The Press Box For Nov. 22
It’s often been said, that for athletes, a bad attitude in sports is like having a flat tire. “You have to change it.” It’s unrealistic for any high school athlete to expect a great performance every time they compete but always having a positive attitude and giving a hard effort can take them a lot farther in sports and life.
A good attitude gives you a competitive edge way before the game ever begins. A good attitude comes from positive thinking, always keep a smile on your face regardless of the situation, have high expectations. Your not going to win every time, there are going to be times when you feel miserable and discouraged. Even when you put in the work, often the results are not going to be what you like.
Stay committed, stay competitive, stay confident and stay happy, focus after mistakes and maintain a performance attitude. Build confidence and keep your head in the game, avoid outward expressions of frustration. Set realistic goals for yourself and play hard, sport participation will enrich your life, you will get back what you put into your sport.
I have been around to several of the local team practices as we approach the upcoming winter sports season. So far everything I have seen in pre-season has been pretty darn good. The attiudes have been great, the kids are practicing hard, the coaches are working to condition them and game time. One thing I believe is helpful to young people playing sports is not to worry to much whether you will be a starter or not. Just think about being a contributor and being the best you can be.
I watched one ex-athlete from this end of the state play basketball Saturday night in a college game and although he was a great high school player he seemed nervous and worried everytime he got in the game. It looked like a lack of self confidence with a combination of worry about messing up. My first thoughts were, he needs some mental skill training and maybe he’s just playing out of his league. Whether that was the case or not I don’t know, but you can have that flat tire or drive in that ditch and if you don’t have the drive or motivation to succeed you’ll never get back on the road.
Successful athletes have to have the right motivation and attitude or they will fail no matter what level. If you get frustrated deal effectively with it and don’t let it show. Talk to yourself about it like you would a friend or a parent. Don’t keep it bottled up inside you but keep it under control. Successful athletes accept excitement , anger and disappointment as part of their sports experience. You’ve heard the old saying “Deal with it” we’ll what that means is, don’t just sweep it under the rug but do something about it. Change the circumstance, turn it around, use your emotions to improve insead of interfering.
Coaches, officials, fans and parents are like children, they don’t miss a trick. They pick up on everything from your voice tone to your attitude and truthfulness. What they want to see is someone who brushes aside the bad remarks, mean faces and nasty words. They want an athlete who gets benched and still gives the coach and team a high five, someone who has a smile on their face with the look of determination and desire. Someone who will come to practice after having a bad game and work twice as hard.
When you are playing high school sports you always have to remember the coach is the coach. Far too often we hear that old cliche again “The apple never falls far from the tree”. I believe athletes have to be themselves, they can’t play just to satisfy their parents. That’s not to say a parent can’t be a great influence of have a positive effect on their children’s sports career, because it is proven they more than often than not do have . However, athletes with bad attitudes and negative influnence will not get far. Parental involement in your child’s sports career in important, but let them be theirselves.
Have you had your attitude checked lately? If there’s one thing coaches really want, it’s athletes with great attitudes. More than any single thing, an athlete’s attitude can make or break a coach’s experience and ultimate success. Bad attitudes are a reason why many of the best teams and stronger athletes don’t always come out on top. Attitude is what wins, athletes who are willing to work extra hard for themselves and their team.
Kids who are unselfish role players are a joy to a coach and make the coach’s job much easier. And in return hard working coach’s make life a lot easier for their athletes. There has to be that happy medium, coach’s have to be upfront and fair and players have to be willing to take constructive feedback, not being concerned only with their playing time and publicity. Great athletes with rotten attitudes don’t make those around them better and they don’t win championships. And coach’s with rotten attitudes make everyone around him or her miserable. So the coach’s attitude is probably 100 times more important than the athletes.
We have good coach’s in place here locally and we have good athletes. Together we can be winners or losers, remember you may never win them all but you can still be winners. Be an example to others, many young kids look up to the high school athletes and say, “that’s who I want to be like”. And if you have a rotten attitude, rather than investing all your emotional energy trying to change all those around you, you’re probably better off looking in the mirror and changing yourself.
There’s still about a week left before we kick off the winter sports season, so keep up the hard work, stay positive, stay motivated or get motivated, put on a smile and give the best effort you can. You will feel good about yourself and your school. Keep the school spirit, help make your community proud and keep a positive attitude. You will be just fine!