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CONFIDENCE:An athlete displays a quiet inner confidence based on preparation. His own preparation, that of his
individual teammates and their collective combined preparation. Confidence is a belief based on your daily work habits and
the resulting continuous and constant progress made. This kind of
confidence is contagious within
a team, built as athletes subject themselves to tough challenges and practices, learn the value in hard work and discover the ability to problem
solve on their own. These
athletes develop a positive attitude, become unafraid of failure and remain
confident when faced with adversity. They prepare hard every day. When
success follows, athletes tell you it’s because of the effort they put into
The non-athlete has a false confidence. His confidence is not built
on preparation but on factors not under his control. He might be blessed
with great athleticism, but will rely on the team to carry him as he plays
tentatively and with fear of making a mistake. He does not put forth the same
effort or attention into practices as do the athletes on the team. He fails to prepare properly for success
when away from the team environment. He does just enough but expects every
reward earned by the athletes around him.
Having True Confidence is a Choice
TEACHABLE SPIRIT: Athletes want to learn and improve. They bring enthusiasm to
daily work and strive for continuous improvement every day. They know
that correction happens because a coach sees potential in them to get better.
They have learned to take correction as
a compliment and to look at correction as an opportunity to improve. The
athlete responds to correction with verbal and physical cues that he is
listening and learning.
The non-athlete looks at any correction as criticism, and often responds with an excuse. The non-athlete allows
discipline to be an obstacle to improvement instead of a learning experience
and opportunity for growth in character.
Having a teachable spirit is a choice.
PRIDE:The pride of an athlete is a shared one. It is found in the team spirit that is shared only by those
who have prepared together to pursue and achieve a common goal. Pride is a
feeling among team members that no one on the outside can understand. Shared
pride involves a desire to become as
good as possible not only for yourself but also for your teammates. It
involves accountability, dedication and unselfishness. Team pride is developed
in parts of the game that require more effort than skill, where determination
is more important than talent.For
example, when the ball is lost everyone hustles to get back behind the ball.
pride of a non-athlete is self-oriented, often selfish. Such
players often develop a “sense of
entitlement“, where he thinks athletic skill should guarantee special treatment including his own
time schedule and expects other allowances to be made for him. The
self-important athlete places himself before the team often worrying more about
his own playing time or position on the field than the success of the team. In
the eyes of the non-athlete success is thought of in individual terms. For
example, the non-athlete describes events from a personal perspective using the
word “I” instead of “we” taking individual credit for team accomplishments.
Developing the right kind of pride is a choice.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The athlete is responsible and demonstrates it when
he accepts personal accountability for
what happens to him. When things are not going well, he looks at himself first to see what he can
act upon to make a difference. He becomes a problem solver, better able
to cope with stress and more likely to persevere when facing difficulties. He
desires to be a part of the solution instead of dwelling on the problem. He
knows that if you are not making steady improvement, you are losing ground to
those athletes who are.
The non-athlete blames everyone but himself when
things do not go well. He often focuses on things he cannot control rather than
those he can. He is always quick with an excuse and criticism of teammates,
coaches, referees, the weather, field conditions and anything else he can
attach blame to as long as he doesn’t have to accept responsibility for or be
accountable to his team for his part in the difficulty encountered.
is a choice.
COMPETITIVE PERSEVERENCE: The athlete and
great teams are not deterred by bumps in the road. Since he is committed to
continuous improvement, he can recover
quickly from a mistake and refuse to remain discouraged. Positive,
competitive, persevering athletes are “mentally tough”, a quality that allows
an individual to remain confident, enthusiastic and focused in the face of
adversity. It is not possible to break the competitive spirit of mentally tough
athletes even in defeat. They
can lose to an opponent ten times in a row and still look forward to the next
rematch. The athlete with a competitive spirit welcomes challenges and looks forward to the toughest competitions as
tests of themselves and their team.
A non-athlete is easily discouraged and allows failures and disappointments to interfere
with today and tomorrow. Non-athletes are unable to recover quickly from
mistakes and often seek excuses instead of solutions.
Perseverance and Positive Attitude are Choices.
DISCIPLINE is nothing more than focused attention and effort. To be successful
individually or collectively, sacrifices involving discipline must be made.
not only accept discipline, they embrace it for the benefit of the team.
They have the strength of character to
overcome temptations to take short cuts in preparation. They will face pressure
with the desire to do what’s right for
their team at the moment of truth. Discipline is exhibited by being attentive, enthusiastic, always displaying
sportsmanship, demonstrating respect for authority and taking personal
responsibility. Because they display “athletic integrity“, disciplined
athletes are better teammates.
They are reliable, trustworthy, prompt
and always there for their teammates. For a team, discipline can be the characteristic that sets them
apart and gives them an edge.
The non-athlete chooses self-indulgence (“I’ll do what Iwant!”) over self-control and only
thinks of discipline in terms of punishment.
Accepting Discipline is a Positive Form of Teamwork
It is also a CHOICE.
TEAM FIRST:Teamwork is a rare gift
that allows ordinary people to attain extraordinary results. The process of
becoming a good teammate is one based on decision-making, attitude and making
positive choices, especially and specifically making the choice of interdependence over independence. The
athlete intentionally puts the needs of the team
ahead of his own desires.The athlete
will strive to NEVER let his teammates down. He understands that
everyone on a team has a different role and that only when all work
cooperatively together can the team be at its strongest. On a great team all
roles have equal value. The athlete understands that great teams are made up of
athletes who have given up the quest for individual glory, who willingly and
wholeheartedly commit themselves to the team effort. Sports provide many
individually satisfying memories, but for the true athlete, nothing can compare with the memories built
from being part of something bigger than himself.
The non-athlete is a selective participant, looking to satisfy his
own needs first by being selfish with his effort, attention or behavior. The
non-athlete is all about “me” while the athlete is all about “we.”
The athlete understands that quality performance is all about quality
decision making with a team first attitude