Sports and character

Getting into sports an an early age should not always be about winning.    If this is the sole purpose then we all lose the whole point.

Involvement in sports must be about building character more than anything else.   Winning, or trying to win is only a tool to ensure that the person is exposed to situations which helps him form the correct values-a bedrock of character.

I have had a chance to work with athletes in training both in the sport of baseball and boxing.   I have had the opportunity to watch each one grow into the people they are today.

I have observed that they end up into being two kinds of athletes:

The first group end up being too hard on themselves.

They tend to try too hard to the point of frustration.    They always compare themselves to others and end up feeling down when someone beats them and too cocky when they win.  There is a tendency for this athlete to blame others rather than look at what is controllable.

They count every scoreboard win and for some reason believe that they should not ever lose.

The other group seems to be more resillient.

They come into every game with the intent of winning, but does not allow a loss to change their attitude.  They appreciate the victor’s efforts and learn from them rather than find an excuse for their loss.

This group looks at a win and goes back to training with the intent of reliving the winning moments so they can learn from it.  This group more than anything else,  is more humble than the first.

I may be wrong, but I think it truly begins with the proper mindset.   Getting into a sport at a young age is obviously good but I do think that one has to be guided with regard to expectations.  Their reasons must be grounded on learning and getting better.

Emphasis on delayed gratification must be ingrained so the concepts of discipline and hard work are readily accepted.

In life we continue to compete.  Sports provide us the training to cope.  I have said it many times,  life is not a sprint,  it is a marathon.  We just have to keep on running, get better, dust ourselves off when we fall, congratulate the winners but to never accept defeat without a fight.

Get into sports with the right attitude.