Will Harris, former collegiate and professional athlete, is also a husband and father of four beautiful children. Now a personal fitness and athletic trainer, he is a believer in spirituality and self-improvement. He uses his company STATS Athletic Training & Leadership, STATS (S.uccessful T.endencies A.cquired T.hrough S.triving) as a motivational platform to equip boys and young men with the resources to thrive in the game of life. Harris says he believes in the “my brother’s keeper” principle, and is constantly striving to make a difference in his community by changing perceptions of black men.
How would you describe your fatherhood style?
I have an aggressive, hard, but very fair and loving culture. I love my children but at the same time … I wanna see what they got! Challenging them for application gives them ultimate confidence in themselves as they navigate the world.
From a father’s perspective, what books would you recommend kids read?
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley gives an in-depth look at the process he went through from negative to positive. He reinvented himself by tapping into his most important resource … the mind.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu gives strategic mental thoughts on how to tap into your mental space in order to see things more clearly. Ultimately, knowing your opponent as you know yourself enables you to create and become an unstoppable force.
Why is it important to expose children to education and valuable skills?
Exposing them will pique their interest and eventually spark the thought process. This way instead of you doing all the thinking … they begin to meet you half way. [It] also helps identify weak and strong points to help in their grooming.
Which fatherhood experiences have taught you the most about yourself?
All the experiences that I don’t have an automatic answer to. As fathers, we stay in protection mode but when life happens sometimes you don’t know how to make it okay. This allows me to really be transparent and vulnerable to them. Which shows them that even dad is human.
Why is it important to read every day?
I’m big on mental growth and the ability to always learn. Nothing gives you the chance to open up and explore other aspects of life [more] than reading. Besides, it keeps the brain sharp.
How important is keeping your word?
Your word is your bond. Create it strong and maintain it that way. Stay true to it and it will lead the way as being an integral part of your character.
Finish the sentence: Never give up on yourself because …
You owe it to yourself and the universe to use your true potential to make a difference in the world. Ultimately, using your journey to inspire someone else.
How does following your spiritual values help you in life?
Spirituality always keeps me centered and grounded serving as a foundation. [I’m] always striving to be productive and purposeful.