For motivational speaker Tay Fisher, the word “game” means more than just athletics; it’s about life. And when he travels to schools with an anti-bullying message, he emphasizes to students that they are all on one team.
“Just because an individual doesn’t play a sport, doesn’t mean the person next to them isn’t their teammate,” said Fisher. “I tell students their school is their team and their goal is to win games. Winning games in a school setting means passing exams, graduating from middle school and eventually high school. And most of all, winning is about being kind and caring to the person next to you.”
Tay Fisher paid a visit to Schuylerville Middle School with his anti-bullying program that uses the T-A-Y model. T stands for TALK, A stands for ASK QUESTIONS and Y stands for YOU. The program provides tips for teachers and students to help build a positive environment while preventing bullying from occurring in and out of school. Fisher keeps fun at the center of every one of his programs.
“As long as you have fun with them, they’ll not only remember the moment, but remember the message as well,” said Fisher. “The message is powerful, but the activities and interaction with the kids leaves them full of excitement.”
After playing sports his entire life, including four years at Siena College and as a basketball player/ ambassador for the Harlem Globetrotters for 10 years, Fisher knew his athletic career wouldn’t last forever. While running basketball programs and camp brought him great joy, he loved being a role model even more.
“That’s when I started to realize I had something special,” said Fisher.
Fisher now dedicates his time giving back to the next generation, leading motivational speaking engagements for elementary, middle, high school and college/universities. He connects with kids of all ages with his words, stories and experiences.
“I knew basketball would stop at some point,” said Fisher. “But my ability to give back will always be there.”
“Consistent anti-bullying education and messaging is so important,” added Schuylerville Middle School Principal, Katie Elsworth. “But people like Tay have the ability to reach kids in such an impactful way. Our students were so captivated, engaged and inspired by Tay’s visit, and it goes hand in hand with our continued positive school culture work.”
Fisher held three assemblies at the middle school, one for each grade level. He talked about how his future wasn’t always so bright and how he faced many obstacles on and off the court. But beyond his life story, Tay’s message emphasizes what matters most is kindness and motivating yourself to always be a better and more authentic person to the people around you.
“I’ve always told people that the most selfish thing I’ve ever done is to give,” said Fisher. “As long as I change one person’s life, I’ve made a difference. My time with the Globetrotters taught me so much, but it’s the off the court experiences that continue to be the most rewarding for me.”