It’s all about Relationships

Young football player in running action on a dark background

Today, former Ohio State legendary coach Urban Meyer was fired partway through his first year in the National Football League. Indeed, his team wasn’t winning much, but they were winless last year and showing some improvement. The issue that seems to have caused the firing is poor relationships with players and staff.

The Same Factors can Destroy Romantic Relationships

Urban is known for his demanding coaching style. While this style may have served him at the collegiate level, it rubbed many people the wrong way who are closer to equals in the NFL. After all, top players are often paid more and arguably are more valuable to a team than the coach. If you are controlling in a relationship, you could have the same issues.

While there are disagreements about exactly what was said, various media reports state that Urban called himself a “winner” while calling his staff “losers.” Individuals are often blind to their faults and can see their partner’s faults (or exaggerate them) with no problem. Defensiveness can be a relationship killer. Losing one’s temper often and physical violence can be catastrophic in marriages. Some speculate the nail in the coffin for Meyer was reports of him kicking one of his players when he lost his temper.

Another analogy is the importance of being able to lose. Urban Meyer won more national championships at the collegiate level than games at the professional level. Typically in relationships, things start out fun, easy, and relatively carefree. Eventually, things usually get difficult. Having children is life-changing, amazing, and often the hardest thing couples have to adjust to. Aging and helping aging parents can be stressful. Career demands typically increase with age. The question is not how you handle the game when your team never loses, but how you handle things when you eventually have periods of losing more than not.

A Professional, Counselor Relationship is Important Too

Not every counselor is a good fit for every client. For example, many men prefer a male counselor. A couple’s counselor should have the ability to be warm and compassionate when necessary but also not afraid to call you out in the interest of the relationship. A good coach must first establish relationships with players and staff, building up an emotional bank account for times where more toughness is needed. It may take a few sessions to determine if you have a healthy therapeutic relationship, but that relationship is vital to success. In the case of mental health knowledge, the counselor is generally in a position of power, but when it comes to knowing yourself, you are the expert. The relationship is like a coach and a top player. The counselor and clients need to work together. If things aren’t working out as you’d like, you should feel free to give your counselor feedback. Urban Meyer may not have been a good fit for the NFL, but perhaps if he learns some lessons he could be a good fit with a college team again and can find the right option for himself. Also, be sure to read about how much fighting is normal.

How you communicate at work may also be different than how you need to communicate at home. Work may require a direct style and if you are in a position of power, may require you to drive for results. This style often does not work well at home. Having to learn different styles in different settings can be an important part of counseling.