Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let the Scoreboard Do the Talking!

If you've ever heard me speak (if you haven't, email me and let's see what we can do to arrange a presentation for your group) or you know me very well, you know that I love FOOTBALL.  I proudly wear my FOOTBALL MOM brooch (thank you, Teresa Michelsen) with my blinged-out football shirt and earrings.  Watching my sons play football is one of my favorite things ON EARTH to do----I've even been known to watch practice just to feed my craving.  Besides the fact that Texas High School Football has no peer in the world, and Plano Senior High School has the winningest record in the state over the last 50 years----there is one thing about high school football that I love best.  It has taught my sons and me so much about life. It's true.  There are countless lessons about life that I've learned on the sidelines or at a booster club meeting---important, good lessons.  And it is one of those lessons I'd like to share today.  And YES, this is really applicable to brain development. 

Let the Scoreboard Do the Talking---Some football players are well known for "trash talking".  This is where they try to get inside the head of their opponents by saying "less than complimentery" things to and about them.  Certain teams are known to "talk a lot of trash", which means they say things about your family heritage, about about much they're going to beat you by, about how stupid you are, about how slow and clumsy you are, etc.  My sons have been taught by good coaches to "let the scoreboard do the talking."  While I must confess they are not completely innocent of ever talking a little trash, they usually stay out of that mess.  They don't respond much when someone else starts it with them.  If they just MUST respond, they'll usually say, "Scoreboard" (especially if we are winning).  
Let the Scoreboard Do the Talking is the modern-day football equivalent of judging the tree by the fruit.  In other words, "Talk all you want to, we're going to beat you where it matters---on the scoreboard."

I find a LOT of wisdom in this approach.  This keeps the player focused on his job on that football field---whatever that job may be---which contributes to winning the game.  It keeps the subject, the REAL subject---we're all here to score the most points and win the game, not discuss your opinion of my <insert whatever topic the opposition has chosen here.>  It's important to note that you can insert a host of different topics in the above sentence because if you are on the opposing team, they will find SOMETHING to harass you about.

I did promise this would relate to brain development and now I will keep that promise---I get comments and sometimes frantic phone calls from parents who have friends and/or family that harass them about the program they are doing for their child's brain.  The concerned parties want to see research or "proof" that the program works.  They can think of many reasons why the program is such a bad idea---it's not proven, it takes up your whole day, your social life is suffering, you are too involved with your child, your child isn't getting enough socialization, your child may resent the program you've chosen, etc. etc. etc.  While I admit the comments are well-intentioned, to me they are about the same as trash talking.  They are not helping you achieve your goal for your child.  They are distracting you from something you have found to be important for your child to truly succeed.  They are taking up time that could <should> be better spent doing something pro-active for your child's progress and/or your family.  

So I suggest the best response might be "Scoreboard".  Just like the football game, we're all here in the game, and we all have to make decisions about the best plays to run to win the game with whatever situation we currently have.  Let's just let everybody play the game the way they think is best, and we'll let the scoreboard do the talking.  When your child is reading well, succeeding in school, physically coordinated and doing well socially, then that is the scoreboard.  You just keep on doing the program (running the plays) and scoring at every opportunity.  If you stay the course, you will win.  And, interestingly enough, that is usually when the trash talking ends.  Accomplish your goals for/with your children, and the negative talk goes away.

Huddle up, and get your plays set---the job of the evaluation and progress reports---then just do it.  Do it with every bit of energy and heart you have.  Football players who are "less than enthusiastic" don't win---and you'll win a lot better and faster if you do it with some gusto!

Keep track of your child's successes along the way---scoring is no fun without a scoreboard.  And be sure to dust off the proverbial pom poms and celebrate each and every point toward your goal.  Just like the football players are revved up by the roar of the crowd and music of the band, your children are motivated by your sincere praise and by racking up those victories.  And we ALL love to celebrate a WIN!

If you know of a child who is struggling, please consider inviting their parents to read the information on .  Even the best of coaches learn from other coaches, and perhaps we could teach you a play or two that would make the ultimate difference in the scoreboard!