TrueSport is a highly important area to teach everybody about respect. It teaches that which the coach role model and guides first and parents in the stand do as well. If those two places are showing respect to the officials, to the opponents, to their teammates, to their coach, then that respect is being learned in a healthy way.
My experience is that we kind of get this sort of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde coach. “Oh, you got to respect your opponents. You got to respect the officials.” That would be a great example, and then they’re blowing up at the officials. No. I trust that the officials don’t make mistakes on purpose. If it’s a technical thing, I can say, “Excuse me, I need … The rule says this, I believe, and this is what you ruled.” We can have that discussion. Otherwise, in my sport, which is filled with judgment calls, I’m not going to change their judgment.
What I would love to see is officials treating the coaches the way the coaches treat them. I think that it would be awesome. Just to have one match or one game where the officials are allowed to go, “Why haven’t you subbed yet, are you an idiot? You should be subbing this player. Call a time out, for God sakes. Aren’t you thinking? You got to be the stupidest coach I’ve ever seen.”
You never see that. You will never see an official do that. The officials treat the coach’s role with respect and the players. They don’t go, “Oh my God, you’re the stupidest player I’ve ever seen.” Give it back to the officials since they’re giving it to you, and that includes the opponent and everything else. With self-respect, you have to talk to yourself the way you would want a coach to talk to you or your parent to talk to you, and that is with that same level of respect. Did you do your best? Well, then I’m okay with the result.
If you didn’t, take a few minutes to think about what you can do the next practice or the next period of time and focus on that and then get back to living life, because this process has tons of errors, you learn by trial and error. You don’t crash the bike on purpose so you have to respect yourself when you crash the bike because you didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just part of learning balance and part of learning a motor program.
When we talk about learning self-respect you have to give yourself high fives and kudos for the times that you did the right thing. If you didn’t do the right thing, then you have to say, “Well, what should I have done?” Okay. Then focus on doing that the next time.