Showing posts with label Consequences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Consequences. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Professional Football Player" Is an Oxymoron in Some Cases

I’m a big fan of college sports, especially college basketball. I only watch professional sports on occasion. After what I’ve seen recently, I’m very glad that’s the case.

In one recent NFL game, a receiver caught a pass near the sideline of the opposing team. Afterwards, he tossed the football at one of the assistant coaches and then proceeded to make taunting gestures at him.

In another game, a player caught the football in the end zone and scored a touchdown. He was standing when he made the catch, but afterwards he dramatically fell on his back, then jumped up and started beating his chest and prancing around.

In both cases, the officials threw penalty flags. But the 10- or 15-yard penalties seemed minor consequences compared to the disregard shown to the other team and the fans.

Other times players even threw punches at each other. Some of these resulted in penalties but others did not.

I found myself asking, “Why do the coaches tolerate this kind of behavior? Why don’t they make these players sit out the rest of the game…at a MINIMUM?”

Players who lack self-control and composure need to be held accountable for their actions. Period. If they’re allowed to act this way on the field, what else might they do?

I learned something from the business world that applies to sports teams as well: The standard is set by the lowest-performing person on the team. 

In sports, when someone gets away with showing off or using violence, the other players take note of that. If no serious consequences occur, then others may do something even more outrageous to see just how far they can go.

Why I object to players exhibiting such unprofessional behavior... 

1 - They forget they’re part of a team.

The flagrant disregard for the impact their actions might have on their team shows lack of respect and consideration. They’re concerned only about what feels good to them at that moment. I suspect this narcissistic approach is not limited to the football field.

2 - They set a poor example for young viewers.

People who play professional sports have a responsibility to their fans. Whether they want to be or not, they serve as role models for those who watch their games. Kids in particular are paying close attention to what they say and do…and what happens (or doesn’t happen) as a result.

I would like to see more team owners and coaches take a stronger stand against the actions of self-centered players who disregard the greater good in favor of their own wants and desires.

The truly outstanding coaches understand that they are not just trying to win games. They will win more games when they recognize they have a responsibility to develop human beings who strive for excellence and work hard to be a positive influence in the world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Consequences Need to Follow Irresponsible Behavior

I was shaking my head as I left the doctor’s office today. And it wasn’t because of anything he did.

It was what one of the staff told me about her son, who graduated from college last May.

“John” has been unemployed and living at home since then. He makes no effort to get a job. Instead, he plays video games all day and stays in his room when his mother comes home for lunch because he doesn’t want to listen to her complain about his lifestyle. She and her husband are making car and insurance payments for his car in addition to all his living expenses. She said he griped a few days ago when she asked him to clean his bathroom.

Unbelievable, right?

That’s what I thought, anyway, and I told her so. I don’t usually offer unsolicited input, but this seems like an explosion waiting to happen. I felt an obligation to speak up.

Here are just a couple of the observations I shared.
"John has no reason to change his behavior because you and his father aren’t requiring him to experience any discomfort or consequences for his actions. You’re enabling him to continue with his current lifestyle." 
"He may be addicted to video games. If that’s the case, consider counseling to figure out the best course of action and how you and your husband can support each other."
She seemed to be listening, yet her responses suggested that she was stuck in the details of the problem, which prevented her from considering another perspective. For instance, when I pointed out that trying to get him to clean the bathroom was only touching the tip of the problem, she honestly didn’t “get” it.

This incident reminded me of the importance – for parents, leaders, teachers and coaches – of teaching others about personal responsibility…and that there are consequences for irresponsible behavior. Wishing, hoping, and worrying will not result in someone else altering his or her behavior.

Instead, clear communication of what’s expected up-front is essential, as well as what will happen if those expectations are not met.

As parents, we want to think the best of our children. We want to trust them to make good decisions and think through the potential effects of their actions. But it’s OUR responsibility as parents to teach them how to do this. It doesn’t happen automatically.

We must take an active role in guiding and directing young people to grow into fully-functioning adults, or we will be sending them into the world ill-equipped to deal with life and all its challenges.

Coincidentally, my business partner, Denny Coates, made a similar post earlier this week and shares some very important insights for parents: Why Teens Need Help - The Consequences of Poor Judgment.