Pictured in the shot to the left is one of FMU's champs of the year, Lila. She won this FMU t-shirt because she completed the Name Challenge at our Be Great 8 Summer Camp. At the beginning of our camp session I told the kids to try to remember all 30 camper's names by the end of the 2-hour session (all different ages, all different schools). At the end, if they knew all the names then they could compete to win a free t-shirt. So throughout the camp I watched kids going up to other kids asking what their names were. Then I saw them practicing by going around to each other to see if they remembered. At the end of camp, we had to actually battle it out for the fastest time, because a few of them got all the names right. Lila edged Clare by a few seconds to win the FMU hot pink t-shirt!
The message: NAMES MATTER.
You have 4 rules at FMU:
1. Listen when you're supposed to.
2. Be nice to each other.
3. Have fun.
4. Use names.
When you remember someone's name it shows them that they mean something to you. I can't tell you how many compliments I've received from parents because they think it's crazy how I can remember kids' names so quick at parties and events. I think my record is 42 kids, after one time of them telling me at the beginning of a Holy Trinity after-school session.
To be honest, it's a skill I practice and take very seriously. I want them to know that they mean something to me.
And after talking about it to one of my coaching buddies this morning, there are some things I actually do to sharpen my name-remembering skills.
HERE'S MY FOUR STEP SYSTEM TO REMEMBERING NAMES:
1. I ASK THEM at the beginning of every session when they walk in.
2. I CIRCLE THEM UP AS A GROUP AND MAKE THEM go around and say their names before starting our session. Sometimes we play a ball toss game or Spud to help remember.
3. I THEN GO AROUND and repeat their names.
4. I TRY TO SAY THEIR NAMES at least 3x throughout the workout. This forces me to figure it out if for some reason I forgot.
- I may have them spell it if it's unique.
- I look at it on my roster to remember it.
- I do have a photographic memory, which helps me big time.
Look, I know it sounds silly, but this could be one of the biggest reasons why kids love coming to FMU.
Last year a mom stood in my gym thanking me. With tears welling up in her eyes she said "I'm so glad I found this place. This has to be one of the best places for my child. And you know what excited him so much when he came back after the first week? He said you remembered his name."
And I promise you if you remember them, it will be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
It's not about me,
*Please excuse any grammar mistakes. I did not edit.