Two Words I Banned This Year

2907434143_1037f2c742_zAt the beginning of our volleyball season this year, I went over the ground rules with the 5th and 6th grade girls that I coach.


The list included the standard ground rules like listening to the coach, supporting your teammates, and hustling at practice. But there was a new rule this year – one that the girls were surprised to hear – No one is allowed to say “I’m Sorry.”


It was this video by Pantene that inspired the rule. After I watched this earlier this year,  I tuned into my own behavior and was surprised and embarrassed by the number of times I caught myself saying “sorry” for no good reason. What kind of example was this “over-apologizing” setting for my daughters?  Would they pick up this habit from me? I immediately started to ban the meaningless “sorry” from my vocabulary.


And when I noticed the echoes of “sorry” from my eager volleyball players during tryouts, I knew I wanted to address this with them too. It was really tough for them at first – and eye-opening for me. I couldn’t believe how often I had to remind them of the rule as they automatically apologized for hitting a ball into the net, missing a serve, for having to tie a shoe or run to the restroom. By mid-season they finally caught on and the girls started reminding each other not to say apologize.


Now, I’m not saying we stop saying sorry when we hurt someone. I do ask Parents, Coaches, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, Friends, Neighbors, let’s do a big favor to all of those young girls we influence each day and remind them to save their “sorry” for when they really need it.


Photo credit: Flickr

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