Sunday, June 14, 2009

Forever Strong


Scott and I watched a movie this weekend called, Forever Strong. This movie is based on a true story. It's about a high school rugby player from Arizona who is off track with his life and has to go to a juvenile detention center in Utah for about a year. The court agrees to shorten his term if he goes and plays with the Highland high school rugby team in Utah... because the coach at Highland is known for helping boys find a better way of life. The coach says he's more interested in turning out champion boys than champion teams(though they always are), and that he wants them to be forever strong on the field, so they'll be forever strong off it. So anyways, Scott and I both really liked this movie and the messages that it taught. It's not at the Red Box so you'll have to pay the big bucks to rent it at Hollywood or Blockbuster, but it's definitely worth it.

We watched the special features at the end, and they had an interview with Larry Gelwix, who is the coach of 31 or so years at Highland high school. I have to say, he inspired me. I ended up grabbing a piece of paper and a pen and taking some notes.

At one point, he talked about how many coaches yell and berate their players on the field, hoping to motivate them. But what Larry Gelwix said is that there is no such thing as negative motivation. He said, "you can't do the Lord's work in the devil's way." He says you can get a short term behavior change(w/yelling and berating), but they won't be committed to you. This struck me as something that's also true in parenting. Some parents yell, hit, or just talk in disrespectful language to their children, because they feel like that's the only way they can get through to them. But I completely disagree. I think the only thing you're teaching your children, when you act in that manner, is that when you're frustrated, angry, or upset, that it's okay and acceptable to hit, yell, and berate others. But it's not. I don't know about others, but I know I feel really uncomfortable when I see an adult acting in this way...it's very childish. It demonstrates a quick temper and a tendency for anger and aggression. I love this quote that, 'you can't do the lord's work in the devil's way,' because it's true in all aspects of life. How did the Lord teach his disciples, the poor, the sinners, the sick and afflicted? He taught them all in the same way: with love, kindness, patience and respect.

I think I'm doing okay at remaining in control of myself and keeping my actions in check, even when one of the kids is being exceptionally naughty. But I need to work on not having negative feelings at all, and learning to be peaceful inside, even when times are really trying. I'm hoping I can learn to master this before my kids are grown up, because I want them to have this kind of mom while they're young. I'm sure they can tell when I'm getting frustrated, because I probably let out a sigh of exasperation or roll my eyes, or do something of that sort. I think in order to do this I need to be more understanding and look at situations from different perspectives. Something that's interesting to me is that before I had kids, I thought I was a really patient person; I didn't ever think that was an attribute in me that needed improvement. But I was wrong and I've learned(the children have taught me) there are SO many different areas that I need to improve in. I'm grateful we have the Lord's example to follow and that He continues to enlighten us and give us guidance and direction when we seek for it.

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes from the movie/interview:
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes permanent."
"Attitude and effort are everything. They're more important than natural talent, ability and smarts."
"It doesn't matter what you want to be, but who you want to be."

3 comments:

Scott said...

Elisa,
Great review on this movie. Very insightful and succinct. Maybe you should add a regular movie review to your blog. I am impressed that you sat through a sport movie. Luv ya!
Scott

LeMira said...

I am one of those parents who has always struggled with losing my temper, yelling, etc. It's definitely NOT an easy thing to control, but I feel tremendous guilt every time I lose my temper. Jackson is now 5, and I'm finally learning how to get my temper under control, although I'm not great at it yet. As a parent, it's sometimes hard to not take things so personally. I am grateful for repentance and the atonement because that's the only way I'm able to overcome my most "natural man" tendencies.

Leake's said...

I agree completely with the positive approach. This coach is amazing. He spoke at Women's Conference and from the very top of the bleachers, I could feel the "light" this man carries. In my own parenting, once I could remember that I was making a choice every time I reacted, instead of being in charge of the moment. It became easier to be positive. The hard part is remembering that we are making a choice. Some of the teachers and trainers my girls had, did not get this. It was so frustrating to see their self esteem melt under a negative teaching moment. And it did not commit the student to the instructor. I tried really hard to keep my reprimands to a positive approach, like reminding the girls that they did not hate me, only the action or the moment. Instead of punishments of I "won't", but I "will". I only hope that I have taught them how to cope in this world and remember who they are, so they can survive!