The myth of macho in male sports. Bullies & weaklings

The myth of macho in male sports. Bullies & weaklings

IN THIS ISSUE: 

SEX, LIES, AND THE MYTH OF MACHO - Silly me! I thought that in today’s more politically correct world a sport was a sport and reaching a certain level of excellence in your game made you a winner, regardless of what sport you played. Sure, when I was an athlete there were the “true” sports of football, basketball and baseball. If you didn’t play those three then you were somehow considered to be an inferior athlete. You were a lesser man, like myself, and the rest of my fellow wimps, faggots and sissies of the sporting world. After all, that is what they used to call us! However these prehistoric, idiotic and largely homophobic beliefs were a product of the 60’s, a much less civilized time, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and Neanderthals coached the “big 3.” But alas, alack! This Neanderthal mentality is alive and well on middle school and high school fields and courts across the country. Talented football, basketball and baseball players are walking around feeling smug and superior to the rest of us “pansies” who participate in tennis, swimming, gymnastics, cross country, cycling, golf or you name it! Even in some of these “lesser” sports the better athletes turn on their weaker counterparts and put them down. “Tis better to be the put’er downer than the put’er downee.”  All these “manly” athletes take it upon themselves to point out their superiority by picking on, ridiculing and beating up their less deserving classmates. In this issue we will begin to explore the wonderful world of boys’ sports and its’ bizarre pecking order to see if we can determine just who the “real” pansy is here. 

ATHLETE’S LOCKER - “He’s a real BIG man on campus” 
PARENT’S CORNER - “Raising a strong, sensitive, appropriate male athlete in today’s society”
COACH’S OFFICE - “What are you really teaching those young male athletes of yours?” 
DR. G’S TEACHING TALES - “A good lesson taught” 

ATHLETE’S LOCKER

“He’s a real BIG man on Campus” 

Despite the fact that I was a high school tennis star and one of the top ranked players in both my state and region, I was always burdened with an underlying feeling of inferiority. It didn’t make much sense to me at the time, given the success I had as an athlete. But, somehow, I just didn’t feel as good as some of the other athletes in my school. Of course, had I not been such a space cadet back then I easily would have been able to put two and two together and come up with the answer. I didn’t play a “real” sport! Stupid me!

Tennis, like golf, gymnastics, swimming, diving or any other sport, wasn’t football, basketball or baseball. In short, I was a bit of a wuss because I played a “ladies game.” How did I know this? Simple! The “real” athletes in my school were kind and considerate enough to continually remind me of this fact on almost a daily basis. I was sometimes ridiculed, embarrassed, physically threatened and, at best, ignored because I excelled in a sport they were either too stupid or mean spirited enough to understand.

Forget the fact that I was probably in much better physical condition than most of the baseball team and three quarters of the football team. Let’s not consider the fact that I had unending endurance and could run all day, regardless of the temperature and weather conditions. We can certainly dismiss the mental toughness that had become the cornerstone of my game and enabled me to consistently beat much stronger opponents. These physical and mental traits didn’t make me a “real” athlete. I was still just a stupid tennis player and because of this I didn’t qualify as a  “true jock.” 

At least that’s what “Butch” and his buddies wanted me to believe. (Honest, that really was his nickname). Butch was the man’s man at my high school. He was the cat’s meow and the doggie’s woof! A three-sport athlete and star of the football, basketball and baseball teams, Butch was Mr. Popularity. He was fawned over by all the girls, went out with a cheerleader, was admired (and probably feared) by his teammates and was certainly envied by all. Butch was truly a great athlete and he never let an opportunity go by without helping us to keep this very important fact of life in mind.

Butch was also a bit of a bully. He and his cronies made fun of whoever wasn’t “in.” In his world that meant that he had a ton of targets. If you were in the band you were a “faggot.” If you were in the chess club or on the yearbook staff you were a “weenie.” If you competed on the debate team you didn’t even deserve words, he would just look at you in a weird way and laugh. If you got good grades you were a nerd and a “butt kisser.” If you didn’t play the “big three” you were a “skirt.” Butch wasn’t exactly the most sensitive or politically correct guy around. As a matter of fact, Butch and his modern day counterparts represent what’s wrong with far too many young athletic males today. He was sexist, egotistical, immature, narcissistic (in love with himself), homophobic, intolerant, mean-spirited and flat out selfish. Bottom line: He didn’t give a hoot about anyone else’s feelings except his own.

Deep down, however, I knew what really made Butch tick. In fact, I knew what Butch’s “Achilles’ heel was,” his most feared and heavily guarded secret weakness. You see Butch and all those like him in your school today are nothing more than frightened little boys inside their big athletic bodies. They are afraid of being picked on just like you. They are afraid of being disliked. They fear not fitting in. They are terrified that they will be the one that is ignored. And they take all these fears and feelings, push them way down deep inside, and cover them over with a false sense of bravado and cockiness. They pretend that they are confident. They fake being cool. They act like they are God’s gift to creation and everyone else is a lower life form. Truth be told, the Butchs of the world are just like the Wizard of Oz, that tiny dude hiding behind his curtain, standing on a footstool, using smoke and mirrors to manipulate others! Deep down they are nothing more than shaky little boys who continuously wrestle with intense feelings of inadequacy and self-doubts. 

Not only did Butch protect himself by putting on a show of overconfidence. He also defended himself against his low self-esteem and fears of not fitting in by going on the offensive. This was Butch’s specialty and primary way of coping with his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. He’d attack and poke fun at other kids and do everything in his power to prevent them from becoming part of his “in” group. In this way old Butch got to make himself feel so much better. That, in fact, is how the Butchs of the world operate. They will attack and isolate you so that they can feel just a little bit better about themselves! 

To insure that he could continue to get away with his oftentimes cruel and immature behavior, Butch made a point of surrounding himself with “yes men”, other frightened little boys who wouldn’t dare stand up for themselves or disagree with their leader for fear of becoming an outcast themselves.  

Therefore they would laugh when Butch picked on or humiliated a classmate and even join in with the attack. Truth be told, Butch, and those like him are terrible cowards. Anyone who has to put someone else down just so that they can feel a little bit better usually is. 

We can better understand Butch’s behavior by looking more closely at the difficult job the adolescent male has of developing in today’s society.
As a teenager your job is very simple but unbelievably difficult: To grow up. Growing up means that you begin to move away from your parents and start to establish a separate identity and life of your own. You have to make your own decisions, think for yourself and take responsibility for your actions. In the process you hope to discover just exactly who you are, what you like and dislike, and what you stand for and believe in. Because going out on your own is so scary, the adolescent looks for comfort in his peer group. A feeling of belonging with “the guys” can make the long, lonely journey into adulthood just a wee bit easier for you. So ironically, even as you go out seeking your independence, you are desperately moving towards the dependence of trying to fit in with your group, all the while plagued by feelings that you somehow don’t fit in.

This is an emotionally painful time for most adolescent male athletes. You’re trying to be “strong” because that’s what expected of you as a young male in today’s society. Unfortunately you rarely feel that way. In fact, most of the time adolescent males feel weak, awkward, isolated, stupid and confused, NOT strong. Believe it or not, these feelings are actually normal! However, as a male in our society you are not supposed to show or tell anyone about these feelings, especially if you are an athlete. Why? According to the macho creed, these feelings of sadness, confusion, helplessness, compassion, empathy, fear, dependence and trust are a sign of weakness and should never be expressed! Pardon me but what a crock!!!!! This macho attitude so prevalent in today’s sports is quite simple: You should show blood before you show tears.        

Old school coaches regularly preached this macho insanity. Unfortunately there are quite a few adult males today who still believe in this sexist, idiotic nonsense, that strength comes from not feeling. How many times has one of your coaches called you “ladies,” “girls” or worse when he was unhappy with your performance or effort in a practice or a game and he wanted to put you down? I find this derogatory use of the female gender rather humorous given that so many of today’s female athletes are physically and mentally superior to a lot of male ones. Many of these young women are more serious athletes who work harder and are better disciplined than their male counterparts. But that’s another story.        

Back to Butch: It’s the desperate need to fit in and the secret fears of the “real athletes” that generate their cruel and abusive behavior to fellow classmates. Isn’t this one of the factors that contributed to the tragedy of Columbine? Want to put a stop to it? Stand up! Speak out! Stop colluding with this cruel, sexist and immature behavior. When you see it happening don’t laugh or smile in agreement. Don’t be a coward yourself! Confront the Big man on campus and tell him to grow up. If you can’t do it yourself get support from friends, teachers or coaches. This doesn’t make you the weak one here. We already know who the weak one is! Hiding your feelings doesn’t make you strong! Picking on less physically developed individuals doesn’t make you superior. On the contrary! It makes you a bully and a coward. 

A message for the Butches in your school: You may be the best athlete on the field or court, or the best athlete in your town, but that doesn’t make you larger than life. That doesn’t even necessarily make you a winner! Furthermore, it doesn’t give you the right to put other kids down. That doesn’t make you better than them. When you act that way it only makes you a loser and a coward! If you are that good and have an ounce of leadership skills in you, then you will take responsibility for making the people around you feel better about themselves and you will go out of your way to help them perform better. 

p.s. Last I heard from Butch he had just successfully completed his third divorce. It seems that he has some talent in messing up relationships. I wonder if he has a few problems with the opposite sex? His employment history hasn’t fared so well either. His latest job is working maintenance for the State University. I wonder if he ever runs into any of those “weenies”, “nerds” and “butt kissers” who work as professors there? At least he’s still a big man on campus. I guess what goes around comes around.

 

PARENT’S CORNER

“Raising a strong, sensitive, appropriate male athlete in today’s society”

You have a very important but difficult job as a parent raising a boy in today’s society. How do you teach your son to be a strong and assertive male, while at the same time helping him maintain his sensitivity towards others and a connection to his feelings? For fathers who might read this, another, competing question might immediately come to mind. Why would I want my son to be a sensitive and feeling male in this society? Won’t that just leave him weak, vulnerable and indecisive? Good question! 

Perhaps we should begin this discussion by more specifically defining what strength and mental health is in young males. Obviously, what you’re about to read is slightly shaded by my bias. As far as I’m concerned, true strength in a male comes from being in touch with all of your feelings and being able to express them appropriately. The typical male in our society does a pretty good job of being aggressive, competitive and assertive. He is capable of being in touch with his anger and for the most part expressing it in a relatively useful way. However, once beyond these feelings, most males are lost in the dark. They are like the carpenter who has only one tool in his toolbox, a hammer. An interesting thing that happens when all you have in your toolbox is a hammer is that sooner or later everything begins to look like a nail to you.

From an early age we’ve (Dads, mostly) taught are sons to be tough and strong. We’ve told them that this means they shouldn’t cry or show their sadness. We’ve taught them to be independent and that to feel dependent in any situation or ask for help is a sign of weakness. We’ve taught them to avoid empathy because tuning into how others feel will only weaken you and get you into trouble. We’ve taught them to “suck it up” and dissociate from pain because that’s what “real men” do. We’ve brain washed them into believing that expressing feelings of love or affection towards others, especially male figures is taboo and something that only homosexuals do. 

These macho teaching are reinforced quite strongly in the sporting world. For example, you are not likely to find a football coach who’s into what his players are feeling. As a matter of fact, football is the poster child sport for all that’s wrong with adolescent male socialization. If you play on the team then, you have to be tough, play through pain, not whine when you get hurt, act confident and aggressive all the time and, god forbid, NEVER EVER show your feelings. Stand on the sidelines of a youth football practice and sooner or later you’ll hear a frustrated coach calling his players “girls” or “ladies.” 

So what would a strong, well-adjusted adolescent male look like? A Martian, no doubt! First off, he would be somewhat in touch with all of his emotions and have some ability to appropriately express them. He would be sensitive to other’s feelings and be able to put himself into some one else’s shoes. In this regard he would be respectful of the rights of others and show this respect in his behaviors. A healthy young male would NOT be homophobic. Instead, he would have tolerance for the fact that everyone in this world is different. He would be competitive and mentally strong, yet still maintain the ability to keep this competitiveness in perspective. He would be kind and caring and be able to express these feelings. A strong male would feel good enough about himself to be able to speak up when he felt that someone else’s rights were being violated. He would be a champion for those being abused or mistreated. Most important, an appropriate strong male would have respect for women and treat them as the equals that they are. Finally, a well-adjusted male adolescent would have a healthy sense of self-esteem and therefore not need to abuse or oppress others simply to feel better about himself. 

Does this sound like a pie in the sky image? Perhaps. Impossible to achieve? I don’t think so. But, then I’m a terminal optimist. I think that you can educate young boys to grow into powerful, yet caring adult males. However, you’ve got your work cut out for you, especially in today’s macho, sexist society. Start your education with your son from day one. While both mom and dad play important roles here, dad’s is absolutely critical.

As a father you want to model appropriate behavior. Be the kind of man in your life that you want your son to eventually grow into. Want him to be tolerant of others? Then you had better be! Want him to respect women and be kind to others? Walk the talk! Treat him with sensitivity and respect. How you carry yourself in the world and in your relationships with him and others will significantly determine the kinds of lessons he learns and the kinds of relationships he develops as an adult. Remember, you will always teach far more powerfully by what you do rather than by what you say!

Above all else, teach your son to feel good about himself. Build his self-esteem in genuine, honest ways. Get in the habit of catching him doing things right. Get excited over his accomplishments. Celebrate his successes and teach him how to learn from his failures. Low self-esteem is probably at the root of most of the nasty, abusive behavior that you regularly see going on with adolescents. Kids who pick on others in school or on teams do so because they feel badly about themselves. One way to stop the cruelty all too common among adolescents is to help your son feel good about himself. Not only will this insure that he doesn’t participate in or collude with this cruelty, but high self-esteem will give your son the courage to speak up when he sees it happening to others.           


COACH’S OFFICE


“What are you really teaching those young male athletes of yours?”

(Inspirational half-time talk from a politically correct, slightly frustrated and very burnt out, but nevertheless “sensitive” male soccer coach to his u-14 boys’ team during their first round game of the State Tournament.  Halftime score: 2 - 0) 

“Listen up ladies! I have never seen such an f***en sorry display of soccer in all my years of coaching. (Voice increasing in volume) You guys are playing like a bunch of f***en girls. You are absolutely pitiful. You should be ashamed of yourselves! You’re not challenging the ball. I don’t think you won one 50-50 ball the entire first half and your passing is pure crap! Don’t you have any skills? Are you all really this bad? What is wrong with you today? (A near scream now with spittle flying out of his mouth for effect) My old lady can play better than this! This team has no business beating you, never mind being ahead by two goals!!! They suck and they’re still kicking your pansy little butts! You call yourself a men’s team? Hah! You guys are nothing more than a bad joke! You’re a total disgrace to this league and to my program. I’m f***en embarrassed to be your coach! The local middle school girls’ team could probably outplay you the way you’re playing today. Blah…blah…blah.”      

So if I’m listening to this as an impressionable adolescent male who wants nothing more than to be liked and respected by his male coach, I’m thinking a) I really suck. I’m playing like a girl. b) I have absolutely no talent and probably don’t deserve to be on this team. c) I should be ashamed of myself because coach says so. d) Coach is a total butt head. e) All of the above. 

If you chose “d” or “e” you’re probably correct. Of course, the best response that we could hope for in a young man listening to this idiotic tirade is “d”, that the coach is a total butt head. Hey coach! What are you teaching your guys with this kind of macho, verbal temper tantrum? Are you teaching them how to be strong? Are you teaching them how to feel good about themselves and play harder? Are you providing some helpful feedback about the mistakes that they are making and what they need to do to correct them? What is the point of your creative (f****en) language coach? Does it motivate and inspire your young charges to reach for greater heights? How about that reference to “playing like girls” coach? Surely that has some well thought out, positive, emotionally sophisticated purpose. After all, you do claim that you’ve been coaching this age group for over 20 years and you know what you’re doing. I’m sure that this is what the higher ups in the Catholic Church have been saying all along about the tragic child abuse that they have been passively colluding with for the past 30 plus years, that they know what they are doing. Perhaps you have a constructive purpose in mind when you repeatedly call these young boys, “girls.” Maybe you think that this will help the boys better develop a clear sexual identity as well as a healthy respect for the opposite sex.

Ok! I’ll stop with the sarcasm! It’s just that I get really annoyed when I hear stories of coaching abuse like this. REALLY ANNOYED!!!! The fact of the matter is that as a coach you need to continuously be aware of the unbelievable power that you wield with these young and vulnerable boys. If you’re working with preadolescents or teenagers, then you are in a position, on almost a daily basis over the course of the season to either build them up or break them down. You can actively help them develop self-confidence and a healthy sense of self or you can leave them crippled by low self-esteem and a poor self-image the way this coach is doing. In sum, you have the power to help these young men develop into winners or losers. All too often coaches take for granted their tremendous influence and therefore stop paying attention to what they say and do with their athletes. Worse yet, sometimes coaches like this one are well aware of what they are saying to their kids and they think this is called “coaching.” Actually, this is known as child abuse! 

You have to ask yourself on a daily basis, “what do I want my athletes to learn from this practice/this interaction/this game/this loss/this mistake.” If you maintain awareness of this question and you let it shape everything that you say and do with your athletes, then you won’t get caught making stupid mistakes like this coach or Coach X. Coach X is a negative kind of individual who has been coaching far too long. He is abusive and insensitive to the needs and concerns of the adolescent boys that he works with. Because of his insensitivity, all the actual knowledge that he has of the game is totally useless. He yells at his players when they make mistakes. He yells when they don’t do what he wants. He doesn’t swear, he just yells, all the time! In the process, he makes a point of embarrassing his players in front of their teammates. He won’t correct their mistakes and tell them what they are doing wrong. Instead he simply prefers to get angry with them. What he doesn’t realize is that he is systematically demoralizing his players. He is destroying their self-confidence and getting them totally distracted with not messing up. They are more focused on not making mistakes and the coach getting angry then they are on playing the game. As a consequence Coach X’s teams play tight and far below their potential. This only makes him more frustrated and angry. He thinks his players are the real problem. He doesn’t get it! 

Coach X took one of my athletes, a self-confident, talented and highly coachable 15-year old who had made his regional Olympic Development Program squad three years running, and, in just 6 short months, killed his confidence and turned him into a self-conscious mess on the field. He did this by constantly criticizing this adolescent, refusing to give him specific, constructive feedback and yelling at him whenever he made mistakes. When the boy came up and asked the coach what he could do to improve, the coach’s response was, “Haven’t you been paying attention in practice?” Three months before the boy, with his parents’ help, decided to quit this team and end the abuse, Coach X pulled the boy aside after a game and said to him in a nasty tone, “How did you ever make the ODP team?” Keep in mind that this is a kid with a winning attitude, a kid who is highly motivated and would run through walls for the coach, a kid who’s a class act.  

Being hard on the boys you coach will NOT necessarily make them tougher. Constantly criticizing them will NOT make them better. This hard ass approach to coaching is Neanderthal-like and belongs with the dinosaurs, extinct! This is NOT the way to effectively coach young men in today’s society, regardless of how many other coaches are out there doing this.  

So how do you as a coach help educate young men to become better athletes and better people? The main thing that you can do is to be a wonderful male role model. Be supportive. Be strong. Create a safe environment for your athletes to learn and excel. Be trustworthy and honest in all your dealings with these boys. Follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Be tolerant of individual differences, i.e. race, color, religion, sexual orientation. YES, even sexual orientation! Don’t be like the typical Neanderthal coach, a homophobic role model. Don’t use gay and queer as derogatory statements aimed at those of your athletes who mess up. Be respectful of women in your interactions with your athletes. Don’t refer to your athletes as “ladies,” “girls” or worse when you are displeased or frustrated with them. This is sexist, disrespectful to women and offensive! It’s not something that you should be teaching to anyone. 

In addition to being a good role model, do not collude with abusive, sexist or mean spirited behaviors coming from your athletes or assistant coaches. Do not allow your athletes to scapegoat or be disrespectful to a fellow teammate. NEVER ignore this kind of behavior coming from your athletes. It is a cancer on your team and if left unchecked will work at cross-purposes to your goals. Call attention to it immediately and stomp it out clearly and quickly.       

You have a huge and important responsibility as a coach of young men. Be an appropriate role model. Expect them to be at their best. Teach them to be tough and strong. Help them to use this strength to be sensitive and caring of others. This is not an easy job for you to do as a male coach in our society. However, I have great faith in you. I know that you can do it!


DR. G’S TEACHING TALES

“Teaching the right lesson”

It was a middle round game in the 14-year old boys AAU State Basketball tournament and Coach M’s team was playing well. They were effectively running their motion offense and converting the open looks they got. Their defense was just as tough and produced turnover after turnover. By the end of the first half the game was essentially over. Coach M’s team had a formidable 20-point lead.

Going into the second half the floodgates started to open. Three consecutive turnovers led to three quick scores. Soon there was a 30-point lead. M’s team continued to press and play good ball and it just seemed like the opposing team was beginning to fall apart. Like a prize-fighter who’s had his midsection pounded for most of the fight, the opponent seemed to be losing steam and about to go down for the count. 

In the fourth quarter, with almost a 40-point lead, the attitude of some of M’s players began to gradually shift. No longer playing as hard, they began to relax and joke around a bit. On one breakaway, their point guard dribbled to the hoop and did a hot dog move behind his back before he laid the ball in. It was totally unnecessary because no one was on him and it had the air of “in your face” to the other team. The bench went nuts laughing and smacking each other with high fives. The crowd erupted. The parents clapped. Coach M’s reaction was confusion and disbelief. 

Now the opponent seemed to be getting more and more demoralized. They tried to play their game but with each turnover it was like the wind was knocked further out of their sails. Then it happened again: Another unnecessary showy move from a different player making his opponent look rather foolish. Coach M’s entire bench erupted in laughter and merriment after they scored. As he looked on in continuing disbelief, Coach M listened to his players on the court talking condescending trash to the opponents. No longer were they playing good basketball for the sake of winning. Now they had crossed a line. They were embarrassing the opponent and appeared to be doing it deliberately.

Coach M had gotten more and more quiet on the bench as the fourth quarter wound down and two more of these incidents occurred. Truth be told, he was seething mad inside and was doing everything in his power to try to control himself. He had thought about calling a time out but was too worried about being overwhelmed by his anger. Instead, he decided to wait to see whether he could calm himself down. He hated what he was seeing from his guys and stopped focusing on the game and his team’s execution. All that seemed suddenly quite irrelevant.  He looked into the stands and saw the parents smiling and slightly bemused by what they were seeing. This didn’t sit too well with him either.

The clocked ticked down the last few seconds. The buzzer sounded signaling the game’s end. Final score: M’s team 75, opponent 28. Both teams lined up to shake hands. Coach M went through the line last and as he shook each opposing player’s hand, he quietly apologized for the behavior of his team. Meanwhile, his boys continued to happily enjoy the post-game celebration. They joked about how they had totally dominated the game and picked their weaker opponent apart. Parents came down from the stands smiling, feeling good that their boys had played well and moved on to the next round. They offered their congratulations. 

And that’s when Coach M snapped. Maybe he should have waited until he had the team alone. Maybe he should have been a little more discreet. Perhaps he should have waited until he had gotten more in control of his emotions. The fact of the matter is that Coach M is human. In fact, he’s a very good, caring coach and that’s why he lost it after the game. 

He abruptly told his players in a harsh voice, “Sit down and shut up! Every one of you, RIGHT NOW!!!” The celebratory smiles and laughter disappeared in a flash. There was dead silence from the team as looks of fear and total confusion crossed the boys’ faces. 

They had never seen M this angry before, nor had they ever heard him talk to them in that way. They didn’t have a clue what was wrong. The parents stopped dead in their tracks, smiles frozen on their faces. Everyone in the gym within hearing distance suddenly stopped moving and fell silent.

M continued: “I have NEVER been so embarrassed in all the years I’ve been coaching! 22 years and not once have I felt as badly about what I saw out on the court as I did today. The display you guys just put on was the worst case of sportsmanship I have ever seen in my life. You embarrassed those boys out there, you embarrassed me and you made complete jackasses of yourselves! What you did was totally uncalled for! How dare you treat your opponent that way? How dare you be so disrespectful? Do you think that you’re so good that you can afford to deliberately make another team look like idiots? Unbelievable! You may have won the game score-wise, but in my book you guys acted like total losers.” Heads began to drop and tears began to fall.  

Parents who were listening felt extremely uncomfortable. Some later expressed outrage at M for raining on their kids’ parade. Others understood where he was coming from but felt that he had gone about it too harshly, that he had gone too far. Still others felt that his timing was off and he should have waited to get the boys alone. My feeling: It was an important lesson that needed to be taught.  
        
M continued with the players. “If you would like to continue to play for me you will NEVER, ever treat another opponent so badly, EVER! I expect you to play hard and play with dignity and respect for the other team. I don’t even care how your opponent acts. I don’t even care if he’s disrespectful to you! You will, NOT be disrespectful to him. Ever again! Under no circumstances! That’s NOT how we play this game! I am only interested in you guys conducting yourselves like champions and that’s NOT what I saw today. NEVER AGAIN BOYS!!!! If you want to play for me, this can never happen again. Now go home and think about what I’ve said and what you did.”    

With that Coach M picked up his clipboard, the ball bag and walked out of the gym leaving everyone behind him completely speechless. 

I don’t know what lesson you’ll take away from this story. But I know one thing: Coach M’s team NEVER, EVER acted like pompous, stuck-up brats again. They learned a painful lesson that night and one that they never forgot.   

 If you have a performance difficulty or you're consistently underachieving, call me today. I can help!