Rules vs Relationship

As mentioned in my previous post I have been reading the daily devotional this last week on You Version, titled ‘Parenting with Wisdom’. It’s been a good read and has made me think again around my role as a father and my role in the work environment I am in.

The quote below I read in the final devotional, this morning, and it again had me thinking. It read

As author Josh McDowell says, “Rules without relationship equals rebellion.”

Rules vs Relationship and the outcome thereof … Makes me think. So the context of this devotional is parenting, but again I asked myself the question how does this align to coaching.

As a parent I truly believe that rules are important, they are the foundation that provides boundaries for our kids. However it is so easy to take these rules to potential extremes, where rules and boundaries have the ability to limit the little growing character without providing the intended benefit. I am all for boundaries and rules, but over the last three years of being blessed with my own little precious child, and the last 11 of being blessed with a amazing gentleman of a nephew, I have often been reminded (mostly by my gorgeous wise wife) that rules are good but too many without a relationship may not be.
The relationship at the end is ultimately what it’s about. I have learnt in my own way that having the relationship with my little one and my nephew, the rules become more important and enforceable. They find it easier to work within the boundaries, when they know that they coming from a point of personal relationship and ultimately a point of love and caring for them.


The same applies in coaching. Coaching requires us to provide the rules, the boundaries needed for our athletes to be challenged and ultimately develop their God given skills and abilities. They, as athletes, need to know and understand the boundaries and rules, so as to work within them to achieve and perform. These include the rules of training and competition and in much the same way as your child, then also need to understand the result and consequences of not working within the boundaries. The younger the developing athlete, the more important the rules and the relationship is, so that when they have moved through the ranks of development they know what to do and when to do it … Within boundaries of course.


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