Monday, March 31, 2014

Aggressive Or Passive?

Like the old man that starts a story with, “In my day…” then goes on to describe an idyllic, “how-it-used-to-better” story when he was a kid…I would like to say…
“In MY day…boys used to be aggressive & competitive and I think that is a GOOD thing.”

Problem is, I don’t know if that is an accurate statement or not.  I was and certainly still am aggressive and competitive, sometimes to a pitiful fault (don’t ask).  But is it just me or has modern society beaten the naturally occurring competitive spirit out of our boys?  Or has there always been aggressive and non-aggressive types in vast quantities and I just failed to notice?
I am fully aware that there were SOME more timid than others. I am not making the blanket statement that none existed.  But I am seeing what I believe to be a pendulum swing to an extreme proportion where the non-aggressive far outnumber the aggressive.  In my own house, my eldest son Michael struggles with this as his sister and younger brother are naturally more competitive than him.  What this sets up quite often is Michael at the losing end of a battle that he could have actually won, since he is more skilled (and bigger) in various areas than either of them.

It’s a classic case of Rudy (the highly motivated but less skilled) winning over his opponent because his heart was in it and NOTHING could stop him.  But how do you teach aggressiveness, especially in sports and especially the RIGHT way?  I don’t want to change Michael into a macho man or train him to be something that he is not.  But I do want him to be able to compete in the sports he has chosen to participate in.  I also understand that words like “aggression” have a negative stigma and that it can be a bad thing in the wrong doses and in the wrong contexts.  To eliminate it completely though, seems counter-intuitive and equally harmful.
Thoughts? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook so we can discuss…