Oftentimes the emphasis in youth and high school sports is placed on talent level alone. Adults get too caught up in the things which matter least in the long run. When we pause to reflect on what’s most important, we should consider the following:
How many great athletes never made it to the big time? How many “stars” become busts at the pro level?
It’s rarely the skill level which separates the greats from the pack. Rather, it’s their mental ability. It’s their character, and ability to lead others.
Here are two important questions players and coaches should consider:
“Who are we?”
“Do we truly know ourselves?”
Who we are off the field impacts who we are on it.
Too often in sports we get caught up in wins, scoreboards, and rankings. As coaches we must evaluate the character displayed by our athletes.
Is the character shown limiting or enhancing the ability to reach full potential?
It is impossible for a player to reach their full potential on the field if their character is flawed.
If a player’s character is limiting their ability to reach full potential; it’s not too late. You can make a difference in the person which will positively impact the player!
Coaches have the ability to re-direct and alter the course of an athlete’s life.
What do our actions reveal about our character?
Simple acts of leadership go a long way in showing who we truly are. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was praised (and rightly so) when he got up from his seat on the bench to throw away the cup he had thrown which missed the trash can. This action demonstrated Dak’s true character and leadership skill.
It’s no wonder why he’s had tremendous success at level he’s played.
Better People Make Better Players!
Having sound and strong character gives us the ability to respond appropriately to all types of people and life challenges. Leaders understand they are always being watched, and always under the microscope. This is exactly why it’s so crucial for us as leaders to have strong character.
In becoming a better person through leadership development and character education, athletes are better able to confidently lead. When athletes confidently lead they share their story and example with others. It’s living proof of the proverb, “Iron Sharpens Iron.”
Here are four keys to help players reach their full potential:
- Discover their identity.
- Develop self-awareness.
- Maintain a consistent approach.
- Share with and mentor others
We all have a stake in raising the next generations. An athlete’s playing days only last so long. What happen’s when they’re over? We can help assure athletes of a lifetime of success by investing in their character and leadership ability.
It’s does take a village.
And sure, winning is great. But it’s a whole lot more fun when you’re doing it with young men and women of character!