We all deal with fear. Whether it is fear of speaking in public, fear of flying, fear of failure, or many other kinds, fear can paralyze us. Many young people today will look at their parents and think they don’t experience fear. But you and I both know that we do. I have had many fears in my life. Life is about overcoming our fears. That is what I try to teach my children. This is what I tell them about how to overcome fear.
A couple of months ago was the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament. One of the teams that had a great run was South Carolina. During a press conference, a budding reporter from Sports Illustrated Kids asked a great question to head coach Frank Martin. He asked about in teaching team defense which is more important: technique or attitude. It was a terrific question and Coach Martin gave a great answer.
Around this time of year the warm weather starts to return. Everything begins to bloom, which fills the air with pollen. Unfortunately, all of that pollen can jump start allergies giving us cold symptoms, such as sore throats and coughing. These things can keep us from enjoying the new beautiful weather. Bad habits are an awful lot like allergies.
Under a clear, blue sky, a man sprints to catch a speeding train. He has fired a machine gun at his pursuers-Nazis-and thrown grenades at them, setting various other charges and traps for them as well. Now, he has almost caught up with the German transport train that he and his fellow prisoners of war have commandeered and are riding into Switzerland. He closes in on the train, running with his hand out…and is shot and killed with his hand just inches from his fellow prisoners and only feet away from the Swiss border and safety. Death by inches.
People look at me, especially when I was on the sidelines as a coach, and say, “He’s cool, he’s calm, he’s collected, does he ever get angry?” They would also hear stories about how I never raised my voice at the team. Well, I can tell you this, my high school and junior high buddies know that that’s not the Tony Dungy they know. I was a hot head in high school. I was a hot head in college, but I learned the ability to keep my emotions under control, particularly controlling anger. But I do get angry and this is what I do about it.
My father used to tell me that having integrity is not a “sometimes” thing, you either have it or you don’t. Your integrity gets tested many times in life. This is one of the toughest times it was difficult to maintain my personal integrity.
One of the most important gifts a father can give his children is time together creating memories. Having experiences together gives us a chance to bond. One of my favorite things about my childhood is all of the time my dad and I spent with one another. It was important for my development and sense of self. That is why I have to try to make sure my kids experience as much with me as possible. So I try to create times together they will remember forever.
Fortunately, I have had a lot of wonderful experiences with my children. It’s tough for me to remember all of them. I tend to think first about the most recent. So, if I had to pick my top 3 experiences I would have to narrow it down to these recent ones.
I have been asked many times what is the best parenting advice I have ever received. For me, it goes all the way back to 1984. Our first daughter Tiara was just born and Ron Blackledge was an assistant coach with me on the Steelers staff. He had children already and this is what he told us.
Please join Benjamin Watson and me for a special event called Under Our Skin: A Forum on Race and Faith. The current state of affairs in our country has highlighted the continual need to bridge the racial divide.
Have you ever looked back and wished you had done something different? As I look back on my playing and coaching career there are not many things I would do differently. I don’t have many regrets. I always tried to do what I thought was best at the time and try not to second guess. […]