June 20 , 2011 cid:part1.00030004.08000002@swimmingcoach.org

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Hard Work

By John Leonard

 

We believe hard work is its own reward. We believe that everyone benefits from hard work.  It teaches all of us that nothing is given to us, it has to be earned. It teaches us that life is not fair as sometimes those who work the hardest are not rewarded the most. But without hard work, there is a reduced likelihood of reward.  Hard work “feels good”.  It makes us feel valuable, capable, and self-sufficient. One of the few things we can control in the world is the level of our own effort. When we work harder than we thought was possible for us, we open new doors of possibility in our lives.

 

We believe that children need to be TAUGHT to work hard. Role modeling from parents, from coaches, and from teammates is the best teacher.  Young people learn when they say “I’m tired” from sitting around all day in front of a computer, that they have to learn that SPENDING ENERGY in hard work, BRINGS MORE energy to your body and mind. Want to feel great? Get up and work hard. Sitting around does, in fact, make you tired.  Children need to be taught that. It is counter-intuitive.

 

We believe that Resiliency is THE great trait to learn from swimming. Everyone gets knocked down in life. The critical thing is to learn to bounce back up immediately and re-double your efforts.  When I speak to parents, they always tell me that they attained the position they have in life by overcoming all the obstacles that fate placed in their way. Then, they often say “I don’t want my kids to have to go through that.”

 

This is lunacy! You don’t want your children to learn from the same pieces in life that made you successful?

 

Children need hard challenges. They need to “fail” as often as they succeed. They need to learn to quickly and effectively bounce back up and get back to work.  Parents protecting their children in the extreme are called “Curling Parents”. (Because they remove the obstacles from the path of the child.) IT IS SO MUCH BETTER to prepare the child for the hard path, than try to clear the hard path FOR the child. Each time you do something for your child that they can do for themselves you make your child WEAK.  Show your confidence in them by allowing THEM to overcome the obstacles. Resiliency.

 

It’s a Family Thing.  Everyone in the family has a role in swimming.

The child does the work, the learning, the physical effort. The parents remind the child of their commitments made and of the life skills that will make them a success in life and in swimming.  The Coach coaches. The friends support and cheer and encourage. The parent takes care of the “get the child there” logistics so critical to a child’s success and consistency.  Everyone has a role. Play YOUR role and don’t interfere in other’s role.