Lead the Next Generation
Mike Matheny is an American former professional baseball catcher and the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2011.
Mike has no previous professional coaching or managerial experience, however, his first three seasons, Mike led the club to at least 88 wins and a playoff and National League Championship Series (NLCS) appearance, becoming the fifth manager in MLB history to do so. The Cardinals won the 2013 NL pennant that went to the World Series against Boston Red Sox.
Prior to professional coaching, Mike was a Little League Baseball coach, and his approach of coaching was a letter that he read before the parents to teach young men how to play the game of baseball the right way, to be a positive impact on them as young men, and do all of this (the game) with class.
The letter was later called Matheny’s Manifesto. Embodied in the letter is the system that works because it was how Mike's coach taught the game and how his parents acted in the stands when he was 10 years old.
I understand not everyone are baseball fans, or their kids are in sports, however, the principles in the manifesto are life’s guide that can be applied outside of sports to raise our children.
Our children have enough pressures to perform, and telling them to do this or do that will add to their frustrations. By letting the coach or teacher do their job is showing respect to an adult. Instead be a silent encourager which is our role as a parent.
When Theresa swam her 100 meters freestyle at the Ozarks Long Course Championships last summer, she finished 18th place. I felt her frustration. In her mind, she owned that event but did not make it to the top. I was tempted to correct on her start and turn. But instead, I texted her “U r always CHAMPION in my heart. I love watching you swim. Good job!” Her iPhone chimed when my message was received. She read, and somehow that changed her mood and uplifted her spirit. On our one hour drive back home, we had a lively conversation.
I'm confident, she will prepare and do better next time.
At the piano recital or choir concert--- be a silent encourager by simply saying, “I just appreciate just being here listening to your music.”
At the academic contest --- be a silent encourager by simply saying, “I'm very proud seeing you compete in the <name of the contest like Spelling Bee>.”
I see in kid's ball games many parents are shouting at the umpire for some mistakes. Reality is that umpires are always right. By shouting at them, what are we teaching your kids?
Kids are embarrass when they see they parents yell at their ballgame. By respecting the job of the umpire, you become a role model to your children.
Respecting teammates, classmates, and peers.
Set an expectation that there will be other people what we don’t connect with. In life we are thrown out to work with people that are different from our race, color, religion, or creed. Regardless of who they are, teach your child to work well with them.
How you feel about yourself is what you project to others. When your child participate in any activity sports, arts or academic, let them dress neatly. Feel good. Look good. Do good. Respect their personal equipment too. For example, the violin is stored in the case and locked tightly because it breaks easily.
Life Is Not Fair
Yes, life is not fair. We can’t look at other people’s life and why it’s not happening to you. Why other people get it, and we don’t. Fair takes out personal responsibility away. When I was growing up, I was taught to memorize the Desiderata poem. The line that struck me most was “If you compare yourself to others; you may become vain and bitter, for there will be greater and lesser person than you.”
Umpires going to make a bad call, and that is LIFE. Stop looking for life being fair.
At work, somebody gets the promotion, and you are not.
I repeat, take personal responsibility and stop blaming fairness.
Every Child Can Be An A.C.E.
A.C.E stands for Attitude, Concentration, and Effort which is something we can control.
We as adult have to swim against the tide of today’s world of too much negativity and sarcasm. We have to show the positive and right attitude to our task at hand to our children. When starting something, avoid taking shortcuts and finish it. Let your effort rise over your excuses. Positive mental attitude takes practice so you have to challenge yourself when you are becoming negative or having a poor attitude.
Be honest in all you do. Our kids must know that there are two ways to win: By putting the honest work, or by cheating. Cheating is not an option.
Concentration is getting tougher and tougher. Everywhere people are not looking in the eye in conversations and meetings. Instead they are looking at the phone which is becoming an involuntary response by people. We are raising kids who are texting, instantgraming, and facebooking… How can you think at hand to help kids concentrate on a task at hand? Make it a rule when participating in any activities (sport, art, music, and academic) to focus. Leave all kinds of distractions. Phones are kept somewhere else or turned off.
We are in a microwave society. We want everything in an instant. Today, work ethic is all time low.
It is given that to work hard in life is to be a winner. When you put in the full effort, it takes time, but expect victory in the end. Help our kids to get their victory by encouraging and taking them to prepare, practice, and study.
If the kid is deficient in some area, get help from an expert. But be aware that the instructions of another expert are aligned or not in conflict with your kid’s coach / teacher.
Give our children wings so that they can fly. Let them gather their equipment. Let them bring their own water bottle, and their own bag. If they forget, tough luck, don’t come to the rescue. Sometimes it is painful for us parent to see them suffer.
Don’t throw life jacket for those who trying to learn how to swim. Learn tough lessons.
As parent, we have to work ourselves out from our job to make our children independent.
Stand Strong For Who You Are
Stand up for what you believe in which bring us to faith. Whatever we teach at home to love God and to love our neighbor must stand outside the house. With so many bad influence from the society, our kids must stand strong.
How To Teach?
Make wisdom attractive to your children. Do not yell. Do not pull out the lectern in every situation instead, ask questions like:
What were thinking when that happened? What were you feeling? Why is that important for you?
Why are you angry? What are you trying to accomplish?
If you can go back, what would you change?
The family is basic unit of the society. It is in the home where we can teach respect, fairness, attitude, concentration, effort, responsibility, and faith. The moms and dads with grandparent, uncles, and aunts should participate in molding the children to be good citizens.
By any means we are not perfect parents, but we can always strive for excellence, and do the right thing.
Always remember our children are not our trophies but our legacy that will lead the future generations.
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Acknowledgement: Article was derived from Marc and Kristine Militello talk at Life Leadership.