It is a sad fact, but a lot of professional athletes throw humility out the door once they reach a certain level of success. Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely important to be confident and to think that you cannot be beaten when you approach a competition, but respect and sportsmanship should still be demonstrated.
I have competed in many tournaments and have been on both sides of the spectrum; Winner and Loser. I have experienced the highs of success and the lows of failure. I have lost matches that I shouldn’t have lost and I have won matches that I don’t believe I should have won. However, a simple handshake and compliment to the competition, win or loss, is such an important part of being a great athlete, sportsman and most importantly, an EXAMPLE!!
As a coach, instructor, champion or even just moderately successful athlete you must take the role of EXAMPLE and you must take it seriously. Professional fighters and athletes often times will act arrogant to get under the skin of their opponents, and while it is not a good trait, they do explain after the match or fight that they have much respect for the other opposing athlete and it was all in strategy. There are some athletes that actually believe all their hype and have no respect. Children and aspiring athletes need to understand that is no way to act, under any circumstances. Be Respectful! Be Humble! Know that there is always room for improvement and even if you are on top, there is someone that’s better!
Let’s push our athletes, make them better but also teach them the mental benefits of sports and competition. There is no doubt that competition makes you better, let’s just enjoy the struggle to get to the top, learn from our failures and be respectful to everyone trying to do the same!