On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS September 22, 2014 # 507 Up next…”Unfulfilled Expectations”
After further review…Did anyone ever let you down? Your kids? Your spouse/partner? Your employee? Has the reverse ever occurred? Can you honestly say that you always lived-up to the expectations of others? Current issues in today’s sports world have captured the attention of our nation’s media. The swirl of instant headlines and commentary has created a rush to judgment. But while each of us is entitled to an opinion, only those granted the responsibility have the right to make those decisions.
Let’s take the disciplining of our children as an example. Discipline: “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience”. Who of us has the right to tell other parents how and by what means they must – or must not – teach or discipline their children? Rules and codes are observed differently among families, societies or cultures. That being said:
Corporal punishment that veers into violence should never be acceptable or justifiable, but the matter of degree can be difficult to assess. I was raised by parents and nuns who subscribed to the notion that sparing the rod might spoil the child. The nuns ruler-swatted me on the hands when I misbehaved – unfulfilled expectations? Now, recall your upbringing and tell me you don’t, in some way, model your parents’ and/or teachers’ methodologies? Good, bad, right, or wrong!
The world is full of psychology experts. They never seem to fail to weigh in on the controversial stories-of-the-moment. Many of those same folks watch programs that feature violence; they love racecar crashes; and graphic slow-mo footage of athletes colliding at full speed – even better with the replays. It is nonsensical for such pseudo experts to whine about “justice” in situations in which they play no part. Better that we concentrate on solutions to prevent domestic violence and child abuse in the future — it’s our best option.
Professional sports leagues require rookies to attend 3-4 day symposiums emphasizing social and professional responsibilities. Topics include decision making, mental and physical health, substance abuse, respect for others and for the game, and how to maintain positive relationships. “Holding one’s self to a higher standard” is expected of every professional athlete. A noble phrase, but easily forgotten when put to the test. Behavioral change can be done, but it’s not a simple one.
Many professional athletes may need to make adjustments in their learned behaviors to comply with the responsibilities set before them. Some may feel too proud to do so or to ask for help. It is important we encourage others to ask for help when they need it. It’s one of life’s most valuable tools.
Will you make needed personal adjustments to comply with standards set before you?
Jim’s book “101 Best of TunneySide of Sports” has practical messages about personal responsibility.