In the summer of 2004, my wife and I spent five days rafting the Salmon River across Idaho, from almost the Montana border to almost the Oregon border, 85 miles in all. I brought back from the river three things: a black eye, poison ivy, and some teachable moments. Here’s the best.
Before we put in – that is, lowered the rafts to the water – we were told to “point positive.” We were instructed by the outfitter that when we were in the lead raft, we should point not at the trouble ahead – not at the rock or hole in the water before us – but to point away from the trouble. To show, for those who follow, the better way to go, not the way not to go.
How’s that for a solid leadership tip for those who work with coaches, athletes and parents? To identify the good course of action, to point out the better way. To cite the good example. To emphasize the good and the positive, more than the negative.
Point positive; I’m going to try to do more of that this year. Of all the resources needed for school sports, the one that we are not short of, fortunately, is positive examples. And I’m going to point to more of them.