Weekend Edition Saturday had an interview with writer Michael Lewis whose book Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life explores the profound impact his high school mentor/coach had on his life.
Lewis is very engaging. He describes his high school coach, Billy Fitzgerald, as a genius for getting the best out of his players on and off the field. Coach Fitz's take on the changing perception of self esteem was right on target.
In the "old" days, a young person started with zero self-esteem and earned it through his actions and accomplishments. Today's parents have the idea that a child is born with only a fixed quantity of self esteem and any criticism or failure from a teacher or coach will reduce that fixed quantity and with it their child's chance for success.
"...tough teachers and tough coaches are finding that in their attempts to hold kids to higher standards, they are encountering resistance, a new kind of resistance from the parents..."
This is a MUST listen.
Sounds like an excellent read for anyone who works with kids and hopes to get the very best out of them.