Monday, September 14, 2009

Jake's Thought for the Week

Each Monday I will be posting Jake's Thought for the Week which he sends out to all the parents of the players in his Kingdom Hoops program. Here it is for this week:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Yesterday I told many of our young players that the quickest way to gain confidence in any area of life is to come to the realization that one can overcome their failures and/or shortcomings. Once an individual has been pushed out of their comfort zone to a point of failure and then is allowed to overcome that failure through hard work and perseverance a sense of self-confidence will develop both on the basketball court and as leaders. I wanted to share a book excerpt that illustrates this point:

Excerpt: Coaching Your Kids To Be Leaders
By: Pat Willams, GM of the Orlando Magic

The essence of leadership is confidence. When a leader exudes boldness and confidence, the confidence of the entire team or organization soars. So our job as parents is to raise confident children. We must raise them to believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds on.

Mike Gannaway, chairman and CEO of Pillowtex, Inc. agreed: “Self-confidence is the first critical area of leadership. Confidence is contagious. If a leader is confident, it lifts the spirits and abilities of the entire organization or team. I’m grateful my parents first gave me the room to gain confidence in myself. The confidence I learned in the home became a foundation that other mentors in my life- my teachers, my first employer- could build on. Adults should encourage young people to gain confidence in themselves and to value the skills they have to do certain things well.”

Many times, we parents think we are being involved when we are actually being intrusive – and our intrusiveness gets in the way of building our kids’ confidence. Larry McCarthy, associate professor at the Stillman School of Business Management at Seton Hall University, said, “Parents can build confidence in young people by giving them responsibility – then letting them rise or fall on their own. Too many times I have seen parents get involved in their children’s activities to a point where they are not really needed or wanted. They are smothering and stifling their kids. Go away, Mom and Dad! Kids learn confidence by doing it themselves. I was born in Cork, Ireland, and I came from a culture and an era where parents allowed the volunteer scoutmaster to run the Boy Scouts; they allowed the volunteer coaches to run the basketball club or the rugby team. I am amazed by the involvement of American parents in everything their kids do. While it’s good that parents take an interest in their kids’ activities, I actually find it quite appalling and off-putting to have so many parents around everything their kids do, often intruding and taking over and preventing kids from developing their own skills and self-confidence. One of the best things parents can do to build their children’s confidence is to cut the apron strings and let kids sink or swim on their own."

Most kids have a great deal of inertia. In physics, inertia is defined as “the tendency of an object to remain at rest.” Objects – whether bricks or young people – tend to remain pretty much as they are unless an outside force acts on them. Our job as parents is to be the outside force that overcomes our kids’ inertia.

No great deeds were ever achieved inside a comfort zone. So as parents, we need to prod, encourage, nag, and shove our kids out of their comfort zones. We have to help them overcome their inertia so that they will gain the confidence and the spirit of adventure that all true leaders have.

Something to think about,
Jake Sullivan

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