Wooden, Wimbledon, Wrong Calls and World Cup
Wondering what all these W\’s have in common? They provide cases of excellent role models in sports that we can pass on to our children and grandchildren. After witnessing so many instances of poor sportsmanship over the years, it\’s impressive to have examples of positive behavior by athletes.
Legendary U.C.L.A. basketball coach John Wooden was known for his inspiration and motivation, on and off the court. His philosophy of life – as well as his entire persona – exemplified the values we wish to impart to our children. His style was gracious, even as he focused on creating “Competitive Greatness” in his players and in the rest of us, through his Pyramid of Success. He stressed fundamentals, teamwork and good sportsmanship, using home-grown aphorisms.
Looking back over Wooden\’s sayings, it\’s clear that they don\’t relate only to competitive athletes but rather to all of us who strive for a life of meaning. Some of his quotes come to mind, reviewing recent sporting events that represent more than just games. If you\’re looking for words of wisdom to offer your children – for sports and for life – here are some tips that spring from Coach Wooden axioms:
Refusing to give in to physical and mental exhaustion, both men continued to serve aces, even into the fifth set, with a record 215 between the two of them. They each stood up to the challenge and, in the process, set an example of determination for us all, reflecting Wooden\’s advice: “Make the effort. Do your best. The score cannot make you a loser when you do that; it cannot make you a winner if you do less.” Although neither man advanced at Wimbledon after the next round, both are certainly winners.
When Joyce realized his mistake, he took responsibility for it and immediately went to apologize to Galarraga, who accepted with dignity and grace. Both men reflected the high ideals expressed by Wooden, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” It may not have been an official perfect game, but these two men were perfect role models about what sports figures can teach our children – and us – about civility, honesty and good sportsmanship.
What lessons can the millions of children who play soccer across the world take from these championship games? That individual effort as well as teamwork is required to overcome wrong calls and bring about a triumph. Working together over months, even years, creates the energy a team needs to score, providing the counterbalance to Wooden\’s caveat, “Goals achieved with little effort are seldom worthwhile or lasting.”
Can these sound bites form a solid foundation for some of the lessons you want to impart to your own children? Sports figures can serve as role models and set the tone for your own parenting. Even if you and your kids are not world-class tennis, soccer, baseball or basketball players, you can improve your game and your lives by using these W\’s as inspiration. Play on!
Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. & Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. are family relationship experts with a 4-step model for change. If you\’re coping with stress, acting-out teenagers, aging parents, boomerang kids or difficult daughters-in-law, our tips make family rifts disappear, even for Sandwich Generation Boomers. Visit us at www.NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com to sign up for our free newsletter and receive a complimentary ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned and www.HerMentorCenter.com to purchase our new ebook, “Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm: Practical Strategies and Resources for Success.“