So often I'm asked, why do you work with young people and secondary school students. It must be so hard. Looking at all the pics of coaching this year, I'm looking at these pics and thinking - Gee they're looking and listening and want more information, instruction, direction, only to get better, improve, progress and be the best they can be.
I find it hard to understand that adults have so quickly forgotten what it was like to be young with everyone else deciding what you can and can't do, telling you what is right and wrong and at times deciding for you what you do and don't like.
Sometimes, as a young person, it can be so hard to find someone to answer your questions, show you how to do or say something correctly, or just set you in the right direction because as a society we are so worried about political correctness or if we set boundaries that we will be seen as "the bad guy".
It's not an easy place to get in life where you don't care what others think of you. If you love what you do and believe in it with your entire soul, that's great. But a warning of caution, be able to back it up with evidence and accurate information so you have a foot to stand on. Understanding, compassion and a little more patience goes a long way. If your going to help others, do it because you love it, you want to help and learn in the process without expecting anything in return. Can you be that open, honest and understanding person, without judgement when sometimes all that is needed is a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen or some strong beliefs to set boundaries.
Despite the terrible rep young people get in the media, each generation has improved in so many ways if only people would choose to see it. I ask you, when was the last time you tried to start a conversation with a young stranger? Were you afraid simply because of the clothes they wore, which every other student in their class is wearing, the earing they wear which helps them create their identity or because they were with a group of friends that wore hoodies, therefore in your eyes you automatically assumed they were a gang and/or dangerous. Chances are, they are just as scared of you and they don't like your dress sense either. So next time you're in public, try starting with a "Hi, how is your day going?" Do you get the response you are expecting.
Increase your experiences and create the potential to have a wider and positive social network, the potential to meet with a positive and optimistic group of energetic friends you never knew existed.