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Archive for the ‘Life Coaching’ Category

The silver lining of lockdown? Free time to do what you really love – Clacton and Frinton Gazette

Posted: May 17, 2020 at 10:46 pm

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WITH hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost, and the death toll continuing to rise, it can be hard to see how a global pandemic can be in anyway positive.

For the most part, it really isnt - to put it bluntly, coronavirus is a horrific, unrelenting, indiscriminate, grim, ravaging and merciless beast, which takes no prisoners.

But it is the by-products of the outbreak and subsequent lockdown which, when you take a step back, glow brighter, and rise higher, than the virus ever will.

Front line workers, for example, are finally being showered in the appreciation they have always warranted, even if only sincerely from members of the public.

Communities have come together like never before to ensure the most vulnerable are cared for, protected, and not left without essential food and drink.

From a more personal and individualistic point of view, the free time afforded to many has provided people and families with a wider and more panoramic perspective.

Less cluttered headspaces in which to think, coupled with empty itineraries, has offered elongated periods to self-reflect, unwind, and reassess the pace of life.

Some residents, for example, have used this break from normality to pursue passions or hobbies which they previously couldnt due to the restrictions of modern life.

Chloe Everett, 20, from Walton, has dreamt of launching her own a card-making business for a while, but never had the time to actually start it up.

She has produced minimalistic handmade cards for friends and relatives for special occasions since she was young, after being inspired by her mums love of the craft.

I have wanted to start-up my own card-making business for a while now, and always considered it, but with other commitments, I never had the time, she said.

I find it quite therapeutic and I love having an idea in my head and then making it come to life - time just seems to pass so quickly when I am being creative.

Since the lockdown, Chloe has founded and set-up Sending Love and Happiness, and custom card orders have already started to come in.

I really enjoy making things and drawing, and it is a good way to keep busy, so I thought it would be a good way to use my time during isolation, she said.

I have always been anxious that it wouldnt be successful, but now I have done it, I have proved myself wrong.

Talented theatre performer Lucy Barrett, 15, from Clacton, has taken it upon herself to use her new-found free time to learn British sign language.

Her mum Jenny, says her daughter was inspired to master the hard discipline using her free time by her own passion for ensuring inclusivity runs through the world.

She has always been very conscious of making sure she never discriminates against others and has always looked to make sure no one gets left out, said Jenny.

At the beginning of lockdown, the British Sign Language offered a massive discount for school pupils to participate in their online course.

Lucy thought it was an amazing opportunity to learn a new language and to communicate with others and broaden her knowledge.

She has been really enjoying it and we are very proud of her.

Matthaeus Rozier, 29, from Harwich, on the other hand, has completed a life coaching course and subsequently set-up a new business during lockdown.

He has now started recording and releasing a programme called Sixty Second Series, which is designed to help people set goals and not indulged in unnecessary eating.

Matthaeus, who has a degree in sports and exercise science, and psychology, is also now writing a self-help book which he is planning on releasing soon.

"Usually I am travelling around Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, as I work for England Rugby doing training, mentioning, and coaching," he said.

"So, being on furlough has given me the opportunity for personal development and a chance to develop the businesses."

The Brightlingsea Musical Theatre Group has used the time to be productive, despite the obvious hurdles you would expect them to face as a result of a lockdown.

Six weeks ago, the companys passionate performers joined forces with the Clacton Musical Theatre Society to produce a special virtual pantomime.

The two groups rehearsed, filmed, and edited the performance, and it has since helped to lift the spirits of both the cast involved, and those who have watched it.

Usually shows take five months of rehearsals, so this definitely allowed to us to speed things up, said Lucy Rosina, chairman of the Brightlingsea Musical Theatre Group.

The editing also took 60 hours alone, which I would not have been able to do with normal work patterns.

We released it online and so many people have said how much it has cheered them up and has given them some much needed laughs during what is a tough time for so many people.

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The silver lining of lockdown? Free time to do what you really love - Clacton and Frinton Gazette

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May 17th, 2020 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Life Coaching

Only You Can Be Your Life Coach – Thrive Global

Posted: April 25, 2020 at 5:47 am

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Photo byAllie SmithonUnsplash

If you have ever thought to yourself,I need a life coach,then this article is dedicated to you. I was a life coach without calling myself one before I studied how to become a certified life coach. It was merely in my personality to encourage people to figure out how to make their own lives better.

It seemed as though it was a natural passion for me, and in 2018, I decided I would become a certified life coach and make a living out of it. So, I studied the courses available, watched tons of videos on YouTube (especially Tony Robbins), and calculated how I would pay for the certification process.

I soon realized that most of the life coaching industry focuses upon dolling out simple questions (albeit seemingly elusive to most of us) that inspire us to find our own answers to our problems. Instead of relying upon a life coach to help guide you in finding the answers you seek, learn the techniques they use, and apply them to yourself or your loved ones.

After all, just because the methods are somewhat shallow, it doesnt mean they are entirely ineffective. Incorporating them into your life can have a significant positive impact! Just keep your expectations realistic.

Luck doesnt exist. We might find ourselves thinking someone else has all the success in the world, but that thought process is a fallacy. Richard Wiseman pretty much proved it in the book (free PDF version) The Luck Factorwhen he conducted an experiment that sought to provide evidence of whether a person is lucky or unlucky.

I wont spoil it too much, but the gist of it is that he gathered participants and asked them to classify themselves as lucky or unlucky. He then gave them a newspaper and asked them to find a specific announcement.

However, he secretly placed a second announcement in it that instructed the participants to notify the researchers if they saw it to receive a bonus reward. All of the participants found the requested statement, but only those who self-identified as lucky found the secret announcement and received the bonus reward.

Each participant received the same opportunity to find the extra reward, so, was it luck that helped the lucky ones receive the bonus reward? No. Luck had nothing to do with it. In short, it is their mindset. Those who see themselves as lucky tend to examine life with a broader scope. Even if they unconsciously do so, they continuously scan their surroundings for opportunities.

If you want to improve your luck, you must first learn how to remove the blinders that keep you focused on one direction. Expanding your view will help you better recognize opportunities to improve your life.

Of course, there is a caveat to this logic. Extenuating circumstances that you have no control over can dictate the opportunities that come your way. However, everything that happens in your life is the result ofyourchoices and howyou reactedto other peoples choices. You must learn to recognize the difference between your choice and your reaction to their decisions.

A life coach isnt supposed to give you answers to your most pressing questions. Instead, they use different questions and techniques that help you arrive at your solutions.

During a coaching session, you may layout a lot of scattered information about how you are feeling. The clarification technique is simply rewording your problem to make it more concise and help the coach make sure they understand your challenge.

You can use this technique on yourself by writing out your frustrations, then reviewing it to pick it out the critical information to more clearly define the problem. For example, you may write out something like this:

I feel like I am stuck in a rut every day. My kids arent paying as much attention to me as I would like them to, my spouse and I have been arguing a lot lately, and were just not making enough money to cover the bills and save for our dream vacation.

There is certainly a lot to unpack there. So, lets pick out the fundamental problems and reword them to help us later define our goals. It may look something more like this:

I would like to have a little more adventure in life

I want to communicate better with my children

I want to communicate better with my spouse

I want to figure out ways to make more money or manage my money better

We have clarified the frustrations you are experiencing in more concise statements. From here, we move on to the next technique.

Envisioning the future and the reward realistically is sometimes a difficult task, but it gives you a vision of where you want (and need?) to be to feel more fulfilled. Once you have a clear view of what you want for the future and the reward that lies therein, you can work your way backward to determine the steps you need to take to get there.

Just make sure your vision for one or five years from now is realistic. Dont expect to become a millionaire by next year, but it may be achievable in five or ten years. Now, create the roadmap to achieving that goal by halving the timeframe. For example:

Twelve months:In one year, I want to have $5,000 saved up for my dream vacation.

Six months:I would need to have saved $2,500 by doing this and that. Perhaps I would have a side-hustle to help.

Three months:I will find a side-hustle, cancel these subscriptions, and stop going out to eat.

One month:In the first month, I will research interest-bearing savings accounts, ways to maximize those returns, research side-hustles, and do the math to figure out how much money I can set aside each month.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but as you work your way backward, you will find it easier to figure out the first step. As time goes on, review your plan and tweak it as needed to ensure youre staying on track and as new opportunities and ideas come to mind.

Try to recall similar situations from your past and how you overcame it. If you did not overcome it, reflect onwhyyou didnt. Hindsight is 20/20. We can often look back and think of what we would have done differently to change the outcome.

But, use this technique sparingly as you dont want to get stuck in the past and thinking about mistakes. Just try your best to recall similarities in the problem and the potential solutions at hand to see if they will work in the current situation.

For example, if you want to work out more often, think about why you dont work out now. Then, try to recall if there was a time when you found a way to overcome the block. Perhaps you discovered a relaxed dance class where you made new friends. Your motivation may lie in working out with other people. Therefore, you could look for group activities or classes to join that will motivate you to move.

Our minds find the use of numbers and percentages easier to digest when trying to figure out complex situations. So, dont be afraid of reducing a question down toon a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied am I withto help you prioritize which problems, ideas, and solutions you should focus on:

Once you determine which concepts are higher or lower on the scale, you can arrange them in order of significance to give a clearer picture of which direction to go.

Speaking more positively is a simple concept, but challenging to make into a habit. Stop using terms like trying or I hope when discussing your goals. Instead, use action-affirming words like doing or I will figure this out. Its easier said than done, but it is one massive step toward training your brain to look differently at the world around you and seek out opportunities.

As any writer knows: Passive voice kills a good story. The same goes for your goals. Passive thoughts and words dont inspire the desire to move forward.

In many instances, you probably know exactly what you want or need to do to achieve a goal, but you have some sort of wall or block preventing you from pushing forward. We often seek outside validation for our actions, and if we dont receive it, we think it must not have been a good idea.

Remember that no one can validate you. You must validate yourself. If you want to start a business, you dont need anyone elses approval. Find the reasons deep down why you feel so passionately about it to validate yourself and go for it. If you fail, so what?! You gave it a try and undoubtedly learned a lot of lessons.

Call it a power statement or mantra or whatever you please. Develop a personal statement (or several) to remind yourself of when times are tough. Use powerful, uplifting words. Pick ten positive words that describe you:

I am strong intelligent eager to learn intrepid

Whatever it is, it should feel you with a sense of power and motivation each time you say it. Develop a routine to repeat your power statement to yourself in the mirror after you get out of the shower, during your commute to work, or right before bed, and anytime you need a pick-me-up.

Do your best to choose positivity as often as you can because there is truth in the idea that your thoughts shape your worldview, opportunities, and influence. This doesnt mean you need to ignore all negative thoughts. They serve an essential purpose in life. But, finding a balance between the positive and negative will ultimately lead you to expand your horizons and your worldview.

While there will be roadblocks and circumstances you cant control, you indeed are the designer of your future to an extent most of us fail to realize. Everything in your past has served the purpose of showing who you are or are not, what you deserve or dont deserve, and what you need to do to make yourself stronger.

Own it!

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Only You Can Be Your Life Coach - Thrive Global

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

Posted in Life Coaching

Influencing? In This Economy? Its Only Gotten More Competitive – The New York Times

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Josh Zimmerman is a life coach for creators, whose careers have become ever more consuming, uncertain and subject to scrutiny under coronavirus.

Alyson Stoner, 26, is an actress whose credits include various Disney and Nickelodeon productions. She has also independently developed an online audience of over one million who turn to her for advice about wellness and creativity.

Last month, as Hollywood sets went dark, her second career ramped up. By mid-March she was feeling caught in a hamster wheel of work. Thats when she got a call from Josh Zimmerman, her life coach.

Mr. Zimmerman, 35, helped Ms. Stoner prioritize her projects and narrow the scope of her responsibilities. Within 24 hours of their call, she had a plan for a timely series about grief, gratitude and self-reflection called 14 Days of Mindfulness, which she would share on Instagram Live and YouTube.

She shelved other projects that were taking up too much time. I reclaimed my mornings, and that structure has allowed me to maintain a sense of stability and sanity during quarantine, Ms. Stoner said.

Mr. Zimmerman has, in the course of two years, become a go-to adviser for creators. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, conducted via Zoom even in the absence of a pandemic, he has helped dozens of people navigate their lives as influencers.

What a lot of people dont understand is that the process of making content is stressful and very lonely, Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman is not an agent. He doesnt help clients negotiate brand deals or take a cut of their revenue. He is not a therapist either. He is a life coach, and hes very upfront about the difference.

I work on anything the talent wants to work on, unless it veers into mental health, he said. While a therapist might help an influencer diagnose mental health issues that arise from the emotional toll that comes with being in the public eye, Mr. Zimmerman develops tactical solutions, like career planning and focus techniques.

When I see what Josh is doing, it seems very unique but fills a very specific need in the creator community, said Earnest Pettie, a trends insights lead at YouTube. Its no secret that some of the best performing executives have executive coaches. Creators are an emerging class of media professionals, and so its great to see them engage with experts who can provide support and resources to help them remain productive in a positive way.

Mr. Zimmermans role feels especially vital now, in the midst of a health crisis that has sent half the world home for an indefinite period and glued many of them to their phones. The pandemic has been a boon for influencers who can provide actionable advice to followers in the coronavirus era fitness coaches, food bloggers and medical professionals, for example but those in other sectors, such as travel and fashion, have collectively lost millions in brand deals and ad revenue.

Most creators have continued working, business as usual or even more than usual. In a time when everything is shutting down and businesses are closing, the general populace is turning more to entertainment and media, Ms. Stoner said.

And the competition is fierce. Youre putting out more content, but your audience has been diluted because theres all these other people going live at the same time or putting new stuff out, Mr. Zimmerman said. Youre trying even harder to get those eyeballs and the money is not coming in as it should be, and maybe the brand deals youve relied on have disappeared.

It scared a lot of my clients from putting anything out there because they didnt want to get demonetized, even for spreading the word about helping people stay inside and stay safe, Mr. Zimmerman said. Theres been an onslaught of creators who are uncertain and really reaching out for structure in their lives.

YouTube later reversed its decision. As Covid-19 has become a part of our everyday lives, we want to support creators and news organizations covering this important topic, a company spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. As previously announced, weve expanded monetization of Covid-19 content to all creators in the YouTube Partner Program.

Many creators turn to Mr. Zimmerman because of his rsum; he has worked in the influencer space for years and knows the ins and outs of the business.

In 2013, Mr. Zimmerman took a job clearing video rights for YouTube Nation, a YouTube news show with more than two million subscribers, and fell headfirst into the world of YouTube stars. I had no idea who any of these creators were at first, but I really came to admire them, he said. Within three years, Mr. Zimmerman had founded his own management firm, JZ Management.

He liked working with creators and was struck by the toll creating content and growing a personal brand took on them. His father has worked as a life coach for high-profile business executives for years, and in 2018, Mr. Zimmerman decided to follow in his footsteps. He founded, declaring himself the first-ever life coach dedicated to creators.

Influencers face a unique set of challenges. Creators dont separate from their work because they are their work, Mr. Zimmerman said. We go home and turn our computers off; they are their own brand. They are their own IP. Theyre never off, which leads to fatigue and a whole bunch of things that are not helpful to the creative process.

He said that the pressures the crisis has created uncertainty about money, uncertainty about who you can trust, uncertainty about staying relevant have made the job all the more consuming.

Plus, fans expect a level of responsiveness and intimacy that most celebrities dont offer. Consequently, many influencers have been inundated with messages asking for help or advice on how to handle the current moment.

Its the juxtaposition of businesses shutting down, but everyone wanting more from us, said Ms. Stoner, asking us to be the connection that they cant get anywhere else. One misstep could lead to massive online backlash.

While some people have suggested that the pandemic may mark the end of influencer culture, Collin Colburn, a senior analyst at Forrester, a market research and advisory firm, begs to differ.

I dont think its the end of anything, he said. There could be a collapse in print advertising, there could be a collapse in out of home advertising, there could be a collapse in influencer marketing. I dont think any of them are going away.

Mr. Zimmerman agreed. This is not the end of influencers or creators, he said.

Such opinions, he said, disregard the range of ideas, interests, platforms and demographics influencers represent. Theres quilting creators, theres woodworking creators, theres anything you can think of. Any hobby, any idea, there is an influencer or someone making content, Mr. Zimmerman said.

But ad revenues will undoubtedly tighten and certain sectors of the creator community may face trouble. If you look at past crises or recessions, its just a recalibration of the marketing budget, said Mr. Colburn. Maybe influencers will command less of the budget than they did before, but there will always be brands who want to engage these people who have influence over their followings.

Mr. Zimmerman said hes started working with some clients pro bono in light of their lost revenue. He wants to help as many people as he can during these uncertain and chaotic times. The industry is moving at lightning speed, and every hour its different, he said. Everyone is like, its a marathon not a sprint, but its a marathon at 100 miles an hour.

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Influencing? In This Economy? Its Only Gotten More Competitive - The New York Times

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

Posted in Life Coaching

Ben Logan’s Reule named athletic director of the year – Bellefontaine Examiner

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Growing up in a household with educators and coaches, Scott Reule had a good idea from an early age that he would one day follow in his parents footsteps.

Reule did exactly that, first getting into coaching as a basketball coach at Wilmington College before coming to Benjamin Logan as the athletic and activities director, a position he has filled for the last 13 years.

He has developed a reputation for being a strong advocate for his athletes and coaches as well as for displaying a tireless work ethic in a job that rarely slows down.

For his efforts, Reule has been recognized as athletic director of the year by the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association. He was one of four ADs from southwest Ohio to receive the honor this year. He was nominated for the award by Ben Logan high school principal Mark Butler and Bellefontaine athletic director Matt Comstock.

Honestly, this is an honor that a lot of athletic directors deserve, said Reule. I dont feel like I should be recognized for simply doing what I am supposed to do. But I am grateful to Mark and Matt for nominating me for this award. Its really a reflection of the great people we have at our school and in this community.

Reule was raised in northern Kentucky. He enjoyed playing sports while growing up and that enjoyment turned into a profession.

I have been around education and athletics my entire life, said Reule. Both of my parents were educators and coaches. My dad was an athletic director and principal. From watching them, I knew that I wanted to get into coaching and teaching.

He had little knowledge of the Ben Logan district and surrounding area when he took the athletic directors position there. Having served the school for over a decade now and also being involved in the experiences of his wife Allison, who is a teacher and head volleyball coach at Ben Logan, Reule has developed a deep connection to the Raider community.

I really didnt know much about Ben Logan or Logan County before I came here, he said. My wife and I have grown with the community and we feel like we are a big part of it. Working here has created a strong bond to Ben Logan and a feeling of pride and respect for the entire community.

Being an athletic director comes with a lot of headaches, but Reule said those are outweighed by the relationships he has developed with his staff and the student-athletes at Ben Logan.

What happens from 8 to 3 during a school day is obviously very important to a students development, but I believe that what they do after school through clubs, athletics and school activities have as big of an influence on their character and their school memories.

The most rewarding part for me is seeing kids have success and just to see them have growth as young people.

In addition to his service to Ben Logan as an AD, Reule was the schools head boys basketball coach for one season a few years ago and he is now an assistant coach in the program. He said his coaching background has prepared him well in his relationships with the districts coaches.

There is no doubt that coaching has helped me understand what our coaches go through and what they deal with, said Reule. That has helped me know what I can do to help make their jobs a little easier.

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Ben Logan's Reule named athletic director of the year - Bellefontaine Examiner

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

Posted in Life Coaching

BAKERSFIELD MATTERS: The art of retirement: Garces longest-tenured teacher, coach signs off – The Bakersfield Californian

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Leave it to beloved Garces High School coach and art teacher Mark Brown to saunter into retirement unconventionally.

Brownie, as he is affectionately known, has always done things in his signature cool and easygoing way, although doing so under the dark cloud of a national emergency isnt exactly what he envisioned.

The schools longest-tenured teacher in its history expected to walk across the graduation stage with his students for the last time after 42 years in mid-May. But little more than two months ago, the new coronavirus, a word that wasnt part of anyones lexicon when the school year began, brought on-campus studies to a screeching halt, forcing faculty and students to utilize online instruction through the end of the semester.

There will be no senior prom to chaperone. No senior sunset to oversee. No swim meets to coach. No ceremonial pomp and circumstance.

Browns classroom, a shrine to more than four decades of teaching, remains as it was March 13 when the pandemic changed school life as he knew it.

Never has anything like this happened. Im OK, but Im sorry I cant see anybody off my students, my fellow teachers, Brown lamented by phone. It is such a bummer, my last year, to not see the graduation.

An institution at Garces, it will be hard to imagine the school without his larger-than-life personality come fall, whether it be in the classroom or the press box.

Mark Brown is woven into the culture on the Garces campus, said its Athletic Director Gino Lacava, calling Brown irreplaceable. He has affected more students, athletes and football fans than anyone since our establishment.

When Brown arrived, he was fresh out of college. The Illinois native, who was raised in the Bay Area, attended Cal State Bakersfield on a basketball scholarship and picked up his teaching credential at San Jose State.

I was just 22. I interviewed with Bob Carroll who was riding a tractor across campus and chewing tobacco, he recalled. He and Bob Garcia hired me in 1978. Mary Smile kicked me out of the office because she thought I was a student, he laughed, recalling the schools legendary typing instructor.

I was making about $649 a month, living in a studio apartment and driving a Volkswagen. That was a lot of money back then and I was in hog heaven, he remembered.

He met his wife, Marirose, two years later. Their children would go on to attend Garces.

I think I worked with 11 principals, different administrations and uncertain times the school faced, he said.

Brown says it was the kids who kept him going to work every day. As technology changed the way instructors taught, Brown kept things old-school.

I knew how to do roll call and enter grades, but that was about it, he said.

Over the years, Brown had a front-row seat to the campuss physical improvements and he wore many hats. From barbecues, moderating clubs, coaching and football play-by-play, it seems there was nothing he couldnt do.

Ive spent two-thirds of my life at Garces. Its my home, he said. To see the kids grow up, then teach their kids, the second generations, its been great.

One of those students, Johnny Soper, whose mother Marcie is also a graduate, remembers sharing the press box with Brown during home football games.

Mr. Brown is like an urban legend and a comedic machine. Often my stomach hurt from laughing at things he said during the games we called, he said.

Brown has been the voice of Rams Football for nearly 40 years, treating boosters to his trademark expressions like holy Toledo sports fans!

That was a good gig right there, Brown said. I had the best seat in town.

And it seemed there wasnt a sports team Brown couldnt take under his wing and leave his mark on. The Californian named Brown its All-Area Coach of the Year in 1989 for boys tennis.

The kids kept me young and it is the hard part of leaving, he said. They are like my own and Im really going to miss them.

Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the Garces family up here, said principal Myka Peck. His energy and love for this school and students will truly be missed. Brown and his wife will relocate to Sacramento to be closer to three of their four children. He expects to fill his days with hunting, fishing, rounds of golf and yard work. And perhaps finding another swim club to coach.

Brown says he began flirting with the idea of retirement a few years ago.

I thought 2020 might be a good number, he said. Guess that was a bad idea.

Undeterred, he promised to be back for the retirement party that was canceled and check in on his Garces family.

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.

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BAKERSFIELD MATTERS: The art of retirement: Garces longest-tenured teacher, coach signs off - The Bakersfield Californian

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

Posted in Life Coaching

RuPauls Drag Race Spawns a Host of Spinoffs and Imitators, But Is the Runaway Big Enough? – Yahoo Entertainment

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Given the massive success of RuPauls Drag Race over the last decade, its no surprise that the show has almost unilaterally defined the mainstream understanding of drag artistry. But now that the show has done the hard work of getting people to pay attention, what becomes of drag as an art form? And can Drag Race continue to thrive now that everyone wants a piece of that success?

Since its debut in 2009, Drag Race has gone from a reality show pseudo-parody on a niche cable network to regularly coming in as the most-watched cable show among young adults on Friday nights. The multi-million dollar franchise has raked in the cash for producers World of Wonder, expanding to include not only spinoff television series, but also several digital series, the $3.99 per month streaming service WOW Presents Plus, and live events like the 95-city Werq the World tour and a lucrative pair of annual conventions in New York and Los Angeles.

The queens themselves are certainly benefiting from the surfeit of opportunity. As performers and entrepreneurs and TV stars, former Drag Race stars have proven disproportionately skilled at parlaying their success into other ventures beyond the show.

This week alone, HBO and TLC have debuted new programs showcasing the talents of Drag Race veterans. Both take a rough Queer Eye-style makeover/life-coaching format and feature a set of queens Alexis Michelle, BeBe Zahara Benet, Jujubee and Thorgy Thor on TLCs Dragnificent, and Eureka OHara, Shangela and Bob the Drag Queen on HBOs Were Here who travel around the country to help better the lives of quote-unquote everyday Americans. On Were Here, that involves mostly queer people living in small towns; on the much more light-hearted Dragnificent, the subjects are women preparing for a big day like a wedding or a class reunion.

Also Read: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Alums Talk Changing Lives From the Outside-In on HBO's 'We're Here'

The cast of Dragnificent (TLC)

For us, Dragnificent really fit what we call that TLC lens,' said Wendy Douglas, vice president of east coast production for TLC. Shining a light on extraordinary people, opening a door to a fascinating world. Were all about embracing people of all walks of life and authenticity and relatability for our audience. That really encompasses what drag queens are all about.

They have so much confidence and they themselves celebrate inclusivity and being your best self, she continued, also praising a unique ability in the Dragnificent cast to make people feel comfortable. They somehow disarm people. You can see a willingness from the people they work with to really open up.

Were Here showrunner Peter LoGreco expressed a similar sentiment, honing in on his casts ability to connect with others in an honest, compelling way.

Theyre all really, really great, he said. Not just as performers, but as people who can share part of their experience and use that to connect with someone. I was impressed from the moment we started doing that on the pilot And thats not something that you can necessarily teach. I think it just has to do with who they are and how theyve come to where they are.

Thats a different skill set than whats demanded by Drag Race, a show that already demands a lot of its contestants as Season 6 champ Bianca del Rio put it, If you cant sing, dance, do comedy or sew, you dont belong on the show. But its a testament to the versatility of drag as an art form, which can lend itself to formats as varied as stand-up comedy, scripted television or music.

Also Read: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Celebrity Spinoff Gets Premiere Date at VH1 (Video)


Drag Race, meanwhile, is still betting on a more-is-more strategy, super-serving fans with a steady stream of content, including yearly installments of both the flagship series, the weekly aftershow Untucked and its All Stars spinoff. Not to mention several international editions and the steady stream of content offered through YouTube and the SVOD service WOW Presents Plus.

The franchise has been such a strong performer for VH1 that even ViacomCBS sister network Showtime is trying to get a piece of the action by picking up loaner seasons of All Stars, making the big bet that fans will be willing to shell out a monthly fee to keep up. A new four-episode limited series will see celebrities get drag makeovers from the shows roster of queens and compete in their own version of Drag Race for charity.

Much of the drag-oriented content, especially World of Wonders digital offerings, is driven by drag queens who first appeared on the franchise. Beyond All Stars and the mentors featured on Celebrity Drag Race, theres the recap show Pit Stop, which features rotating pairs of past contestants recounting the latest episode. Two of the shows most beloved finalists, Raja and Raven, host a Fashion Police-style Fashion Photo Ru-view. The fan-favorite catchphrase UNHhhh has become so popular that Season 7s Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova have managed to establish themselves as a comedy duo now courted by the likes of Vice and Netflix.

Drag Race has had no shortage of new talent (casting is already underway for the next season), but what becomes of the franchises nonstop expansion when the people it relies on to anchor that content have more options than ever?

Thus far, the all-in approach has paid off, pulling in strong ratings for VH1 and a boatload of Emmy nominations along the way. But having more eyes on the franchise is not without risks. The currently airing 12th season of Drag Race became embroiled in a misconduct scandal earlier this year when one of the contestants admitted to posing as a casting director and coercing men into recording themselves in sexually compromising positions under the false pretense of an audition.

The contestant, Sherry Pie, was quickly disqualified from the competition and the season the majority of which was filmed well before the misconduct came to light was apparently re-edited to minimize her screen time.

Also Read: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Contestant Disqualified After Catfishing Accusations

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Meet The Queens Event - Feb. 26, 2020

Sherry Pie (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Thats one of the biggest adjustments queens have had to make as drag has skyrocketed in popularity and at a time when even minor public figures face ever-greater scrutiny. Now as a drag queen, you have to be careful about what you say, said Eureka OHara, a runner-up on Drag Race Season 10. You have to be mindful about your humor. People hold drag queens more accountable now than they ever used to as we grow as a culture, drag has to evolve.

But what does that evolution look like when corporate interests come into play? Are the days of Divines shock-and-awe tactics best left in the past? Maybe not.

It is ever-changing, because thats just how art works. People are always thinking of ways to make it new and different, OHara said. But that rebellious, sty part, that part you kind of have to hate but you also kinda love because only drag could make it interesting? Thats kind of the point. Upending your societal standards and how you think youre supposed to conduct yourself. Thats what drag is all about.

Set of RuPauls Drag Race (Photo: VH1)

Read original story RuPauls Drag Race Spawns a Host of Spinoffs and Imitators, But Is the Runaway Big Enough? At TheWrap

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RuPauls Drag Race Spawns a Host of Spinoffs and Imitators, But Is the Runaway Big Enough? - Yahoo Entertainment

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

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16 Coach-Approved Tips For Getting Rid Of Negative Thought Patterns – Forbes

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People from all walks of life can sometimes experience negative thoughts. Having these thoughts from time to time is normal, but when their frequency becomes overbearing, you need to do something to stop them from affecting your work and life permanently.

Psychologically, you are a lot more productive when you remove your focus from negative aspects of your life. Self-doubt and feelings of loss and hopelessness can be detrimental to your productivity and your happiness. To help, 16 professionals from Forbes Coaches Council explore different approaches to overcoming negative thinking and getting back on track mentally.

Forbes Coaches Council members offer strategies for overcoming negative thought patterns.

1. Use Adversity To Accelerate Growth

Our thoughts are under attack, and learning how to use adversity to accelerate growth is the key to developing and protecting new levels of confidence. Viktor E. Frankl said that in between stimulus and response is the most powerful human freedomthe power to choose. Stop asking why this happened to you. Start asking what you contribute to make this happen. Correct the errors of the past. The choice is yours. - Colby B. Jubenville, PhD,

2. Become Aware Of How The Brain Works

The amygdala, the survival part of the brain, looks for potential danger six times a secondthat's 21,600 times an hour! That's the scientific reason why we have negative thoughts. Becoming aware of our negative thoughts and how the brain works is the first step to change any negative thought patterns. The second step is to be willing to interrupt the negative thought as soon as we become aware of it. - Shiny Burcu Unsal, Academy of Neuro-Shine Technology

3. Practice Self-Compassion

Based on repetitive responses to stimuli, neural pathways are created in our brain and can become automatic responses or habitspositive or negative. To create a new habit, a new pathway needs to be created through repetition. As we create this new habit we may stumble, but instead of giving up we can choose to treat ourselves with compassion, understanding that in time we'll have created a new habit. - Elizabeth Semion, Elizabeth Semion & Associates

4. Keep A Journal

Track the internal voice and its "work" in your head. Write down what it says to you in a journal. Try to be more mindful of its auditive qualities. Is it a man or a woman's voice? Is it someone you knew or know and you internalized the voice? Is it you talking to yourself? Once you begin to humanize the voice and journal regularly what it says to you, it will lose its power over you. - Mickey A. Feher, The MANTORSHIFT Initiative

5. Defy Your Wiring

At any given time there are both positive and negative things happening, but we are wired to pick up on the negative for survival. However, we can choose what we give our attention to. Have you ever bought a new car and then noticed the same car everywhere? They were always there, just not on your radar. What positive things are you missing? Change your focus and you will break negative patterns. - Cindy Barber, The Dash Group

6. Meditate Every Day

In a world full of negative information overload, the daily practice of meditation and other forms of age-old wisdom that have stood the test of time are key. Why so effective? For instance, meditation can not only calm, center and provide you with clarity to live a balanced and full life, but it can also be used as an inspirational growth tool for your friends, clients and all people you come into contact with. - Jon Michail, Image Group International

7. Find New Evidence

Negative thought patterns only work because you find evidence to prove them to be true. For example, "I'm no good at presenting" becomes true when you fumble with the clicker and mess up your slides. To shift your thought patterns then, you need to find new evidence to support a new belief. So "I'm good at presenting" becomes true when your colleague compliments your introduction. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy

8. Fight Negativity Bias

Our brains are wired to focus more on negative thoughts than positive ones. This is a result of a phenomenon called negativity bias. To overcome this problem, start by recognizing specific patterns that frequently arise which result in negativity, and replace them with new ones. Create a positive work environment and avoid overanalyzing or obsessing about things that are out of your control. - G. Riley Mills, Pinnacle Performance Company

9. Know Your ABCs

Use the ABC tool. Identify the Adversity and then your Beliefs about the adversity. For C, or Consequence, identify the actions that take place from our belief. D is for Dispute, Distance and Distract. Dispute by asking what the evidence for the belief is. Distance and distract by turning your direction elsewhere. E, or Energize, by asking yourself how it felt to dispute your negative thoughts. - Vanita Bellen, True North Coaching and Consulting

10. Practice Weekly Positive Focus

At the end of every week, make a list of ten things that happened positively in your week. Document these things and keep them in a running journal. Every month, quarter and year, review your weekly list and consider what you have learned. You will soon learn that you are able to find the positive in negative situationsmaking lemons out of lemonade. - John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises

11. Reprogram Thoughts With Coaching

Negativity is an emotion. E-motion is "energy in motion." Negative energy is low and prevents progress. Positive energy is high and increases happiness and satisfaction. Coaching can help reprogram thoughts of gratitude and abundance. Negativity comes from not achieving or receiving. Coaching can unlock solutions. I also recommend DISC for exploring behavior and tips to overcome a negative mindset. - Denise Russo, SAP

12. Ignore The ANTs

Rid yourself of automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) first by being mindful of when you have them. Do something physically to wake yourself upsnap a rubber band on your wrist, change your seated position, take a breath. Then, rationally challenge your thought by asking yourself, where is this coming from? Is it true? If it is true, what can I do to feel better? And, if it's untrue, come up with a new thought to replace. - Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC

13. Practice The Art Of Review And Renew

The first and last five minutes of every day have power for the rest of the day. I challenge leaders to spend the first five minutes of the day thinking about the five things they are excited about that day while making the statement "this is the day that has been made and I will rejoice in it." That evening, they are to repeat the same practice while reviewing the five best things from the day. - Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience

14. Remember You Are Not Your Thoughts

Research shows that we can work on our identification with thoughts and take a distance from theme.g. by walking around in the room while saying "I cannot walk in the room." Some experiments have shown that people can endure touching very high temperatures by applying strategies to distance thoughts. Catch your negative thought, replace it with a constructive thought and repeat the new thought. - Katharina Schmidt, Inspiration & Discipline

15. Get To The Root Of Your Emotion

Feelings arise because we keep thinking a specific thought that then triggers a positive or negative emotion. To let go of negative feelings, we must know why we feel that way. We must feel into it, staying with it with a curiosity born out of compassion. "What am I feeling right now?" is how to start. "What do I need right now?" is how to resolve it. Sometimes, all we need is to listen in. - Anne Beaulieu, Walking Inside Resources Inc.

16. Be Open To Seeing A Therapist

While there is often a negative social stigma attached to seeking out qualified mental health professionals, there is absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on our own mental well-being. The truth is, most of us will greatly benefit from seeing a therapist (at least occasionally), which can help us develop healthy coping mechanisms and learn to recognize and combat our negative thought patterns. - Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

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16 Coach-Approved Tips For Getting Rid Of Negative Thought Patterns - Forbes

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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

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Former Jackson head coach Ben Pack takes over Manchester football program –

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Jackson High School coach Ben Pack instructs his team during the first day of football practice for the season on Monday morning at Dungy Field. (MLive file photo/J. Scott Park).MLive Media Group

JACKSON, MI A familiar face to many local football fans will be returning to Jackson-area sidelines this fall.

Ben Pack, a longtime head coach at Jackson High and Parma Western high schools, will be taking over the Manchester High School football program. Pack last coached in 2012, when he served as an interim coach for the Vikings.

Its an exciting opportunity, Pack said of his new role at Manchester. Manchester has all the ingredients right there to be successful. Its an outstanding community, theyve got great facilities, theyve got a tremendous tradition in their football program and all their athletic programs across the board. You look at all their sports, whether its boys or girls sports, and you see the amount of pride the community has for its athletic teams and that is something that really drew me in.

Pack grew up in Jackson, where he graduated from Jackson High School in 1976. He lettered in football, wrestling and track for the Vikings and went on to attend Jackson Community College and Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelors and a masters degree in education from Central Michigan.

He started his coaching career as a freshman assistant coach at Jackson High while attending Jackson Community College and helped coach at Mount Pleasant High School while attending Central Michigan. After graduating, Pack was hired as a teacher at Parma Western High School, where he also doubled as an assistant coach for the football, wrestling and track programs.

Pack took over as the head varsity football coach at Western in 1983 and led the Panthers to back-to-back winning seasons in 1985-86. A year later, Pack returned home to the Vikings, where he took the varsity head coaching job for the football program.

Jackson head coach Ben Pack cheers on his team during halftime in the Vikings 20-16 loss to Holt Friday evening at Withington Stadium. (MLive file photo/J. Scott Park)JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT

The Vikings enjoyed some groundbreaking success under Pack during his 16 years at the helm, as Jackson made its first playoff appearance in school history in 1999 and put together three straight winning seasons from 1998-2000. Pack coached 20 All-State players while at Jackson High and saw 60 of his players advance to play college football and finished with 59 wins during his time at the school.

Pack stepped down from his position at Jackson High in 2002 to take an administrative job within the district but the call to coaching brought him back a year later when he took a job as the running backs coach at Albion College.

He was part of the staff when the Britons won the 2005 MIAA championship and qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs. In 2007, Pack stepped down from that position to focus on his role as an assistant superintendent in the school district. Even during his hiatus from coaching, Pack knew he would eventually be back.

Honestly, I really never got out of coaching, he said. There hasnt been a day thats gone by that I havent worked on something football-related. I didnt have the daily operational stuff to worry about since I wasnt actively in coaching, but Ive spent numerous hours doing extensive studies on position techniques, studying film, reaffirming my philosophies about offense, defense and special teams and then putting all of that information in PowerPoint presentations.

Now I can just go from place to place and bring all that information with me on a thumb drive and plug it in wherever I am and have access to that library of information. So, I never really got out of coaching. Ive always had a passion for it and just because I was technically retired from it doesnt mean I wasnt still involved. They always say you find new hobbies when you retire, but Ive never really been into climbing mountains, sailing around the world or anything like that.

Ive always just wanted to coach high school football.

Jackson High football player Russell Davis and football coach Ben Pack demonstrate some line moves during practice on Monday. (MLive file photo/Marcia Butterfield)CITIZEN PATRIOT

Pack served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Parma Western football program for the past two seasons before taking over at Manchester. The opportunity to be a teacher on the gridiron again was something he just couldnt pass up.

Ive always loved coaching high school football, he said. I enjoy working with the kids and establishing that bond with them. This is a very important stage in anyones life and to have the opportunity to shape these young men into future leaders and members of the community is something I am really passionate about.

The Flying Dutchmen qualified for the playoffs last season at 5-4 but fell to Cascades Conference champion Grass Lake 30-22 in the district opener. Before a pair of 4-5 seasons in 2017-18, Manchester recorded 14 straight winning seasons. Pack believes that kind of tradition will help get the ball rolling in Year 1.

Were going to seize everything that theyve been successful with in the past and try and capitalize on that and just work hard and get our feet underneath ourselves as quickly as possible, he said. Manchester has always been a historically successful program, and I think every player who comes through here expects to win and that kind of mentality will be a huge benefit to us as we try and put this all together.

The process of installing his new system and learning about the players in his program grows increasingly difficult with each passing day that the Flying Dutchmen arent allowed to participate in offseason workouts. For Pack, the most difficult opponent hell face this year is the clock.

It definitely doesnt make things easy for me, he said. Unfortunately, theres not much we can do as a team right now, so we just have to trust that players are putting in the work individually to come into fall practice as prepared as possible both physically and mentally.

From there, well have to put together a crash course and kind of figure things out on the fly.


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April 25th, 2020 at 5:47 am

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Where are travelers going on vacation this summer? – Quartz

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On July 24, 2019, after years of prosperity and growth, global aviation hit a new milestone: In a one-day record, more than 225,000 flights criss-crossed the world, as summer vacationers and business travelers journeyed from one corner of the globe to the next.

What a difference a year makes. At the time of writing, less than half as many flights111,494are scheduled for the same date in 2020, according to global travel data provider OAG. Four months into the Covid-19 crisis, the world now faces travel restrictions, widespread job losses, and the beginning of what is already being described as one of the most biting recessions in modern history.

Altogether, it means your longed-for summer vacation probably isnt going to happen. To begin with, international travel is virtually impossible: The US state department has advised American citizens to avoid traveling overseas, while countries such as New Zealand and Japan have indefinitely closed their borders to non-citizens. All over the world, big events that draw hordes of visitors have mostly been cancelled or postponed, including the Tokyo Olympics, Edinburghs comedy festival, and the Kentucky Derby, among many others.

Even within the US, travelers are unlikely to want to venture to formerly popular big cities, many of which have been ravaged by the coronavirus. NYC is clearly the hardest hit in the US [by Covid-19] by a meaningful multiple, said David Katz, an analyst with Jefferies. Itll be obviously harder for people to want to travel and stay here.

With a return to normal still as much as three to six months off, according to estimates from carriers such as American Airlines, its still far too early to pick winners. But a picture of this summers preferred travel destinations is starting to emerge: accessible by car, not too close to other people, and preferably easy on the wallet.

The packed beaches of Jacksonville, Florida, say it all: People are desperate to get out of their homes. Weeks into the USs nationwide lockdown, Google searches for when can I travel again continue to rise. People have been cooped up, and, in the US as well as in Europe, they consider vacations to be a right rather than a privilege, said Katz. Vacation travel is therefore likely to resume much earlier than business travel: That happens first.

What travel looks like in the short-term will depend a lot on whats allowed and the depth of the economic crisis. If past recessions serve as any guide, cash-strapped vacationers will instead load up their cars and go to places they can reach on their own steam. In a report to investors, Wolfe Research analyst Jared Shojaian suggested the industrys recovery might resemble the months following 9/11. Once the economy begins to re-open, we believe drive travel will outperform air travel, domestic will outperform international travel, and leisure spending will outperform business spending, he wrote.

For airlines, the storm will continue long after the US economy begins to crank back into gear. In a note published April 13, Cowen analysts Conor Cunningham and Helane Becker suggested that a return to work might not mean immediate return to the air. Throughout April and May, with most of the US in lockdown, airlines will continue to see falls in revenue of more than 90%, they estimate. June and July will be only somewhat easier.

The destinations of choice, therefore, will be those that can be reached within a days drive, and planned on the fly. Popular options currently include national parks around the US, according to data from Google, as well as Massachusetts Cape Cod and the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, both of which can are close to major US metropolitan areas. The small town of Coroga, New York, has already seen an influx of visitors from downstate. Speaking to the local Daily Gazette, Scott Horton, the towns supervisor, said many summer visitors had showed up far ahead of their usual schedule. Its a natural progression, happens every year, but this year its happening about two months early, he said.

Online travel companies are taking note of these changes. Having slashed the marketing expenses which ordinarily make up between 35% and 50% of total revenue, companies such as Booking and Expedia are pushing remaining budget toward promoting social distancing-friendly vacations in remote locations, in a bid to profit from Google searches for family camping trips over terms like hotel in Paris or flight to London.

Expedia is currently featuring travel to Banff National Park in Canada, with its pristine wilderness a particular selling point. In a recent blog post, meanwhile, competitor compiled a list of US campsites, with an eye to travelers gearing up for the great outdoors.

What kind of accommodation travelers choose to stay at may also be different. In the wake of 9/11, cheaper hotels were far less hit than their luxury counterparts, said Dan Wasiolek, an analyst at Morningstar.During that period, when maybe travelers were a little bit scared to travel and had less money in their pockets, many preferred near-home vacations compared to international travel.

Already, some of these hotels are starting to gain and have retained a bit of momentum, said Katz. Talking to operators, they think that people may be quarantining themselves in less expensive hotels. Holiday Inns in places such as Fort Wayne, Indiana, are offering special long-term rates to first responders, with a flat fee of $299 for a weeks stay. Government contracts have helped others to make it through: Budget chain Motel 6 this week announced that it would be providing more than 5,000 rooms for homeless people in California.

Its a very different story at the other end of the scale. For luxury hotels, after more than a month of no business trips and conferences, profits have all but evaporated. Thousands of on-the-ground hotel employees have now been laid off or furloughed by hotel giants such as the Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt chains. Corporate staff cuts are likely to follow.

The second and third quarters of the year should be prime earning time for hotels: Last year, Hilton Worldwide Holdings earned 62% of its annual $886 million profit between April and September. This year, the main objective for it and its competitors will simply be surviving these paltry monthsand accruing as little debt as possible. In the immediate term, that means holding on to cash and reducing operations down to the barest of bones. If economic recovery resembles the wake of the 2008 recession, demand may not return to 2019 levels until 2023 at the earliest, said Wasiolek.

Airbnb and other hotel-alternatives, meanwhile, are wading through uncharted territory. In its 12 years of operating, Airbnb has become a superpower in the vacation business, with quarterly revenue of over $1 billion in late 2019. But it has recently dipped out of profitability: Coronavirus, its first real test, comes at an inopportune moment. In March, bookings were down year-on-year all over the world: 95% in Asia, 75% in Europethe companys biggest marketand 50% in the US, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

So far, it has followed the tactics of others in the sector, including promoting remote locations, cutting its $800 million marketing budget, and freezing hiring. Those changes have also involved a pivot to longer-term accommodation: Stays of a month or more (Make Airbnb your home) are now a homepage mainstay, with an eye on customers in busy cities desperate for a way out. Ordinarily popular city destinations such as Austin or New Orleans have been relegated to the very bottom of the page. As a replacement for in-person experiences, the company is also pushing online alternatives such as Meditative Yoga and Slow Life Coaching with an Italy-based host.

But Airbnb and its competitors may not be well-placed to survive a longer down-turn in demand. Their primary role was to satisfy excess demand during periods of strong compression, said Katz, in markets where theres a citywide convention, markets where the hotels are really expensive. With what we have now, where demand is curtailing dramatically, its hard to imagine that entities like that can succeed.

Operators are holding faith in the notion that now may in fact be a better time to promote private rentals than hotels. What were going through is unprecedented, said Stephen Haskell, the general manager of competitor OneFineStay. People who dont want to stay in a hotel because of social distancing are booking private homes. We dont want to say were actively capitalizing on this, but it is happening.

Even hoping for a more subdued summer vacation may be optimistic. Speaking to CNBC, Barry Diller, chairman of the Expedia Group, predicted normal activity would not return until the final quarter of 2020. Given airlines estimates of a three-to-six month crisis, we have enough data points to believe that thats a base case, said Wasiolek. That kind of indicates that summer vacations arent happening.

With such sparse offering on the immediate horizon, some passengers are looking beyond the summer: In an email to Quartz, short-term property management platform Guesty reported rising bookings for fall and winter vacations, particularly around Thanksgiving and the December holidays. The average stay for these bookings was nine days, compared to a pre-pandemic average of 4.5 days, with prospective travelers looking to use their saved up vacation days.

But whether the industrys travails end with the summer depends a lot on the success of current measures, some of which are being lifted against the advice of public health experts. In a Morgan Stanley report published in early April, researchers warned of a possible second wave over December and January, wiping out another peak period for the travel sector.

Until a vaccine is in hand, nothing is certain, said Katz: Theres little more than hope at this point, which we know is not a plan.

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Where are travelers going on vacation this summer? - Quartz

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Former Billings West softball coach on disappointment: ‘Make the best of what happens’ – Billings Gazette

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Former Billings West softball coach Ed Kriskovich recalled the 1996 state softball tournament being rained out in a recent interview. Kriskovich feels the right decision was made to cancel this year's spring sports season due to the new coronavirus.

BILLINGS Ed Kriskovich remembers the highs and the lows from the 1996 high school softball season.

The retired Billings West coach, who led the Golden Bears to three state titles and over 500 victories in his career, also remembers life lessons learned during that season.

While its hard to compare 1996 to 2020, when the Montana High School spring sports season was canceled on Wednesday due to the novel coronavirus and in-school study was shut down to limit the spread of COVID-19, there may be some similarities in human feelings and wisdom to be gained.

In 1996, the Class AA and A state softball tournaments to be played at Stewart Park in Billings were rained out. On Thursday, steady rain had led to a postponement.

By Saturday, despite an all-out effort to prepare fields, Mother Nature won out. At one point, workers had three fields ready to play, but it started to drizzle again.

If the tournament had any chance to continue, games would have to be played well into the night. However, the playable fields two in the Heights and one at Stewart Park didnt have lights.

Budgetary concerns came into play as teams would have to spend another night in a hotel, and the weather forecast also was a factor. Graduations and other functions were also upcoming.

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Former Billings West softball coach on disappointment: 'Make the best of what happens' - Billings Gazette

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