Several years ago, a client of mine, who has been through “The Leader193 Way: Leadership Through Process and Wellness”, asked if kids could benefit from my program. More specifically, his son’s varsity basketball team, which just came off several disappointing seasons.
I shared with him that yes, I did believe kids would benefit from The Leader193 Way every bit as much as adults. In fact, after giving it some more thought, I was convinced that high schoolers could see even more benefits than adults. The reason was simple: young adults are not as locked into their behaviors as adults. So, if we could provide and encourage an awareness of the leadership elements of The Leader193 Way, they could thrive in areas young adults typically struggle.
The initial area of focus for the kids, would be emotional awareness and recognition.
All I had to do was think back on my days as a high school student and recall how emotions served as such a barrier to things like athletic, academic, and social performance.
What if as a teenager, I thought, I was able to acknowledge the insecurity I felt before playing, what I perceived to be, a superior opponent. I can think of several occasions where it wasn’t until mid-way through a game that I realized, “There is no reason for me to fear this opponent, I’m every bit as good as they are!” Sometimes this realization was too late in the contest to make a difference
Or, “Why did I let my fear and insecurity about my opponent stop me from trying as hard as I could?” This realization after a contest only served to heighten my disappointment in myself.
Unacknowledged emotions will drive random actions that usually don’t represent the best versions of ourselves. When we acknowledge our emotions, we at least give ourselves a chance to act upon them consciously. Our decision on how to act on them may or may not work out, but that is not the point or the goal. The point and goal are to make conscious decisions based on recognized emotions.
For the young adults out there, athlete or otherwise, begin the process of truly acknowledging what you are feeling. And do this without judgement.
It is ok to feel fear, insecurity, sadness, worthlessness, anxiety and all the other negative emotions that sometimes plague us. What we want to start doing is recognizing and acknowledging these emotions before we act on them.
Don’t judge, just recognize and acknowledge for now. More to follow…
Errol Doebler is the founder of Leader 193, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Leader 193 to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.