As a strength coach one of the toughest things for me to deal with are the athletes who don’t care. I find it tough because I know there are a lot of people who would love to be in the gym training with me but simply can’t afford the cost of a membership. It bothers me slightly less when we are training a team and there are a few individuals who don’t want to improve; but I know it really gets to their coach. Work ethic is something that is obvious to everyone and the lack of one is something that can spread easily through a team.
I understand that part of my job is to coach and motivate people to be more successful. It is to help them find something that they cannot find on their own. My issue is that more and more people are arriving for their sessions wanting to be trained but NOT wanting to train. Somewhere along the line they seem to have made a mistake and believe that they can get better by showing-up, watching and going through the motions. They failed to learn the lesson that TRYING to improve is the most critical part of the equation. In a number of these cases, their parents support their belief and make excuses for why their children didn’t complete a food journal, didn’t do their movement homework, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t eat breakfast, didn’t bring a water bottle, didn’t whatever.
Initially, it’s the parents fault that their children are unmotivated and showing a propensity towards making excuses. Children learn how to interact with the world through observing their parents during the first 10 or so years of life. Their attitude is formed for the most part during the first decade and the work ethic that is established early will continue until something happens to change it.
Life is good for some people; they have high paying jobs that they worked hard to get. Unfortunately, their children may never see how hard they had to work to become lawyers, doctors, business owners so they never learn the lesson that hard work is required to nurture a skill into a high paying job. The outcome is a lot of disposable income that the children have no sense of where it came from and therefore no perspective into what is needed to be successful. They simply get whatever they want whenever they want it without connecting the dots that effort makes success possible. When they end up in front of me, they are ill prepared for the lesson I try to teach them and come to realize that I like people who try more than I like people who make excuses and they fail to realize that it is their attitude that I dislike, not them personally.
If you really want you children to be successful, make them work for the things they want. Stop handing them everything they ask for. Risk the argument with your child and teach them the value of money, hard work and a good attitude when it comes to tackling difficult tasks.