Did you see the latest news about Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison?
He sent out a pretty strong and powerful message the other day regarding his kids and athletics.
Here it is:
“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise to boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.#harrisonfamilyvalues“
I think most people would look at that and think “wow I feel bad for his kids.” I feel the exact opposite.
So right now you are for sure thinking: “This guy doesn’t even have kids, he has no idea.”
Well I will tell you this:
From 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM I train kids ranging from 7 years old all the way up to the collegiate and professional level.
Let me just say that we need more parents to hear what James Harrison is saying.
Here is why I agree with James’s comments:
- Failure is needed
- Tough love is always remembered
- Standards need to be set
Failure is needed:
I wrestled at one of highest levels my sport had to offer. At Michigan State I went from being a walk on to being named team captain.
If I never learned how to fail I would have never came close to that accomplishment.
My first 3-4 years of wrestling I straight up got my ass handed to me. Weekend after weekend I would leave gyms balling my eyes out because I lost and didn’t get to take home a medal or even a ribbon. I’m talking crying my eyes out. I never knew why my Dad kept making the long drives to these tournaments just to see me fail. Now I know.
After a few years I got good. Soon I was taking home medals, trophies and charts with my name on them for first place. I will never ever forget how good that made me feel. I failed miserably, overcame an obstacle and got to taste what success is.
“Sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”
I never fear failure now. Whether it’s at work, sports or fixing my lawn mower at home. Failure makes me grow smarter and stronger and I was fortunate to learn that at a very early age.
Let your kids fail. They will cry and be devastated but they will get over it. Kids are way more resilient than you think.
Teach them to persevere through tough times. This will translate from sports to their lives.
Tough love is always remembered
My journey to becoming a strength coach was not easy. I fricken hated it at first. Not because of the job but because of my boss. My career started under the tutelage of Michigan State’s Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Ken Mannie. Man did he put me through the ringer.
“Hey Ben! You going to coach today?”,
“Get some motivation behind your voice! You couldn’t coach a pack of fricken ducks with that puney voice!”
“You better get your sh… together or you are out of here and we will not miss you!”
Haha those are only 3 of the million comments I heard on a daily basis. Ken Mannie is full of tough love.
All of this occurred the year after I finished my collegiate wrestling career. The year before I was “the man” I was captain of the wrestling team and I thought that my ish didn’t stink. I was now driving 40 minutes one way to work 25 hours/week for free.
I remember driving home one night after training the football team. It was 9:00 PM on a Sunday night and I had a 40 minute commute home. I had to be up 4 AM the next day to get to MSU to again train the team. Like a little kid I called my mommy. “Mom I’m done! I can’t take it anymore! Coach Mannie straight up embarrassed me in front of the entire football team.”
My mom responded and said “I don’t know why he is treating you like that but I do know that God always puts some people in your life as blessings and some as lessons…… thats exactly what Coach Mannie will be to you.”
I heard her loud and clear and stuck it out. She was right. That guy molded me into the coach I am today.
Everything I do now involves some thought of “what would Coach Mannie think?” If my energy is low I have his voice in the back of my head to pick me up. Not just with my job but with everything I do in life.
“While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die.”
The tough love I received was needed. It helped me and will help your kids grow into adults. ”
I see it way too much today with the kids I train. An athlete will lose a big game or have a slower 40 yard dash time and the parents will make excuses for the kids. “That ref was terrible” or “That score keeper didn’t know what he was doing.” This goes right into the kids heads and makes them feel entitled. Not good if you want to become a great athlete.
Look I’m not saying be a jerk to your kids. I’m just saying that if you want to love with everything you have then tough love has to be included in there.
Tough love is always remembered.
Standards need to be set
Parents set the standards for kids.
If you believe your son or daughter is the best at whatever sport they play then your kids are going to go places in life.
No matter what sport I played my parents always believed that I was the best athlete out there. It did’t matter if it was baseball, football or wrestling the standards were always high.
They didn’t really press it on me when I lost matches or games. It was more when I won.
If I beat a weaker kid or slower team and bragged about it my Dad would take me back down real quick. He never ever let me do anything average. If kids in my class were getting A’s then I was supposed to get an A+, if players on my baseball team were getting 3-4 hits per game then I was supposed to hit 3-4 home runs a game. It was tough to live with at times but it did make me strive to be the best in the world.
“I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise to boys to be men”
He is holding his kids to a different standard because he believes in them. Show your kids that you believe in them to be more than average. Tell your kids they can play professionally! Why not them? If you set high standards for your kids they will eventually climb that mountain with you and reach success you never dreamed of.
Standards need to be set.
I don’t know much else about James Harrison other than that he is one of the strongest dude’s I have ever witnessed. I do agree with his post though. Parents need to see this.
Check this out!