I’ve learned that sometimes the quickest route to a relationship is
a mutual interest. Music is an incredible opportunity to do just that,
because it can sell itself to anyone with an open mind and a song in
their heart. I mean it. Anyone can be converted to respect your
favorite band or song. And it makes you feel better about you, and them
Coach Mack Brown on the Texas Longhorns knows this. He loaded up his
IPOD with hip hop and hard rock last year, and came to like it. Some
say it may have been the breakthough between coach and players in a
system that required trust – which is usually an act of reciprocity.
He realized that the power of his connection with the players would
determine the execution of his offensive system (Give the ball to
Vince). In a USA Today article,
he was asked as to why he took the time to load an IPOD (given to him
as a gift) with the music his kids listened to, he replied: “I needed to do a better job of looking into these kids’ lives and
learning more about what’s important to them…When we were kids, shoot,
they were talking about Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny
Cash being rebels. Cussing. They’re ruining our music. Now we’re all
saying some of the rap music is so vulgar and so awful that they’re
ruining our music. But they’re no different. It’s just the times. And
what I needed to do, I thought, was do a little bit better job of
staying up with their times.”
In the end, many of his players remarked that Coach Brown was the first adult in many of their lives to accept who they were, what they listened to. He trusted their musical judgment enough to look for the beauty of the beat. One player remarked, and I believe this, "trust is a two way street."
Suggestion: On a personal level, if you still have time, don’t be a foolish parent with your kids and condemn their taste in music. You will have NO effect on what they listen to — just who they listen to over time.