interrupting the struggle: A cautionary tale for youth coaches

Nabil Murad
1 min readMar 14, 2023

Tom loved observing nature. He would hide in gardens admiring insects, plants, and the peaceful beauty of it all.

One day he found a cocoon and was mesmerized. He returned to it daily observing curiously. After a couple of days, a small opening appeared.

Over the next few hours, something struggled against the opening as it tried to force its body through the tiny space. Then it stopped, there was no progress being made; the butterfly had given up.

As kind and gentle as he was, Tom decided to help. With his red pocket knife, he carefully snipped off the edges, extending the opening. The butterfly came out easily, and Tom was thrilled he could help. Except. . .

This butterfly was unlike any he had ever seen.

It had a swollen body and shriveled wings. Being non-judgemental, he continued to observe, waiting for the butterfly to spread its majestical wings and become the beauty he knew it could be.

Instead, the butterfly just crawled away with its swollen body and shriveled wings, It would spend the rest of its life crawling, unable to fly.

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Tom wanted to help; he had good intentions, but he misunderstood the process.

The butterfly needed to go through that opening itself, which would force it to shed the extra weight and strengthen its wings as it pushed against the opening. By interrupting that process, the butterfly was robbed of that growth opportunity.

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Nabil Murad

Full time professional youth basketball with an avid interest in meta-learning. Passionate about youth development, behavioural psychology and storytelling