180 Life Connection-Accountability

Posted: August 20, 2010 in coaching, Motivation

A few years back I had a player that was almost perfect, a coach’s dream.  I know he wasn’t perfect, but he was 4.75 gpa, please, thank you, yes sir, great athlete, likable, etc.  One day we were in the gym just shooting around and shooting the breeze.  I had known Dave for 3 years.  We had developed a strong meaningful relationship through the coach/player experiences.

Out of the blue I said “Hey Dave, you drinking?”

“Na, Coach.”

“You smoking?”

“Na, Coach.”

“Drugs?”

“Na, Coach.”

“You having sex?”

“Na, Coach.”

I said, “OK.”

We kept shooting for a while and then put the balls up and went home. It wasn’t until about 5 years later that Dave and I were talking and he said to me, “Coach, do you remember when you asked me all those crazy questions in the gym that day?”

I said, “Sure do Dave.”

He said, “You were the only one in my life that ever asked me those kind of questions. Most people just assumed I didn’t have to deal with that stuff.  I wasn’t involved in those things but did have the opportunites.  Thanks for caring enough to ask.”

He is married now and has his own family.  We still are in touch.  We still have the kind of relationship that creates accountability through our common faith.  The questions might change but the attitude remains the same.  Now we talk about husband/wife, father/child, work, etc.  He gets to ask me some of the tough questions now too.

We want to be asked, challenged, and pushed to be our best.  We want those that are the closest to us to be the ones that put forth the challenges.  I constantly ask my own children these questions and many others like it.  It may be uncomfortable and you may get answers that you don’t want to hear.  But to grow you must be accountable.

It doesn’t have to start with the intense questions or the prying questions.  You might just ask a student, an athlete, a friend, a family member some open-ended questions that allow him/her to open back up to you.  This small step can lead to life long relationships that have meaning and depth.  All you have to do is ask.

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