|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10
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"BUILDING REAL SELF-ESTEEM" (ANSON DORRANCE PART THREE)
John Wooden Video Clip (58 sec.): Coach talks about keeping proper perspective and how that effects strength of character. A great lesson to share with a young person.
Anson Dorrance is the Woman's Soccer Coach at the University of North Carolina. In 42 years, his teams have won 22 National Championships. Coach Dorrance and Coach Wooden both believed that giving undeserved or excessive praise, even if the intentions are good, is counter productive to building real self-esteem in the team member and undermines the credibility of the coach.
In his fantastic 1996 book, Training Soccer Champions with Tim Nash, Coach Anson illustrates this idea with a hypothetical story including his wife M'Liss and their then four-year-old son Donavan:
"My wife and I come home from a long day at work and are very tired. Donovan, our four-and-a-half-year-old son, has just been eating in front of the television, and he decides to leave his dish there and go play in his bedroom. Well, the correct behavior is for M'Liss or me to go find Donovan and say, "Donovan, your dish is sitting there in the living room, and that's not where you leave it. When you are finished eating, you bring it to the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher."
Then there is a moment of confrontation with Donovan which is emotionally taxing — in a very small way. He will roll his eyes, object and say he'll do it later. Well, now you're getting a little angry because he's trying to blow you off, and it's not a very pleasant experience. It's not an issue about getting the dish in the dishwasher, but we are not in the mood for this type of dispute. And if we are the sort of parent, educator or coach who doesn't have the strength to constantly have these battles, we pick up the dish and put it in the dishwasher.
Rather than confront the issue of strict parenting and having high standards, we go the route of grabbing the dish, throwing it in the dishwasher and ignoring Donovan. And Donovan grows up being the self-indulgent, spoiled individual that has never had to do anything for himself because his parents have done things for him all his life".
Today's parents who attempt to "pave the way" for their children's success should consider one of Coach Wooden's favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln: "The worst thing you can do for those you love is to do the things they could and should do for themselves."
Coach Anson concluded:
"Sometimes people have a misconstrued understanding of how to build self-esteem. The parent or teacher wants to create self-esteem, so they end up praising students or children for things that aren't praise-worthy. It's a hollow kind of praise. We end up developing self-indulgent kids and students that don't have any standards, and we develop parents and teachers that don't have real respect."
Who puts the dishes in your dishwasher?
Yours in Coaching,
A Toast to Happiness
To happiness I raise my glass,
Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)
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