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NFL Players Bully Fans Just in Time for National Bullying Prevention Month

by | Offline Marketing & Sales

Setting Expectations for Martial Arts Students Upfront

Authority is highly influenced by emotion.

While your staff and students may intellectually understand that you are the boss and master instructor, they have to feel it, not think it.

It’s the emotional connection that anchors your authority on a deep level.

If there is one powerful moment in your role as a professional martial arts instructor, it’s in the enrollment conference.

While the parents may see you as the master black belt, they usually don’t have an authoritative reverence at this early stage.

The enrollment conference is a seminal moment for you to establish your authority and gain the respect and gratitude of the family you’re dealing with.

Presenting the programs and their cost to parents can be tense at times. Some parents want to negotiate. Others might object to the agreement. Some want a safety net in case their child wants to quit.

While it’s important that you are prepared to overcome any objections, it’s when the bottom line is signed and the initial investment is completed that you have a critical window to demonstrate your authority.

Many owners complete the transaction and gush with statements like, “Awesome. It’s great to have you on board. Johnny, you did an awesome job tonight. High five! Thanks Mrs. Jones it’s great to have Johnny as part of our family. Let me know if I can help with anything.”


Who has the role of authority here? Mrs. Jones and her credit card. That was a missed opportunity.

Let’s try again. You would adjust this script to the age and circumstance, but here is an authority template for the enrollment conference.

Mom has just enrolled Johnny into the program.

You, “Johnny. You want to learn Empower Kickboxing, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good. I want you to understand that your mom just enrolled you into a six month program. You are going to learn a lot of great skills and lessons. It’s going to be fun and sometimes it’s going to be hard. That’s the good part because that means you’re learning. So you have to pay attention and practice at home 20-minutes a day when you don’t have class.

Are you going to work hard and practice?”

“Yes sir.”

“I’m glad. Your classes are Monday and Wednesday at 5pm. When are your classes?”

“Monday and Wednesday at 5pm.”

“Good. You’re a smart guy. That means that you have to be ready to come to class by 4:30 on Monday and Wednesdays so that you’re not late. Will you do that?”

“Yes sir.”

“No matter what you are doing, you will be ready by 4:30, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good. The first lesson is integrity. Integrity means that you do what you say you are going to do. You keep your promises. You promise to work hard and be ready for class, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“No matter what you’re doing. Right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Great. We’re going to be so proud of you. Your mom just enrolled you, so please turn to her and say, ‘Thank you mom.”

“Thank you mom.”

“Alright. When someone does something good for you, you always say thank you. That’s called gratitude. What’s it called?”


“Correct. So you’ve learned two important lessons today. Integrity and gratitude. What does integrity mean?

“Keeping your promises.”

“Yes. What does gratitude mean?”

“Saying thank you.”

“You got it! You are going to do great, I can tell already.”

“Remember, your class is…”

“Monday and Wednesday at 5pm.”

“When will you be ready to come to class?”


“You have a good head on your shoulders Johnny. You’re going to be good at this.”

“Because you’ve showed your mom gratitude and you’re going to keep your promises, here is a school t-shirt for you to wear. Every time you put it on, I want you to think of integrity and gratitude. Will you do that?”

“Yes sir.”

“I just gave you a shirt. How do you show gratitude?”

“Thank you sir.”

As taught in the MATA Certification program, it’s also a good idea to let mom know that it’s important that she control what Johnny is doing around 4:30 which is the agreed upon to be ready for class.

If Johnny is playing with his friends or deep in a video game, it’s going to be harder to get him to get ready than if he is cleaning his bedroom or something he’d like to leave to go to class.

Keep in mind that mom is watching this happen before her eyes. What have you done to establish your authority?

  1. You’ve provided her with a language pattern that both her and Johnny understand. This is huge.
  2. You’ve given mom the “integrity” framework to deal with any reluctance to go to class.
  3. You’ve provided her with a strategy to engage Johnny in less fun activities so that going to class is an easy decision.
  4. You’ve laid out when Johnny should get ready for class without complaint.
  5. Before her eyes, you taught her son important lessons with real world examples. No doubt, your authority sky-rocketed in her eyes and in her heart.

Look for places where you can make these kinds of strong emotional connections.

Demonstrate true authority and leadership. That will last much longer than a trite, shallow compliments like “Awesome! Good job.”

This will help your students to understand how and why they are training with the best school.

October is National Bullying Prevention month and there is no more clear example of rampant, unrepentant bullying than NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem.

John Graden, the author of Stop Any Bully: A Family Plan for Taking Action is taking aim at NFL Players in this editorial.

Bullies throw their weight around to get their way. They see themselves as superior to their victims and use their strength to impose their will. Bullies often justify their rude insults or physical abuse as if they are trying to teach the victim a lesson. “She had it coming,” or “someone’s got to put him in his place” are common excuses.”

NFL bullies are targeting the very lifeblood of their income and acclaim. Hard working, loyal Americans who simply want the exciting distraction of football to entertain rather than infuriate.  The only time a fan’s blood should boil is when things don’t go well during the game, not before it even begins.

To be in a stadium filled with 70,000 Americans, who all stand in respect of our country and flag, is an honor and an amazing experience. For over a century, the collective pride and energy of the national anthem has ignited the crowd in universal pride and anticipation. That is no longer the case.

That moment of anticipation has been bullied into anxiousness and agony. It’s a terrible way to start a game.

President Trump shared the feelings of millions of Americans when he expressed his disapproval.

The kneeling players are saying that we, the fans, are idiots who need to learn something. We had it coming. That is classic bully behavior. It’s as though 70,000 fans stand in unity for the anthem and the 100 players flip them the finger and call us one of many undeserving mass label ‘isms.’

Bullies always have justifications for their actions. NFL Players have all kinds of claims as to why they are kneeling. That’s not important. The excuses of a bully never are. All that matters is action.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of internal bullying going on inside NFL locker rooms. I suspect many players and coaches do not want to kneel but are bullied into doing so. I think the most apparent example was the inspiring image of military veteran Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers standing alone to honor the flag while the rest of his team cowered in the locker room.

Americans had a hero against the bullies in Villanueva. His lone anthem image went viral, and his jersey sales skyrocketed. That soaring moment of pride quickly crashed to the ground the next day when he claimed that he felt ashamed of his actions. I have no doubt that he was bullied into apologizing by his team.

We love our football, but we love our country more. What was once our favorite stress release has been hijacked by selfish, condescending bullies who think they all know what is best for Americans.

The bullies may argue that they have a bigger cause to expose on their platform, but I have news for them. It’s not their platform. It is America’s.

From millions in stadium tax breaks to billions in TV and ticket sales, the American people have giveth and can taketh away. The NFL is fast losing our hard earned cash, our viewing time, and its place as our most popular sport.

Most of all, you have lost our respect. No one likes a bully.”

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John Graden, Author:

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