Bryson Best: The Kid Knows Sports... And Education - Early Learning Nation

Bryson Best: The Kid Knows Sports… And Education

Editor’s Note: The Early Learning Nation Studio recently attended the 2023 National Black Child Development Institute’s annual conference in Charlotte, NC. We had rich and illuminating conversations with early learning researchers, policymakers, advocates and practitioners of all ages. The full collection of video conversations can be found here.

Fresh off his first book, Touchdown Time, Bryson Best took time to discuss his writing process, and how sports and education connect. As Bryson notes, the key to succeeding in either environment is the same: you have to put in the work.

Chris Riback: Bryson, thank you for coming by the studio.

Bryson Best: Thank you guys for having me.

Chris Riback: So I like sports. I would like to talk with a kid who likes sports. Do you know a kid who knows sports?

Bryson Best: Me.

Chris Riback: You. You’re that guy?

Bryson Best: Yes.

Chris Riback: Then you’re the one that I want to talk to. You are a youth speaker at this conference?

Bryson Best: Yes.

Chris Riback: What did you speak about or what are you speaking about?

Bryson Best: I was talking about my book, Touchdown Time, and I was talking about how I made it and the process to other people. I had about 20 people come to my conference and I gave them all books and it was a great thing. I had a giveaway.

Chris Riback: Wow.

Bryson Best: And I taught them some stuff, and I had a couple that want to become authors, which is great.

Chris Riback: So what is Touchdown Time? Tell me about the book.

Bryson Best: It’s about me, my brother, and my dad playing football in the backyard and that was kind of the inspiration for it and that’s what it’s about.

Chris Riback: Is there a lesson? What is touchdown time?

Bryson Best: Well, it’s about how … It has a lot of sight words in it, and one of the main parts is, how sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but you always have fun.

Chris Riback: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It’s about having fun. And is it also about giving it a try, that-

Bryson Best: Yes.

Chris Riback: … You might win, you might lose, but you put yourself out there.

Bryson Best: Yes, always try.

Chris Riback: Always try and you’re putting yourself out there. What was it about the process of creating the book, writing the book that you talked about?

Bryson Best: It was difficult and I told them it took about a year for me to make it. I wrote it during quarantine, so I had a lot more free time to work on it, but I had distractions, but I kept it a priority. So I just focused on it and I got it done.

Chris Riback: Now, we’re at an education conference. What do you like to study? What’s your favorite subject right now, at this point in your young life?

Bryson Best: My favorite subject’s probably science.

Chris Riback: Excellent. And what’s the importance of education for you? And maybe the way I’d want to hear about it from you, many of us have that one teacher or two teachers or three teachers who really have made a difference, help inspire us. Have you had that experience yet?

Bryson Best: Yes.

Chris Riback: Yes.

Bryson Best: And they’ve been both my languages and social studies teacher. I had a guy last year named Mr. Wallace. He always looked out for me. And this year it’s Ms. McNeil, my advisor and LSS teacher just like Mr. Wallace last year. And it’s made a big difference in my Country Day career.

Chris Riback: It can really help any of us, not just when we’re in school, but even later in life, we can think back to those teachers and hold them as inspiration. Are there any connections that you see between sports and learning? Are there lessons from sports that a kid like you can also apply to education or learning or anything like that?

Bryson Best: Yes, and you have to learn how to play the game. You have to look at the rule book. You have to figure out what to do. You have to learn about it before you play it, because you can’t just go play it, because if you just go play it, you’re not going to be that good. But you need to learn more about it before you start it. You have to try it, I mean, at least try it. Just do your best, forget the rest.

Chris Riback: And it sounds like you got to put in the work. No matter what you’re doing, you got to put in the work-

Bryson Best: You have to.

Chris Riback: … Am I hearing you correctly?

Bryson Best: Yes, you have to.

Chris Riback: Have to. What’s next for you? What are your next set of goals, Bryson?

Bryson Best: My next set of goals is to write my newest book that I think I’m going to write it about my grandfather or I’m going to write it about soccer. Because my grandfather passing away was a big part of my life and I had to push through that. So I feel like I would write an inspirational story about him.

Chris Riback: I think that would be very meaningful to him. And I think that just might inspire the rest of us as well.

Bryson Best: Yes.

Chris Riback: Bryson, thank you. Thank you for the writing that you do. Thanks for taking the time to come by here and talk with me.

Bryson Best: No problem. Thank you for having me.

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