Spreading Positivity Beyond the Court

Spreading Positivity Beyond the Court

Despite all the differences in abilities and skills, it is critical that we promote more inclusive practices and give equal opportunities to everyone.

Written by ALL IN Co-Founder, Angela Teeple

When I set out to start this business, my big dream was that no matter what the finances would be, no matter what my future looked like, no matter what the grind would be, I was  going to create a platform to give back, centered around emotion, kindness, inspiration and empowerment. When you want to make a difference you find a way no matter what.

I got the chance to fulfill my dream one month into business. I was scrolling through Facebook one night and saw the story on Jake Walker. I have known Jake, his family, and his story for quite awhile. His mom Kim and I have had some awesome conversations of how much Jake has grown socially despite his diagnosis and what the environment at Shore Regional has done for Jake. That night I didn’t sleep and woke up to a text from a friend who said exactly what I needed to hear. 

The Shore Regional Boys Basketball coaches, this team, and their families came together to honor this amazing young man. Every game Jake wears his suit and is the manager, cheering loudly and clapping for every kid, but that night he dressed for the game, was called out with the seniors, and played in the game scoring the team’s first and last points!

We were so inspired by all this, that ALL IN Athletes decided to donate shirts to the players and coaches as this team represented what ALL IN stands for. It was so amazing to see a team so inclusive and a coach sending the right message to his team. Their mindset was not about themselves but rather about each other and echoed repeatedly how each person matters no matter the role they play on the team or the differences amongst them.

Kim spoke about how Coach Erik Mazur is invested in Jake and his well-being and how closely they communicate. He went above and beyond not only on the court but off the court as well throughout his high school career.

Jake’s mother Kim sent me a post about being ALL IN and I just think it’s awesome.  

Kim says, “I am All IN. As an educator, I work daily to support all my students' needs and work to ensure each one has the proper support needed so they are able to reach their fullest potential despite any setbacks or challenges.”  

As a mom it's been the only mission of my life to advocate for my children and prioritize their overall health and well being while ensuring they have all the tools they need to be successful learners. It was an amazing opportunity to have my son Jake represent the Shore Regional basketball team. 

Despite all the differences in abilities and skills, it is critical that we promote more inclusive practices and give equal opportunities to everyone because it is necessary to focus on positive mental health and that amazing feeling of being part of a team. 

We need to do better in all athletics because there are very important life lessons that benefit students into adulthood and beyond. Having a team mentality promotes higher self esteem, a special feeling of importance, enhanced personal growth, opportunities for overcoming obstacles, and a sense of belonging that comes on and off the court. The interpersonal relationships Jake has built are so positive and an integral part of his overall growth; ones that I hope sustain over time. 

As a mom I will continue to ensure their needs are met and are provided with equitable opportunities allowing them to always go ALL IN.”

She also shared with me Jake's speech to the team last year.

 “I just want to thank all of the coaches and players for allowing me the opportunity to be manager for the Shore Regional Varsity Basketball Team again this year.  It was an amazing season where I witnessed so much talent and I am proud to be a part of this great tight knit community of players. I truly enjoyed coming out to every practice and game to support everyone! I hope you all know how grateful I am to be part of the team and while I know my clapping was excessive, I was always in your favor…I felt the wins and losses as if I were on the court with you. So thank you for a great season, best of luck to Aidan and JP as you begin the next chapter of your lives - we will miss you both! As for the 2022 basketball season, I look forward to continuing as manager so LET'S GO!”

Jake has a lesson to teach all athletes. True passion, joy, and commitment is a mindset and a mindset can be developed no matter what difficulties you face. Jake is the manager, he never missed a game or practice, and he shows up with a positive attitude everyday. It wasn't about playing time, or points scored, or who or where you come from. It was about being grateful and truly loving the game, his teammates, and supporting them no matter what happened.

Everything happens for a reason and I believe digging deeper into this story was exactly what I needed to do for my own growth and realize that the big dream I had was happening before my eyes. It wasn't because ALL IN was being worn by a famous athlete, but rather it was from a local story, about an amazing young man who played a sport he loves with his teammates and can teach the world what an impact a positive attitude can have.

His famous line is LET’S GOOO!….Let’s gooo ALL IN in to have a mindset like Jake Walker. Let's go play the game you love and let's go show up for yourself and your teammates.

ALL IN will be sponsoring our first athlete and we’ve designed our first custom shirt to highlight Jake Walkers’ role on his team, positivity, and the inspiration he brings to everyone around him. 

Jake is truly an ALL IN ATHLETE.

With every purchase made, we will be making a donation to Speech Start in honor of Jake and his wishes. Speech Start provides children safe, supportive, and compassionate environment where they can learn and apply the fundamentals of speech and language skills efficiently. Your purchase will help assist with field trips that help kids develop social and life skills to be able to interact and build relationships within their community.

Check out Jake's shirt here.

Sometimes life’s perspective reminds you that you're looking in all the wrong places for inspiration and it's actually right in the town you grew up in.

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