you would like to help the students in your area and prevent them from engaging in activities that could have a negative impact on their future, visit for more information.

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Author:Brandon Schmuck, Teen Blogger for Youth Speaker, Jeff Yalden

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” Brandon Schmuck is a senior class president at Rockwood Area High School. He is an ambitious teen with a dream: to change the world. He plans on majoring in electrical and computer engineering and gaining a background in speaking, writing, business, and the arts. He dreams of becoming an influential business leader and changing the lives of millions through his words and products. He is inspired by his parents and his two younger sisters to be all that he can. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar as part of his high school’s jazz band and hitting up the greens during the summer. He loves to write and express his opinion and is an active member of student congress, speech, and Future Business Leaders of America. Online, he has an active presence as a teen blogger for youth motivational speaker, Jeff Yalden, and operates his own personal blog. He enjoys having an impact on those around him and is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, SADD, and Spanish Honor Society, where he helps at local food drives and school events. Brandon was first inspired by Jeff’s words at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, where he heard him as a guest speaker. After hearing him, he knew that he had to bring him to his area. Despite the small size of his school, Brandon managed to gather the funding to bring him, while arranging for a neighboring school to come hear him also. Jeff’s words had an enormous impact on his school; students there were inspired to live their lives to the fullest and make the right decisions. Every day as he walks through the halls, he sees the impact that Jeff’s visit had on the students, as many of them continue to carry his messages with them by wearing his t-shirts. Prior to Jeff’s visit, Brandon published an article on his personal blog and his school’s website, describing what he had heard during Jeff’s speech at PFEW and how he managed to raise the funding for his visit. After reading it, Jeff hired Brandon as a teen blogger. Brandon admires the impact that Jeff has on others and hopes to someday carry the same impact himself.

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