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May 2009


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Note From Erik:

Wow! I couldn’t believe my eyes, and when you read about it here, you’re jaw might drop as well! It’s amazing how teaching life skills through sports can be such an effective vehicle to impact lives. The following story happened two days ago at a basketball clinic I put on to raise scholarship money for NBC Camps. NBC Camps is the largest and most amazing overnight basketball camp in the world, and you are about to discover why. By the way, to find the closest camp to you for this summer (I co-direct the one in Angwin, CA…in the Napa Valley), go to and register your son or daughter. It will impact their lives in unbelievable ways… just like this…

To Living Above the Line,


Above The Line Article:                                                                       Bookmark and Share

"Paying the Price for Others"

By Erik Carlson

I will always remember this day as the day my son (that’s him in the picture) made his father a better person. Let me set the stage. I started out this half day basketball clinic in the same way I do my 5 day camps. I need to set the tone; letting the kids, ages 6 to 18 years know that our coaches will be giving them 100%; but in return, we need them to give us their best. After all, as I ask them, “Why did you come here?” I have them respond “To Get Better!” Then I say “I can’t hear you… why’d you come here??” Then they shout “To Get Better!!!!!”

So, my first lesson is telling them that when a coach is instructing, they are to pay attention. If they accidentally drop their basketball, they are to quietly drop and give one pushup, as a ‘self discipline’ of sorts. This is not to punish, but to grow habits of respect to elders, as well as develop good old fashioned self discipline. It also makes it easier for the instructor to not have to deal with distractions of bouncing balls during instruction time.

So, as always happens, the first boy dropped his ball. He was only about 6 years old. I could tell he didn’t quite understand my request, so I told him not to worry this time, but next time, he would have to ‘pay-up’ with one push up.

About 15 minutes later, I was observing my instructor, Kyle, teaching and the same boy dropped his ball again. I watched as Kyle politely asked the young boy to give him one push up. The boy hesitated for about 4 or 5 seconds, and it appeared that he was not going to do the pushup. Just then, out of the blue, my six-year-old son, Christopher, quickly raised his hand, and said in front of about 30 athletes, and coaches “I’ll do it”… and he immediately dropped and did one push up. I was stunned… the place erupted in applause for my son… MY SON!!! I’m tearing up writing this. Where did he learn that? Who is this boy of only six years to step up and PAY THE PRICE for another? In my 20+ years of doing camps, I have never seen this. The fact that he was my boy… well, I don’t have to tell you how proud I am.

Here is what is going through my mind right now. Today is Memorial Day. How many soldiers fought and paid the price for me to live with freedom in this amazing country? I am also reminded of my Savior, Jesus Christ, paying the ultimate price on the Cross for my sins. I mentioned that my son made me better that day. I am inspired to live my life to somehow pay a price today, in order to make a great impacting change in the lives of others. Maybe it’s an encouraging word or handwritten note to someone special. Join me in this moment of amazement, to search how we can impact the world in our own special way, with the gifts God has given us, and serve others any way we can.

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About Erik Carlson:

Erik Carlson is a sought after speaker and entertainer. His keynote topics blend the experiences and wisdom from his successful business career, and couples it with side splitting comedy magic that will leave your audience astonished and inspired.

Erik is the author and creator of his pathfinder self study course which is a step-by-step roadmap to discovering true prosperity in your career.

Watch Erik's Promo Video or book Erik for a speaking engagement.

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