What is the Big Bad Word that your athletes should not say?
Last month I heard about a valedictorian who was denied her diploma because of the Big Bad Word she said in her speech. The radio announcer teased the audience: “What is the ONE word that this girl said that got her into trouble? Stay tuned to hear the full story.”
My mind went every which way trying to think of what that forbidden word was.
The word was “hell.”
I’m not writing to debate the use of her word; I’m writing to emphasize that there is one Big Bad Word that your athlete should not say as he works to improve in his sport, one word that surely spells trouble for his success.
The word is CAN’T.
In our house, can’t is almost as bad as a swear word. My husband–coach for 28 years–always corrects our kids when they start to say it. Shoot, he even corrects me when I use it!
When your young athlete uses the word “can’t”, he’s admitting defeat. He’s doubting himself. He’s giving up. He’s decided that it’s not worth the effort.
Ask your child see when he says I can’t if he is actually saying, “I am struggling,” or ”I don’t want to do this” or “I need help.”
Then you can help him with his frustration, instead of allowing him to shut the door on amazing possibilities.
Can’t will keep him from knowing the exhilaration of a hard-earned victory.
Can’t will stop her from seeing rewards from all her exhausting work-outs.
Can’t will rob him of the joy of knowing he gave his all on the court or field, in the pool or on the mat.
Can’t may not win her an Olympic medal or a college scholarship, but it will surely give her the satisfaction of knowing that she did not back down and that no one can stop her from giving her all.
When was the last time your child said, “I can’t” in sports and how did they work through their frustration?
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