Enlightened Conflict

an act of solidarity

April 9th, 2015

goth tv ad alone sit

“Even if the entire world is against you, I’m on your side.”

what you hope a parent says

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Ok.

 

goth tv ad magazine
This is an older tv ad, 2014, and a foreign ad – German.

 

But I just saw it for the first time as I searched for something else.

 

 

Fabulous.

 

Frickin’ fabulous.

 

 

Charming with a great message <and it is home improvement for gods sake>.

 

 

 

First.

 

 

The execution itself.

 

 

In this 2014 TV ad from German DIY store Hornbach, a dad surprises his goth daughter with a home makeover to show his support.

 

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Say it with Your Project:

 

 

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Second.

 

 

If it only takes some black paint to make your child smile on a bad day, wouldn’t you do it?
But how many of us would actually think of doing something like this?

 

A room.
Sure.

 

A house?
No frickin’ way.
Third.

 

 

Ok.

 

 

So maybe none of us guys would actually ‘nut-up’ and paint an entire house … but the underlying message … saying “even if the entire world is against you, I’m on your side” is something we all have the kahones, or backbone, to do – assuming we elect to do it.

 

 

This is more than ‘verbal support’ … this is a vivid demonstration of support.
What a powerfully important message for a kid to know.

 

 

 

Let’s face it … the father is so perfect in the commercial because you unequivocally understand just by looking at him that there is no frickin’ way he understands his child and what she is thinking and why she is doing what she is doing.

 

 

Uhm.

 

Doesn’t that actually reflect most of us adults?

 

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

No bullying the child to conform. No suggestion she is taking the wrong path. No statement that ‘being yourself needs to be rethought.’ Not even “maybe you should dress differently.”

 

 

He only sees his beautiful daughter … one who has elected to rebel against ‘blandly white world.’

 

By the way … that includes her blandly normal father.

 

 

Everyone around her … classmates, teachers, and people on the street look with disapproval, confusion, and scorn.

 

 

What happens?

 

 

The bland father who doesn’t understand … makes a stand. In a vivid demonstration of support, without words but rather actions, he supports her fully and completely.you matter care

 

 

This ad may be about home improvement from a business standpoint but it is about growing up & kids more importantly.

 

 

It is about … you matter <a lot>.

 

 

 

I love this ad.

 

 

I love this message.

college athlete to professional something else

April 6th, 2015

odds never n our favor

“How passionately they explain the numbers and how much they emphasize the deck is stacked against athletes varies between institutions.

It is a message that a lot of coaches don’t want to send.

And it’s a message, frankly, that a lot of athletes don’t want to hear at this stage in their lives.”

=

Mark Nagel

———————-

=

Lloyd Christmas: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me … ending up together?

Mary Swanson: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…

Lloyd Christmas: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary.

The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary Swanson: Not good.

Lloyd Christmas: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

Mary Swanson: I’d say more like one out of a million.

[pause]

Lloyd Christmas: So you’re telling me there’s a chance … YEAH!

==

Dumb and Dumber

——————-

athletes -collage

 

Ok.

 

 

First.

 

 

Let me be clear in using a dumb & dumber quote I am not going to be suggesting college athletes are dumb. If anything I believe people would be surprised at how worldly and smart and hard working 99% of college athletes are.

 

 

Second.

 

With the NCAA men’s basketball finals tonight I wanted to take a moment and talk about the link, or the lack thereof, between playing collge sports and playing professionally.

 

 

I thought of this when during one of the semi final games I was asked how many players move on to the NBA. I guessed maybe 5%.

 

 

I was wrong.

 

Just using Division 1 it is 1.2%

 

There are 347 Division I college basketball teams. Each team offers 13 scholarships.

 

That’s about 4,511 Division I college basketball players this year.

 

 

 

In addition.

 

 

265 teams in Division II, 325 teams in Division III and 259 teams in NAIA.

 

That’s about another 11,000 players,
Using Division 1 alone … only 1.2% of college basketball players will be drafted by a National Basketball Association team.

 

Less will end up actually playing.

 

 

Uhm.

 

 

This means less than ½ of 1% of total college basketball players will play in the NBA.

 

 

Ok.

 

Sure.

 

“Professional” doesn’t have to mean the NBA because there are a lot of other options around the world, especially in Europe, Israel, Turkey, etc.

 

And, to be clear, there are not a lot of Division III student-athletes who think, or know, they are going to play in the NBA. Overseas professional leagues are pretty numerous <even if they don’t pay as well as the NBA> and the idea of spending at least a year playing in and getting to see another part of the world while getting paid is pretty attractive … especially to students focus more on their studies than many Division I athletes – especially those who want to play in the NBA.

 

athlete 98All the caveats aside … this means 98+% of college athletes never play professionally.

 

 

And while we watched Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin and Michigan State all play an incredibly high level of basketball … 98% of them will not play professionally.

 

 

 

Ok.

 

That was a semi stunning thing to write.

 

You watch Kentucky and Duke and think High School All Americans and it will be a given they play professionally.

 

Yikes. Not so much.

 

 

Ok.

 

 

So maybe the elite of the elite may send 2 … maybe 3 at best to be drafted … in one given year … and then maybe half of those are actually NBA worthy. But this is the best of the best and over a 5 year span the % drops significantly.

 

 

Playing professionally, in any sport not just basketball, is … well … a pretty long shot.
In January a guy named Jake New tackled this topic.

 

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College athletes vastly overestimate their chances of playing professional sports.

The problem is so pervasive that Mark Emmert, the NCAA’s president, devoted significant space to the issue during his most recent state of the association address, saying that “athletes often have incredibly unrealistic perceptions of their professional prospects.”

According to NCAA surveys, more than 60% of Division I college men’s ice hockey players think it’s likely they’ll play professionally, but less than 1 percent ever go on to the National Hockey League.

About 45% of Division I women’s basketball players think they have a chance to play professional basketball, but only 0.9% of players are drafted by a Women’s National Basketball Association team.

<The NCAA said that it is currently procuring data on a player’s chances of joining other professional leagues, such as those in Europe, but the information is not yet available>

Men’s hoops players are the most unrealistic. More than three-quarters of men’s basketball players in Division I say they believe it is at least “somewhat likely” they will play professionally. More than half of Division II players say the same, as do 21 percent of Division III players. Only 1.2 percent of college basketball players will be drafted by an National Basketball Association team.

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Now.

 

 

We <colleges and adult influencers in general> don’t help.

 

 

While the NCAA actually does a pretty good job marketing the fact that athletes should have realistic expectations and that ‘the majority of college athletes go on to do something better’ <note: I do like their message and the campaign>.

 

 

Colleges kind of derail the message by promoting their successes <by the way … not in percentages but rather by individuals>.

 

 

For example … some colleges list the individuals who have attended the university and gone on to fame and professional playing <not noting that these are actually exceptions and not the rule>.

 

 

For example … on its recruiting website, UCLA is described as “#1 in Olympic Gold Medals from 1984 to 2008″ and “#1 in professional athletes.” And UCLA is very open in saying that for athletes who do dream of going professional the information can be helpful when choosing a program <note … I used UCLA but I could have used any big time college sports program and maybe not used #1 but some marketing of program success as an example>.

 

 

 

In addition … parents and adults and gobs of books promote “if you work hard enough you can attain it” or even “believing you can do it is the path to actually doing it.”

 

 

This means that colleges simply feed into what has already been planted in an athlete’s head. Some guy named Gershon Tenenbaum, a sports psychology professor at Florida State University, calls it the “self-bias phenomenon.”

 

 

And adults clearly exacerbate the situation with some relatively absurd levels of adulation with successful athletes.

 

 

things to know

I actually believe most young athletes are aware the %’s associated with professional sports is very low <even though they may not be aware of the NCAA research or specific numbers> but young people are hard to convince … not only do they want to be seen as some statistic but we actually encourage them to be the exception.

 

 

 

Personally I know I have a love/hate relationship with regard to how my own parents managed my love of sports and whatever ability I may have had.

 

They constantly stressed the low likelihood of being good enough to play professionally and were relentless with regard to me not ‘wasting my time’ on sports and focusing on other things therefore I always had a pretty good perspective on my abilities and ‘chances’ … all the while I had coaches tugging at me to play and practice and ‘maximize’ the ability I did have.

 

 

I am not sure it was the tug-of-war was the best thing for my esteem but it certainly gave me a realistic point of view when the time came to hang up my cleats & glove.

 

 

But it is not easy.

 

By the time you reach college level of sports you know you are ‘good’ … and have attained at least a higher level on the athletic pyramid. For years an athlete moves on to higher and higher levels of competition and by getting to a college level an athlete actually gets to a level that is maybe 95%+ higher level than your peers.

 

 

In basketball … a little over 3% of high school men’s and women’s basketball players make it to the college level. mature 69 percent

 

In football … maybe 6% of high school football players make it to the college level.

 

 

Success breeds some confidence … but the research also suggests it also breeds some delusional thinking with regard to what is possible.

 

 

What the hell.

 

You made it this far … why not all the way?

 

 

And in today’s world <which is NOTHING like when I grew up> we have elevated youth sports to such a level we almost create a celebrity status to not only successful teams <which inflates the egos of the individuals even if they are not stars> as well as the actual stars themselves.

 

 

We, adults, do this because we tend to believe confidence can elevate talent … or that a higher level of confidence can help overcome any real odds of ‘yikes, we should lose this one.’

 

 

 

Breeding confidence in a young person is a delicate balance and we adults are anything but delicate with regard to the young & sports.

 

 

This actually creates the “athlete student” problem <note: I did not say student athlete>.

 

 

We have created a breed of young athlete that considers academics beneath them because they are “going to play professional sports.”

 

 

Yes. This is a delusion for most.

 

But those who could actually judge talent the best, coaches, have no incentive to create a work ethic in academics <or social skills, emotional maturity and improving their reading, writing, and analytical skills beyond elementary school in order to “win” at something bigger> unless it is associated with ‘eligibility.’

 

 

Sure.

 

We can find some coach exceptions.

 

 

But then there are we adults … who fuck everything up.

 

 

The head of the NCAA has clearly stated … “explaining to athletes that their passion — and years of hard work — is not likely to lead to a career is an uncomfortable but necessary conversation to have.”

listen hand

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“How can we help them understand the realities of what that looks like?

What can we change to give them a more realistic sense of it? How do we get a handle on that?

How can we provide them with a greater sense of the realities and what that looks like?”

==

 

 

The NCAA clearly advertises: “there are 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and almost all of them will go pro in something other than sports.”
Young athletes don’t always absorb the message.

 

But that is mostly because we adults haven’t learned the delicate balance of managing reality, dreams and confidence.
Reality is tough.

Reality is often captured in some harsh truth.

 

 

I could simply suggest that later tonight one team will go home as a loser.

 

It would be harsher to suggest that of the 26 young men who walk onto the court most likely 90% of them, the elite players on the elite teams, will leave the court and do something other than play professionally.

 

 

Has anybody told them that?

 

athlete dream reality

Would they play the game a little bit harder or with a little more passion or a little more ‘this is it’?

 

 

Shit.

 

I don’t know.

 

 

What I do know is that I will watch the game and be amazed by the talent and skill and sheer joy of the game … and know that most of them will have to figure out a way of making a living doing something other than playing basketball.

Enlightened Conflict