Parents. One word. Two letters. No.


Great people make great parents. Great parents make great people.
Love in Action. Action in love.
No. N. O. Two letters. One word. Powerful. The answer to several questions, and maybe the greatest thing a parent can say to their young athlete.

There are tremendous advantages in the freedom provided in the word no. No can be the most wonderful of standard setters. No, you may not do less than your best. No, you may not settle for less than your dreams. No, you may not be lazy. No, you may not take the easy route. No, you may accept less than your worth.
No, I will not go talk to your coach. No, I will not let you switch teams. No, this time you could have done more. No, I still love you. No, I still want what is best for you. No, I can not do this for you. No, your teacher isn’t wrong. No, I will not allow you to do that.
I make daily efforts to be the king of YES. Yes, you can. Yes, you will. Yes, you are. Yes, you should. Yes, you could. A pat on the back, a look in the eye, a smile in chaos, or a hand on the shoulder. Yes,  in the grand enabler for those in need. No serves a great purpose. It is a pause. It is a needed change of thinking. It is a suggestion of another way. It is the pointing in a different direction. When used properly, it is a needed re-route to YES. It is the new way. It is the better way.
No can be an acknowledgment that your young person is growing. It can be a flashing light that their bright eyes are searching for more, or looking for better. It is the whistle that calls for attention, it indicates a need for another voice. Another thought. No can be the simplest statement. It can also be the loudest.
No can remove doubt, elevate goals, and increase desire. No can move a young person off an idle position, and into a decisive one. It can take indifference and cause a change of energy and reason. No can be the reason why, the reason how, and the answer to whatever the other questions are. No can cause more questions, lead to more answers, and indicate a void of a valid and absolute either.
No can be a babysitter, a mentor, a teacher, or a muse. It can be the engine of inspiration, ambition, and success. It can be the key to understanding, appreciation, and motivation. It can be the stop sign, the caution sign, or the detour. It has strength. It has reason. It has a way.
Do not be afraid of your no. If used properly, and lovingly, it leads to YES.
Have it at. Just say no.