Can encouragement be unkind or unsympathetic? Can you get that team member to play better by cussing and or screaming? And if so, is this really the way we want our children to learn to work hard in order to reach their goal? Whatever their goal is I believe that the captain of the basketball team that I was watching meant no harm, actually after a huge win the captain praised her teammates, she just wanted to get them to the next level and they did. I have to entertain the thought that there are other ways to inspire and compel your teammates, students, children and anyone else, without being unkind.
As parents we should always remember that our behavior, words and tone of voice are teaching our children and guiding them in the way we want them to go.
To say that it is alright to scream, cuss or behave in a negative way is never a positive. Yes, you might get the results you were seeking…. but at what cost? Is winning more important than the behavior you are teaching our youth to exhibit?
Imagine that child growing up thinking that the only way to win is by exhibiting the behavior they’ve always seen their coach and parent exhibit. They have now become a teenager or adult that wonders why their teammates, co-workers, boss, friends and love ones shy away whenever possible. Those of us that are in roles of mentoring, nurturing, guiding and teaching must remember that their eyes and ears are watching and listening. If we exhibit negative behavior, we are teaching negative behavior. This is a huge disservice to our children.
Yes, that superstar on the basketball team got her teammates to the next level in the game. The win was the immediate result, but what about the long-term affect? Is it better to win the game and lose in life or to lose the game and win in life? I am a firm believer that it takes great passion to be successful in life. However, it is important that we don’t allow our passion to get out of control. We must teach our young athletes’ balance.