“Here is one of life’s central realities: everyone, regardless of financial status, physical condition, athletic ability or education, can be a person of character – and nothing is more important to personal happiness and social health than good character.”
– Michael Josephson Founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics
There is no substitute for a person or teammate of good character, a teammate that will be honest no matter what the situation. While the quote above from Michael Josephson relates quality character to personal happiness and social health, it applies directly to a team. Regardless of a player’s ability or standing in the pecking order on the team, they can be a person of good character. It takes no talent to show up on time, support your teammates, and be true to your word.
Establishing and maintaining high quality character is important to the team’s happiness and health. Your guard against poor character decisions can never be left down because one poor decision can lead to the erosion of a team’s happiness and health.
Question of the Day:
What can you do to commit to building your and your team’s character?
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“A man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can realize his potentialities.”
– Charles de Gaulle French President and WW II Resistance Leader
Just as the baby develops confidence in their walking by experiencing failure, we can develop and grow by experiencing difficulty. People of true character, someone to stand with side by side in battle, enjoy the difficulties. They search out difficulties because they know their true self is rooted in the development of skills they would have never reached without the problems and adversity they are experiencing.
This brings to mind a quote by Vernon Law, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” Whether we want to or not, we are always learning, learning is not just for a classroom; it is for the world, for the world is a classroom.
A person of true character, a person who does what they say they will do, follows through, even if it is difficult. This difficulty, the adversity we face, allows for the realization of our potential.
Questions of the Day:
- What difficulty or adversity have you encountered in the last week?
- What did you learn from this difficulty that you could apply in the future?
“I have always felt that although someone may defeat me, I strike out in a ball game, the pitcher on the particular day was the best player. But I know when I see him again, I’m going to be ready for his curve ball. Failure is a part of success.”
-Henry “Hank” Aaron
The Heart of a Competitor may experience a defeat, but will NOT be defeated. The competitor is not based on WHAT they do, they are based on WHO they are. The Competitor knows that their life is the sum of their decisions and actions; they take responsibility for each experience they have in their life.
In the above quote, Henry “Hank” Aaron noted that although someone may defeat him, he will be ready to COMPETE against his opponent in the future. He also knows that failure is part of success. To achieve the Heart of a Competitor, you must acknowledge and embrace failure. Since our brain strives for the easiest solution to a problem, embracing failure is something that must be trained in our brain. Each time you step into the arena of competition or even practice, you are strengthening this resolve, the ability to compete and play in the present moment.
Questions of the Day:
1. What did you do today that was a challenge that helped you embrace a failure that will lead to a success? (Another way of asking this question: What risk did you take today?)
2. What risk can you take tomorrow?
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden
The Heart of a Competitor is a heart that keeps beating and competing. When events occur in our life, you use your perspective to learn from them and make the best of them. This is totally within your control.
An important part of making the best out of things, the events in our life, is the ability to recognize what you control. You have no control over what occurs around you, however you are in total control of how you respond to it, and how you make the best of the way things turn out.
The competitor has a plan in place to handle adversity, a release to use to let go of the negative thoughts that go with an event. A release can be a physical event or a saying that you use to “let go of” or “move on from” a negative event. The release MUST be used when you make a mistake, but it can also be used when something happens that is totally outside of your control, like an official’s call, the weather, the coach’s decision, etc.
Questions of the Day:
- What are the “things” in your sport that you have NO control over?
- What are the “things” in your sport that you have TOTAL control over?
- What is your plan your release to use when a negative “thing” happens in a game?