What We Need More of That Gets Made Fun of…

By January 5, 2018 No Comments
effort 1

It’s slowly creeping into the hallways, weight rooms, and locker rooms across high schools in America; and it’s threatening the essence of what the world needs most.

What or who is it?


What is a try hard? It’s someone who gives max effort, and they’re under attack. I’ve heard from several coaches, students, and athletes from all-over and they all share similar stories.

According to my internet research a try-hard is someone who gives excessive effort when it’s not needed; or someone who ruins the fun for everyone else by going to hard.

Now, I get the “gym-class hero” try-hard or someone who takes the fun out of a friendly game, but the problem which is developing is that it’s becoming “uncool” to give max effort in the classroom, weight room, or at practice. The very thing students and athletes should be celebrating about one another is now becoming a source of ridicule and mockery. And it’s destroying cultures.

Kids are mocked as a “try-hard” for getting a good grade on a test others do poorly on.

Kids are mocked for putting more weight on the bar, or doing more reps than previously done.

Kids are getting mocked for running hard at practice; for paying attention and giving every drill their best.

It’s sad. The things we want to see kids are afraid to do because of what their peers might say.

What can be done?

I often hear the response, “These kids just don’t have it” or “We don’t have any leaders.” More on this later.

What should be done?

First, we as teachers and coaches must fight for our culture every day; every day! What we praise gets repeated. Too often positive behavior is ignored in order to focus on correcting the undesirable behavior. We need to make it a point to single out and PRAISE LOUDLY the behavior we want repeated.

Secondly, we must set clear expectations. When we don’t specifically state what we value, we leave room for what we don’t want to creep in. Questions we have to ask ourselves is these: Do my kids know what I value? Do they know what our program values? Do they know what is expected of them?

Thirdly, we have to eliminate or isolate the bad apples. I’m not saying to completely remove an individual who initially doesn’t buy in. However, you should if you have clearly stated your vision, philosophy, expectations, and values. If they refuse to buy in and continue to mock those who do, your team is better off without them. As a teacher, focus your attention on the kids who are there to learn and get better.

Lastly, we can all agree that if a person practices a skill they will get better at it? Right? If I go bowling once or twice a week for 16 weeks my score would increase, right? Well, then why don’t we look at leadership in the same way?

We teach our kids how to read, write, throw, shoot, and catch a ball. But we often don’t teach them what it looks like to be a leader. Leaders don’t allow their classmates or teammates to be ridiculed for being a “try-hard.” The reality is many teachers and coaches want to implement a leadership development program but don’t have the time or resources to create one.

Thankfully, there’s a program that will help you turn your kids into the leaders you need. I’ve used Lead ‘Em Up for three years and have witnessed first hand the results with my program. We’ve won more games, become a closer group, and have seen real transformations take place amongst our girls.

I highly encourage you to sign up for a free-preview lesson to see how Lead ‘Em Up can impact your kids: http://leademup.com/ready-get-started/

We need more of what’s getting made fun of. The world needs more people who give max effort. As adults we need to do everything we can to develop a growth mindset amongst our kids. We must teach them it’s okay to give your very best at all times, and not to worry about the opinion of others.

If you know of a student or athlete who needs encouragement or empowerment, have them check out our YouTube Channel, No But For Real.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.