Praising excellence in opponents

Joe Ehrmann, author of Inside-out Coaching, teaches us that the origin of the word compete means to strive together.

In James Kerr’s Legacy, we learn of the All Blacks’ Haka – a ritual which is a call to compete.

Do you view competition as a time to celebrate hard work with your opponent?

Or is at a time to show your superior coaching acumen and belittle your opponents.

Teach those you coach to not get so wrapped up in beating your opponent that you miss an opportunity to appreciate excellence. Set a goal to tell your competitor ‘nice play’ at least once per game. It demonstrates class and sportsmanship, takes away the fear of being outplayed, and sets a bar of what excellent looks like.

My son is our face-off man on our lacrosse team. He bumps knuckles with his opponent before every face-off. It’s a tiny gesture, but a huge gesture. He scores a lot of goals and was voted as co-MVP of our team, but nothing he does on the field makes me prouder than his sportsmanship demonstrated through this gesture.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


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