Parenting Advice from a Former NFL Head Coach

I had the chance to listen to former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach and long time NFL assistant Les Steckel speak at the American Hockey Coaches Convention in Florida last spring. Steckel is an entertaining speaker who now speaks for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Coach Steckel gave a great talk and one point stuck with me. When discussing parenting ( and I think this applies to coaching also) Steckel said “what they see is what you’ll get”. Really makes you think. My Mom had a wall hanging in our kitchen when we were kids. It said “Children Learn What They Live”.  It was written in a kitchen in Torrance, Ca in 1954 by Dorothy Nolte.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

f children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about


If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

3 Responses to “Parenting Advice from a Former NFL Head Coach”

  1. Melanie Driscoll Says:

    repost, please?

  2. Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a wonderfull organization that i had the privledge of being a part of in Arkansas State University. I loved how many quality coaches they brought in to speak to us. They were always giving us life lessons, many of which have stuck with me to this day.

    I read a couple things from Coach Steckel in FCA media. He has a passion for youth and its obvious. I wish more coaches cared about the intagibles like he does.

  3. Great article! You could probably say the same about some adult relationships as well.

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