“Patience is not your ability to wait, but how you act while waiting.” Joyce Meyers
In sports, patience is necessary to become great. Not only the patience to endure painful situations like defensive wave drills, workouts, and weight lifting but also the patience to wait for change to occur.
Patience is a key quality of people who have grit and tenacity. They don’t give up one dream to pursue another dream when things get challenging. Great players stick with it rain or shine with patience to know hard work does eventually pay off.
Most coaches know how to train but, the most selected trait for improvement is patience. It is a quality most of us would like to have more of. The word comes directly from the Latin meaning to endure suffering. People who are impatient cannot manage pain and are described by the tendency to blow up, snap, lose it, or people who are easily angered and annoyed.
Therapy performed to help improve people’s level of patience involves helping increase a person’s tolerance of pain. People working to improve their level of patience are placed in a room and subjected to mild shocks growing in intensity to the pain level of a bee sting. They gain greater patience the more they can manage themselves in pain.
Wise parents and coaches are patient when working with their students on talent development. They do not get frustrated or shame students who learn at a different pace. North American and USA parents in particular who are highly competitive can get easily exasperated with children who don’t learn quickly. Speed of learning is not necessarily an indication of talent. Albert Einstein was labeled slow and stupid by his teachers because of his delayed response while learning.
Wise parents or coaches are also patient in disciplining their children or athletes. Patience is not the same as tolerance of bad behavior. Letting your son or daughter throw a fit in a store is not patience but ineptitude. A patient parent requires great behavior and never uses bad parenting to elicit good behavior. Good parenting is neither aggressive, angry, impatient nor rude as well as not whining, pleading, begging, placating with sugar, gifts or bribes. Good parents are calm, self-controlled, loving, firm, consistent, and they have very clear consequences for poor behavior which are administered with persistence, love and follow through.
The same is true for coaching, a poor coach has a disorganized coaching station. There is limited learning happening because the majority of the time is spend managing attitudes and behavior.
Parenting and coaching, like farming, is about discipline to do the daily, consistent, patient and loving work to cultivate great character in our children and players.