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  • Writer's pictureMindy McCarthy

Take Responsibility

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs, especially my own. (She is the sweetest dog on the planet, and I will argue with anyone about that :)) One morning, she was eating her breakfast which, for her, meal times are most likely the highlights of her day. She takes her food very seriously. This particular morning, she was so excited to be eating that she was moving her bowl all over the floor and ended up knocking something down that was propped up against our well. That item ended up breaking. It is certainly repairable and not a big deal at all, but what I found interesting was the way my dog responded to the event.

The loud noise and my surprised reaction caused my dog to put her head down and walk towards me as if she was saying that she was sorry. She continued to follow me around in this manner continuously apologizing in ways that only dogs can. Of course she is so cute that I cannot stay upset with her, but this reaction from her got me thinking about how we need to take responsibility for our reactions and admit that we did something wrong.

I think more and more people are stepping away from taking responsibility for their actions and admitting that they did something wrong. I had an employer once tell me that it was refreshing that I came to him and told him that I messed up and needed some help fixing it. He wasn’t even upset about what had happened because I was the one who told him myself instead of trying to “brush it under the rug.”

Why is this action becoming so much more unusual to see?

Taking responsibility for your actions is incredibly important, and it is not supposed to be a situation where you feel that you are weak or incapable of doing something. It shows that you truly care about what you did in the past, and you want to work towards correcting it in the future.

When we think about young athletes growing and learning how to play their sports, it seems that more and more athletes want to be defensive about instructions or critiques that they receive from their coaches instead of absorbing it and using it to become a better player. More players are bouncing around to different schools and travel team organizations instead of sticking with one coach or one group. While there are certainly a variety of reasons for why this happens, it is sometimes because players do not care for the way the coaches instructs them to do things.

I recently went to a large basketball tournament where the event had to be cancelled because a fight was started where people continued to add to the fire instead of help break it up. The event center ended up having to send everyone home right then and there instead of being able to finish the games that weren’t even involved in the altercation. I do not have all the facts about this event, but from the videos that I have seen the fight was started between parents. The PARENTS! The parents who are not even competing against another team or trying to fight for a spot on a collegiate team. The parents…

This is very concerning for me as someone who works with young athletes who may have to see these altercations. These athletes are the ones who end up getting hurt by these situations instead of the parents, and I think this stems from people who do not want to take responsibility for their actions.

When you do something wrong, apologize. Show that you care and want to move forward from it. If something is brought to your attention by another person about something you may have done wrong, listen to where they are coming from and understand that they are telling you because they care about your relationship. For example, if a significant other tells you something that you said upset them, they are not wanting to end the relationship but hope that it gets stronger after the conversation. If a coach gets upset with you about running the play wrong, it is most likely because they know that you are fully capable of running it successfully, but you did not do so in that particular situation.

As a young professional and hopefully someone who gets to be a parent one day, I hope everyone takes an opportunity to show the way of being a responsible adult and taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Think about it. If someone does something wrong to you or something that upsets you, wouldn’t you want them to apologize or try to make things right? Let’s show these young athletes how to accept responsibility and move forward.

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