I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good. Maybe you’re not the best, so you should work a little harder. ~ Jay Leno
Recently I got together with some of my old high school teammates for an alumni game, you know when we get together where we embellish stories, tell them with hyperbole and make up facts that can’t be fact-checked. And as we stood on the sidelines watching a group of guys who were a lot younger then the four of us we talked about how having a set of expectations, clearly laid out by our coaches and our parents made a huge impact, not just on the football field but in life.
As a youth coach today one of the things I find very different than just a few years ago when my own kids were playing, and for sure very different then when the four of us old guys played and that is kids are not told or held accountable to a set of expectations.
In this social media world of instant gratification, the kids are expecting immediate rewards supported by parents who want their kid to play, regardless of the stats. I know, I had this conversation recently with a parent.
One of the things I remember most about my playing days and former players of mine tell me they remember from me coaching them was laying out expectations. Here are some that I heard as a player, repeated as a coach or created for my kids, including my daughters.
ACT LIKE A CHAMPION * RESPOND TO ADVERSITY; DON’T REACT * WHATEVER IT TAKES * COMPETE
BE ON TIME BEING LATE MEANS EITHER IT IS NOT IMPORTANT TO YOU OR YOU CAN’T BE TRUSTED * BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMMATES * GET AFTER IT, ALL THE TIME *
EXECUTE, DO WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO, WHEN YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO IT. NOT ALMOST, ALL THE WAY. NOT MOST OF THE TIME, ALL OF THE TIME.
What if our youth had a set of expectations like the ones I mention here?