Tough love or just plain love?

Let’s face it. If you’re a Yankees fan, it’s been a tough postseason. Pitching has been stellar, but with quiet bats and bad calls, games have been lengthy and frustrating.

Remember when the Yankees clinched the AL East title a few weeks ago? Ah, the good old days.

In Sundays home game against the Tigers, some Yankees fans decided to boo their own players. Ugh. (Whatever happened to “root, root, root for the home team?”) While most of the players were disheartened by the booing, ARod said he understood, as did Joba Chamberlain after a bad outing in August.

Lo and behold, after batting below .100 in the playoffs and hearing boos from sociopaths fair-weather fans fans, ARod connected with the ball in the 9th inning of that game and got a base hit (HALLELUJIAH). Was he motivated knowing the entire tri-state area was forming a lynch mob threatening to burn his centaur portrait angry with him for continually underperforming?

Now, in my opinion, booing is classless, rude, and never okay, but Sundays game forced me to consider the possibility of tough love as productive motivation for some athletes. As we approach marathon season, it’s a good time to ask your first-time or repeat marathoner if they prefer positive encouragement during the race, or tough love. Ask yourself, too!

Personally, I have always appreciated positive encouragement. I don’t care if I look awful and I’m way over goal pace. I already know it; hearing it out loud would probably make me cry. However, there was one time I can remember that I needed tough love, and I knew it.

After I began walking during the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon, the break felt way too good. I don’t quite remember how long I walked, but I may have continued it for miles, if not for a woman who ran by me and said, “Is THIS what you came here for?? THIS is what you worked so hard for???” If she hadn’t loudly called me out, I would have kept on walking and I certainly wouldn’t have PR-ed. Makes me wonder if I’d benefit from tough love more often.

I bet you’ll be surprised by some of your friends’ answers, and maybe you’ll reevaluate your own (for certain miles or races). And they may change on race day! Be prepared for anything, superfan. But, please, no booing.


7 thoughts on “Tough love or just plain love?

  1. Vanilla love early on, tough love late in the race. Sometimes you need some honest encouragement towards the end of a race to ignite the last boost! Good song, never heard of them before either.

  2. I think any athlete, even us runners, need to have an appreciation for the people watching us. It isn’t the responsibility of the spectator to say the right thing. It is the responsibility of the athlete to give the spectator something to watch. We need to appreciate the spectator, no matter what they say or do for us. We can show that appreciation by waving, smiling, thanking them, high fiving them, hugging them – whatever. Give them something and you will be, in turn, raised up and motivated to be better than you would have been if you just stayed hidden down in your personal pain.

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