My boys used to play football and I am not one of those parents that coddled them after games and kissed their scrapes. I always probed them to see what they learned by their action whether good or bad. Once my son and I discussed a game that they lost and he told me that the coach yelled at them for over an hour. I know some parents would have called that coach and read him the riot act. Thankfully, I know THAT is a big mistake….so I thought about it and then asked him…well what do you think about that? He shocked me…he said…Ma, Coach was right. He said some of us were so busy chanting with the cheerleaders and pumping up the crowd that we didn’t listen to him and were confused on plays. Then he took a piece of paper and began drawing plays and showing me what they should have done versus what they did. I had no clue what he was talking about at this point but he was so excited to know WHAT to do and what didn’t work. At 13 years old, he knew how to take, process and understand criticism without OFFENSE. That lesson was priceless.
I told my son that cheerleaders are not there for YOU. They are there for the crowd….God love em, I was one- but they are NOT in the game. Their job is to stand on the sidelines and keep other people on the sidelines engaged in your game. Coaches may not be as pretty and they have no pon poms, nor will they tell you how cute you are after the game, but they are the ones with the wisdom. While everyone is cheering, and yelling and chanting…coaches are watching, writing, instructing, developing, noticing and sometimes praying that you do what he knows you can do. That’s why after a winning game or season..no matter what players thank COACHES (after their mama, that is:) not cheerleaders. It’s the coaches that are truly in the trenches designing victory.
I learned a valuable lesson yesterday..well actually it just confirmed something I already knew. There is a MAJOR difference between cheerleaders and coaches. I spoke with someone yesterday about some angst I was experiencing and some career moves that I was looking to take within my current position. Thankfully she didn’t coddle my wounds or tell me how awesome I was…she came at me with both barrels. I loved it! 1. She was right 2. I trusted her opinion 3. She trusted me enough to know that I was mature enough to handle it without offense and 4. She didn’t use any cutesy techniques to tell me. She just laid it out. All the way home I turned over what she said and got myself together, I prayed and now I know WHAT to do. Had she wasted my time with compliments, I might feel mushy and loved…but I wouldn’t be challenged or helped. I’ll take the latter. I want to grow. Don’t sandwich truth between two pon poms and a cartwheel. Also, get you some people in your circle that can get in your business and coach you to the next level. If you need cheerleaders, encourage yourself. But to raise a stepfamily or run a multimillion dollar corporation…you are going to need people with a clipboard, a whistle and megaphone.
A clipboard, a whistle and megaphone?? We will talk about that in our next post…