There are many athletes pursuing some kind of dream. This dream could be to go to college and play their sport, then move on to play professionally, and finally, to get paid to do something they love. For those of us that work with athletes on a regular basis, how do we communicate a credible, helpful belief in the people we work with without enabling a delusion that can be destructive for years to come?
There seems to be a prevalent idea that says: “To believe in somebody you have to go along with THEIR ideas regardless if there is any reliable, tangible, ongoing information to base that belief on.” Who of us would place our trust in someone that has shown zero evidence of tangible information in the area of hope? Have we become so disconnected from quality impact on those we love that we have resorted to blind trust? Why do we engage in this? We do it because we are afraid of crushing the spirits of those we love. In essence, we believe a dream that is delusional is better than growing a new dream that is founded on evidence associated with the possibility of accomplishment. The real tragedy here is that people are lacking the truthful, loving information that leads to deep trust and closeness that helps us truly experience life-changing relationships. It is these current relationships [that are the only hope for people] that may allow delusional thinking to take them down a road of destruction.
Why does athletically gifted people that live their personal lives to the point of destruction shock us? It shouldn’t. The degree of truth these people hear from those closest to them about how they live their lives and the important topics of family, marriage, and purpose, has to be small.
I hope we learn a lesson from these fallen giants by talking to our kids about their lives and what goes on inside them rather then focusing all of our attention on their performance at the expense of everything that is vital to their significance and overall well being. Is it possible that we have traded deeply loving relationships that often include conflict, confrontation, fight, and accountability for a dream that maybe is too good to be true? Believing in another person involves loving them enough to tell them what they need to hear, realizing we have not trained people very well for this type of conversation. Believing in somebody involves challenging them to build their lives on hard work, perseverance, and personal strengths grounded in a deep purpose that can only be revealed through the wise coaching and counsel of others that have dared to go down this path.
Lets go down this path together.