I spent my first week back on court after a six-month hiatus. I am also looking forward to a new year, a new semester and to getting back to teaching as I prepare for the 20-21 intake of undergraduate students. This being said, it is clear to me, and all that reside on planet earth, that all will not be the same, that the status quo is a new norm, a new way of being. One that will stretch our ability to engage, interact and produce meaningful learning, learning that is of value to the athletes and students in my charge. As a result, I recently sought to better understand value, and more specifically, value within my role as teacher and coach. Questions of self-worth, worth as measured by others, and the degree of my impact on teaching, coaching and learning. For example, I was recently notified that I had been nominated for the UK Coaching Performance Coach of the Year, something that I feel very proud to be able to say. However, what does it really mean? Is it a measure of my will to coach? Or, does it reflect the impact of my coaching practice on my athletes? Do the athletes / students hold me in high regard? Maybe I ask the same of the people I work with, or perhaps my employer? Interestingly, in Rousseau (1989) Psychological Contract theory the terms of the exchange are framed along a continuum, ranging from transactional to relational and are underpinned by values and beliefs. In other words, what one wishes to gain from the exchange and how one is seen. With this in mind, I offer what somebody gave to me in response to a challenge of my psychological contract:
A father said to his daughter: You graduated with honors, here is a car that I acquired many years ago … it is several years old.
But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you.
The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, “Now take the car to the pawn shop.” The daughter went to the pawn shop, returned to her father and said, “The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car.
The daughter took the car to the club, returned and told her father, “Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it is a Nissan Skyline R34, an iconic car and sought after by many.”
The father said to his daughter, “I wanted you to know that the right place values you the right way.” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you.
Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.
– Author Unknown