Frankie Bordeaux has been a college basketball official since 1981. He says that being on the court with the eager and hopeful leaders of tomorrow has taught him many lessons about life. One in particular: Frankie Bordeaux states he has learned that group sports encourage positive adult interaction and promote self-respect and independence.
Working with college athletes has kept Frankie Bordeaux connected to his youth. More importantly, he reports that the students he has spoken to claim to feel that having adults around for support helps them to prepare crossing the bridge from adolescence to adulthood. According to Frankie Bordeaux, high school and college sports allow youngsters the opportunity to interact with adults on a peer level. Also, these students get to experience receiving respect from authority figures that they admire, such as their coach.
These early adulthood positive experiences are paramount to building self-esteem and confidence, says Frankie Bordeaux. The seemingly trivial adult/child connections are the framework for future success. He should know, as an Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club for over two decades, Frankie Bordeaux has seen time and again the benefits that consistent, positive adult role models have on teens. Participating in sports brings these adults into the lives of students, says Frankie Bordeaux.
Frankie Bordeaux also says that playing a sport, such as basketball, gives teens the opportunity to learn how to solve a problem cooperatively. In athletics, he explains, the player must learn to work with a team to determine the best course of action to attain their goal: winning. This group involvement also teaches that everyone has a special talent, and encourages future business leaders to learn how to spot the best person for a particular task.
Having adults around, such as coaches, referees, trainers, etc. offers the players ample opportunity to see how experience lends itself to patience. Frankie Bordeaux points out that patience is a valuable asset when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And the ability to deal with issues with a level head and perseverance is a trait common among business leaders. These tournament facilitators do not directly participate in the game, Frankie Bordeaux explains; however, they provide encouragement and calming words of wisdom for the team, suggests Frankie Bordeaux. This allows the youths the opportunity to solve problems independently but with guidance from veterans of the sport. This teaches that overreaction and panic are not necessary to overcome issues – both on and off the court.
Frankie Bordeaux says that teenagers are stuck in limbo: “not a child, not an adult.” He points out that this transitional stage can be a very frustrating time period for the teen. In athletics, each game played is like life lived – there is anticipation, excitement, frustration, exhilaration, rivalry, friendship, disappointment, and satisfaction in each, says Frankie Bordeaux. This mirrors life and having the experience of handling all of these emotions and situations better prepares a teen for young adulthood, concludes Frankie Bordeaux.