About Coach Speaks
So, I have decided that I want to Coach. Well let me rephrase that; I am finally aware of the fact that this is the destination to which my Life path and experiences have been leading me for many years now. I am not speaking of coaching a sport, but coaching the players in Life. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are winning! I would Love to join creative forces with you help you design the life you desire and deserve. On the team of Life there are no drafts, no salary caps, no roster limitations, and there are no losers. Your greatness is already evident to me, and my goal is to help you focus your life’s lens so that you may see this perfection in yourself that I see in you. It is my belief that the main key to realising your greatness begins with developing a high quality relationship between you and You; you must first learn to truly love yourself.”
Though there have been a few outstanding coaches in sports history who did not actually play the sport themselves, it has been Coach Speaks’s experience that the coaches who connect best with their players are those who have had conscious “on the field” playing experience; those who could ‘see’ the game through a coach’s lens, even during their actual participation in the sport. But, this does not mean that they were the best players. It is no secret that great players don’t always make great coaches. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. The best coaches were not typically the superstars on their respective teams, but they usually possessed those intangible coach’s qualities, such as leadership, insight, vision, an ability to motivate and create cohesiveness among teammates, along with many other qualities that help their teams to achieve greatness at levels beyond their own self limitations. These individuals also have a unique intuition that makes them highly effective in many aspects of driving others to success. Coach Speaks possesses all of these same qualities.
We all play the game of Life; we don’t really have much of a choice in the matter. However, playing the game consciously is what makes the difference in how we fare. Once we accept that it is a game, and that we are the ones in total control of how the game plan is written, we are then in the best possible position to win. I seek to work with anyone who desires to reach their full potential, and is looking for guidance, motivation, inspiration, and support to get there. As long as you are ready, open, coachable, and willing to put in the work, the sky is truly your limit.”
Bradford Speaks (given name Bradford Brown) is a Life Coach and Inspirational Speaker who works with Life Players from all over the United States and the world. Originally born and reared in a small town in south Louisiana, located about 50 miles east of New Orleans, he never saw himself as a small town guy. He always dreamed far beyond his limited surroundings and resources, and he never used his circumstances as an excuse to achieve whatever he wanted. So the first opportunity he saw to soar beyond his immediate environment, he hightailed it out of town!
Bradford’s closest friends and family call him Brad. It took him a while to embrace his full name of Bradford. As a young boy he did not feel the name was suitable for the cool, young black kid he saw himself as. He wanted a name more like some of his other friends. He would often get ridiculed by his peers for having what was often considered a “white kid’s name”. But what he did not realise was that some day that little boy would become a man, and the name would come to suit him quite well. His older sister who named him, obviously knew this all along. “Thanks, sis!”
As a child, Brad was unusually compassionate compared to the other kids growing up around him. He never wanted to see anyone hurt (physically or emotionally) including animals, even insects. He always had an authentic appreciation for Life. He seemed to have a slightly more sensitive side than most boys his age, and often got his feelings hurt on the play ground or at the ball park; he would sometimes even cry in public, which was a no-no in the macho world surrounding him. He says:
There are several childhood stories that could tell of the times when bigger, older boys bullied me. Where I grew up, a compassionate or ‘soft heart’ were not good traits to have on constant display, as such characteristics made for an easy target to get run over and taken advantage of.”
Bradford came from what most would consider a “good family”. His father was a factory worker, hospital state employee, and a deacon in the church. His mother was a college-educated, elementary schoolteacher, and one of the first black educators during the 1960s to teach in Louisiana’s newly segregated school system. Raised Baptist, his parents made certain he attended Sunday school and church services regularly. They were honest, hard working, and well respected in the local community. Brad also sang in the church and school choirs, just as his grandmother, mother, aunts and generations before had. So music was always a big part of his Life. This particular setting, along with his involvement in athletics, provided the backdrop for where he began to develop many of his lifelong friendships and fundamental principles for living.
After his freshman year in high school, and having grown tired of getting pushed around, Bradford began to lift weights regularly, and started to gain a lot of muscle mass and strength. Along with the muscle came confidence, and he took on a more aggressive attitude and approach in his dealings with the people and things in his Life. He began to welcome fights as opposed to avoiding them; he actually initiated them in some cases. But all the while he knew this wasn’t really who he was at the core. He was only doing it in response to the peer pressure of getting the other guys to like and accept him. Even still, there was something inside that spoke softly to him, saying, “this isn’t who you are, but, go right ahead.” For the sake of survival, he adapted to his surroundings and began to earn the respect he believed he needed and deserved. Bradford carried what some would call, “a chip on his shoulder”. He was obviously scarred from the earlier years of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. But like so many others, he would not realise the damage that had been caused until much later on in life.
Over the next couple of years, the sports, football in particular, became his true passion; and after a highly successful football campaign during his junior season, and earning blue-chip All-American honors, he was excited and could see his future shining bright. He could also see a clear road out of his hometown of Bogalusa. Sports had become his haven. He played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track. Unfortunately, academics had taken a back seat because in his mind it was his ability to play sports well that was earning him the “street cred” and acceptance he so deeply desired. However, his senior season boasted a lackluster offensive line, and a lingering shoulder injury that would hinder his season performance and plague his chances of playing for a major Division I college football program. The injury, and a mediocre academic performance, landed him at Division I-AA Northwestern State University of Louisiana.
I honestly had never heard of Northwestern State before, but thankfully my GPA and standardised test scores were adequate enough for them to offer me a football scholarship there. Playing sports at the collegiate level had been a dream of mine for many years, and though it wasn’t one of the schools I previously had in mind, I was still thrilled with the opportunity to be able to play at the next level.”
He used the anger toward major universities like LSU, Arkansas, Alabama, Tulane, Mississippi State, and many others universities who had shown significant interest in signing him prior to his injury, to fuel his motivation and eventual success. While attending Northwestern State, he would add to the jigsaw puzzle of friendships and experiences, and continue to weave together the fabric that his Life is made of today. He would also discover a new perspective on Christianity, which would change his life forever.
Fast-forward a tad…after lettering four years at Northwestern State, and enjoying a pretty successful football career there, Brad attempted briefly to play at the professional level. After a few uneventful tryouts, he accepted that perhaps it was time to let go and move on with his Life like so many other athletes had before him. So he married his girlfriend right out of college, and moved back to New Orleans while she would finish up her undergraduate degree. Immediately afterwards, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia to start building their Life together. And this is where Brad would spend the next eighteen years of his adult Life.
There is so much more to my story, and I would Love to share it all with each of you. But we have to save something for the book, right? *smile* The point that I intend to get across in what we are sharing with you is that I have had an extremely diverse range of experiences, and the snippets I have given thus far are only up to about age 21. There is so much more detail that is much better suited for a different medium – perhaps a book. And trust me, it only gets better! However, my Life ( including every single high and low) is now like a rich confection, and getting richer with each moment. So is yours; it’s all in how you choose to perceive it. Know that You are Love.”
It was when the Life Bradford had so carefully crafted for himself began to crumble around him, that he finally began to reflect upon, study, and analyze his Life’s experiences, trying to figure out where the next turn would possibly take him. As many of us often do, he began to ask the question “why?”. In time, his answer would come to him, as he would realise that what he is doing today in coaching others on managing their lives (which can be one helluva task!) and its crises, is exactly what he was in training to do all the years prior. Every relationship, friendship, encounter, career choice, success/failure, acquisition, loss over the past two decades, have all culminated nicely to bring him to this very moment; right here, right now, standing with YOU. So come on in!