Facing Challenge is More than Just Okay. It's Necessary.
I originally had a different post scheduled for today. It was about finding results through culture and core values, but I'm putting it on hold for this one. It's long winded, but I appreciate all of you who take the time to read it and I hope it helps anyone struggling with challenge. This is a story of how the toughest time in my life molded me. Difficult one for me to write. Here goes:
Lately, I've seen social media buzzing with coaches pleading to parents and administrators to let kids face adversity, to face challenge. I've even seen a book tweeted out - "The Coddling of the American Mind" by Greg Lukianoff and Johnathan Haidt. It looks super interesting and though I haven't read it yet, I'm going to judge a book by its cover and say I agree with most of what's in there.
I really can't put into words how short sighted shielding our youth from adversity is but I'm going to try. Although it may feel good in the here and now, we're setting them up for failure in the future. And let me be clear - I don't mean failure as in not achieving something. That's inevitable. We, all of us, the youth included, will mess up on something. We will get it wrong, have terrible mistakes that could have catastrophic consequences, get knocked down, or whatever you want to call it. We all will face adversity. But coming up short is not failure. Failure is when we give up. When we don't get back on our feet, don't dust ourselves off and try again, don't go back to the drawing board. Failure is when we crumble, when we break in the face of adversity and stop trying. The only way to build the skills necessary to battle life's obstacles is to be challenged and react to it...and yes, sports are a huge part of that, because sports mirror life and present those growth opportunities.
I'm usually a private guy so this is tough for me to write. But, growing up I was super spoiled - the youngest of 3 boys growing up in an Italian-American household that included my mother and my grandmother...it's hard not to be spoiled. But, not spoiled like I got everything I asked for. I mean,