The Spirit of Play

Kevin Carroll on Lessons From the Red Rubber Ball

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Happy New Year!

How incredibly blessed and fortunate for ALL of us, that my first Feature Article entering a brand new decade, happens to be written on the EPIC… Kevin Carroll!!

What an immense honour and a tremendous privilege to have showcased this spitfire of pure, unadulterated ‘Red Rubber Ball’ of energy on the Living Fearlessly with Lisa McDonald international radio/podcast show! Ending strong on the 2019 global radio calendar was as equally profound as it is to Beginning Anew on the follow up 2020 Thrive Global Feature Article Calendar! A double win-win or as Kevin himself would say…#GameON!

No differently than any sports time clock sounding its buzzer; signifying the start of game time – Kevin and myself dove in fast and furious right out of the radio gate at the top of the hour! Kevin’s life-story, backstory, success story and plethora of accolades (including his TEDx Talk) are everywhere to be found, uploaded, downloaded, viewed, listened to, played and shared out, therefore, my instinctual prerogative was to simply focus and marinate on the soul and essence of Kevin himself during our free-flowing, effortless, seamless, high-vibing, dynamically synergistic conversation! 

Nothing makes me happier as a radio show host, than when my guest and I instantly click and mutually unpack things swiftly and succinctly for the immediate benefit of the loyal global listeners and the podcast subscribers! THAT is what makes for a spectacular interview, which always guarantees substantive value and limitless impact being delivered and imparted to the collective. Sharing the wealth is what it is wholeheartedly all about, and of course…sharing the wealth lends true to shared resources, shared messaging, shared wisdom, shared inspiration, shared purpose and shared passion! Kevin Carroll exudes, embodies and exemplifies all of the above, and so much more!

When a child enters this world with every perceivable circumstance potentially working against them, in which to initially thrive or to flourish or to at least have a level playing field so as to navigate and maneuver the hurdles of life…this would for many ill-equipped children; mark the beginning of an end for the believability that anything viable, positive, healthy, or worthwhile – could realistically lie ahead in their wake. Like many other children who are born into familial dysfunction and whose parents battle drug addictions – these same children whose tender, innocent and impressionable lives lack stability, guidance, direction or safety – let alone the life-altering emotional residuals or the life-lingering repercussions…this could and often does; permanently debilitate and cause irreparable damage to the souls, hearts, and spirits of these said children, while also robbing them of the knowingness for how to still soar high and to rise above in life. 

In spite of this sadly having been the undeserving and gut wrenching start to Kevin’s childhood life…this ALL-TIME, WORLD-CLASS CHAMPION of a human being…said no to defeat…said no to quitting…said no to bitterness…said no to resentment…said no to victimology. Kevin could have easily dropped the ball on himself for the rest of his future life from that point on wards however, he did what every veteran athlete does when in the bottom of the fourth…he picked up that red rubber ball and bounced it hard enough and loud enough until it reverberated life back into his true childlike spirit. Kevin reclaimed himself, his love for this game we call life, and never stopped slam-dunking his way to victory! Mic Drop!

Kevin isn’t just another success story…Kevin Carroll is a walking, talking, breathing…MIRACLE! When one has a backstory similar to Kevin’s, and yet, still chooses to never give themselves permission to not still show up as the best, most improved version of themselves…then there is no excuse in the playbook for anyone else thinking they should get a free pass in life or believing they should be exempt from also rising and showing up (in my humble opinion). Instead of opting to go on a “I hate life” rampage – Kevin took his mad skills to the playground and tore it up with that red rubber ball! Kevin’s picture can be found under the word RESPECT in any thought leader, servant leader, influencer, legend, hero, change agent…ROLODEX!

As if conquering the emotionally and mentally ‘impossible’ – is not remarkable enough a feat in its own right…this powerhouse of an indomitable spirit took his playground, Red Rubber Ball shtick on the road to empower others to empower themselves. This man has infused life and belief back into the minds and hearts of countless others. JUST WOW!

Kevin…from the centre of my heart…thank you for being exactly as you are! Thank you for your tireless and immeasurable ways for how you continuously show up, give of yourself, roll up your sleeves, and contribute by paying it forward and being of service to the collective! Thank you for growing me as a human being! Immense love, respect and gratitude to you our friend! Keep Shining! My inner child celebrates the inner child in you!

On behalf of Kevin and myself, we wish to extend our wholehearted gratitude to each of you for kindly taking time out of your own hectic schedules so as to read this feature article, and for listening to our magical interview with one another via the enclosed podcast link, and for any additional contact you may wish to initiate with either or both of us outside of this phenomenal #ThriveGlobal Forum! We appreciate you!

P.S – When you reach out to Kevin Carroll…you might want to ask him, “What Play Is…” 

As the modern day Town Crier of community playgrounds – Kevin takes play very seriously! 

Uplifting You To Fear Less And To Live More! 

Be your own Hero. Be your own Shero. 
Be your own Leader. Be your own Best Friend! 
Love & Gratitude ~ Lisa
#Grateful #ThriveThursday #ThriveGlobal #LivingFearlessly


Kevin Carroll – Author, Speaker, Change Agent!

Raised by his grandparents in the greater Philadelphia area, Kevin spent endless hours at the neighbourhood playground where he found his “calling” – – a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of sport and play (aka his “red rubber ball”) plus his love of learning has led Kevin to becoming an author, a speaker and a social change agent.

Kevin is the author of four highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press, McGraw-Hill and A Kids Book About. He has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, Walt Disney, Target, Procter & Gamble, Columbia Sportswear, Mattel, the National Basketball Association, and many others.

Kevin has dedicated his life to advancing education, sports and play as a vehicle for social change and success. He was honored to address the United Nations as part of the UN Year of Sports Development and Peace in 2005, and is an ongoing advisor and active supporter for many global social innovation organizations. Kevin was named by SUCCESS magazine as one of 19 “SEERS – changing the world!”

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