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There Is More Diversity Than You Might Expect

By Staff | Dec 2, 2015

It’s one of the oldest maxims in recorded human history: “know thyself.” As simple as the instruction may seem, the state of knowing one’s self is deceptively complex, as many people are better at supportive or creative roles, rather than only leadership.

A capable athlete adheres more to structure in helping his team; he or she is focused on leadership, primarily, and understands the importance of teamwork. Coaches and athletes who want consistent success should consider their strengths. Coaches and players do not require identical criteria for success; because their jobs are different, although the ultimate goal may be the same – to have a winning season. To win, players must work hard to acquire the skills necessary to reach that goal, and coaches must work extremely hard to teach the game so they may acquire those skills.

One of the major advantages to success is experience. It is a proven fact that through experience teams become more successful.

Just as a client who hires an experienced attorney has a better chance of winning in court, a sporting team with experienced players and a knowledgeable coach have a better opportunity for success. They don’t always succeed, but their chances are better.

Here in the immediate area we have been blessed with not only experience but with an abundance of skill over the years, along with a wealth of knowledge. Our coaches are some of the finest in the state. This is an exciting place to live when it comes to sports.

People from all over the state know of our success. Championship trophies abound. Rivalries still exist and legends live on.

I read somewhere the other day about the greatest quarterbacks at a local school. Names were mentioned and as always there were differing opinions.

We could look back through the years and say this one or that one was the best or this years player is the greatest ever to don a local uniform. However, most of that is simply what it is – speculation. Those type of arguments could go on forever. They are meaningless. No one player makes a team. Skilled athletes certainly make a difference but a quarterback without quality receivers can not display their skill.

I have witnessed several state championship teams from this local area, Magnolia, Tyler and Paden City, but it would be nearly impossible to pick out the greatest athlete from those schools, whether it be quarterback, end, linebacker, center on the basketball court or pitcher in baseball. It should never even be said this one is better than that one. Some of the best I have ever witnessed have been on losing teams. I agree in giving due credit where it’s deserved, but to say this one is the greatest is controversial at best.

A word of advice to everyone out there, good teams don’t always win and neither do good coaches, and the best players are not always on the winning team. However, we all certainly want to be winners and play for a team where players listen and coaches teach. Great players help make great teams but without the hard work and dedication of the team as a whole and the coaching staff, individual success means nothing.

I agree in honoring quality performers, but never to the level where it may discourage other participants. All-state, All- Valley,

All-OVAC are great rewards for hard work. Yet many times, better athletes are left out because their teams were less successful. I believe more in team awards than individual ones.

A local coach with a lot of knowledge once said he had learned from experience that four major personalities exist in young athletes. Three of them are positive and one is negative. Let’s look at the positive first.

He stressed urgent/reactive: He said this is the type of person who will rush to the rescue, put out the fire, be everyone’s savior, and then move on to the next problem. In other words, they are the fix it and forget it type. These are the type who put in extra work, shows up early for practice and leaves late, a team player.

Next is the Optimist: “Things are great!” Someone who is always two steps ahead, the leadership type, and features an attractive can-do attitude. Unfortunately, when the good turns bad this personality often doesn’t know how to react or what to do. The personality that separates the least to the greatest is called steady/proactive. “I am as ready as I can be for the challenges I’ll be facing.”

These are individuals who value productivity and know how to achieve it. They know how to move forward no matter the weather and they know how to balance offense and defense for survival. They are the clear leaders who know what to do in most any situation. This person has moved beyond a me-only focus and now devotes his time and efforts to boost team play and his knowledge of the game to push for higher goals.

The negative is the Pessimist: Someone who is always behind, doesn’t know how to grow as a team player, can’t except instructions, doesn’t play to win, but to survive. While he or she may survive in hard times they still remain hobbled when times are good.

One thing we should all know, no matter how good someone is there is always someone better. The argument still remains who is the best athlete ever? It may very well be the person from a rural area who never left the farm or the unknown from the inner city who was a playground legend.

The thing about sports is it is like life, in order to succeed you must “know thyself” – understand your role, know your capabilities and skills and use them to develop a winning attitude and team.