Character in Sport
Marv Levy said, "Ability without character will lose." This Hall of Fame coach understood the link between integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship and winning.
How a lack of character hurts
When sportsmanship is lacking, everyone on and off the field is negatively affected. Remember these scandals?
1994 - Tonya Harding's attack on Nancy Kerrigan. Not only was Kerrigan injured, but Harding ruined her own career and was kicked out of the sport.
1997 - Mike Tyson biting Holyfield's ear. Do I even need to discuss why this is wrong?
2000 - 10 of the 12 Spanish Paralympic Basketball players were not disabled! The country was embarrassed by this act.
2001 - 14-year-old Danny Almonte and the Little League World Series. No wonder he dominated the game - the age limit was 12.
2006 - Kenny Rogers' ball doctoring in the World Series. Like Danny, above, this winning above all else hurts the integrity of the game and sends the wrong message to youth.
And it continues today with Albert Haynesworth of the Washington Redskins. After being made the highest paid defensive player in the history of the NFL, he decided he doesn't like the defensive scheme, avoids minicamp and wants a trade. This selfishness hurts his team, as players have said:
- "He can't be depended upon ... last year we had a lot of selfishness that took place, and we're 4-12 out of that. This year, we can't have that."
- "We all feel like he turned his back on us."
- "He's hurting the team... You can't really count on him."
Lack of character hurts team chemistry, creates distractions from training and competition and makes sport less enjoyable for all.
Respect the game and how hard it is. This will motivate you to work harder and to ultimately play better.
Do the right thing and you will gain the trust of your coaches and teammates. This builds team chemistry.
Obey the rules of competition and be willing to abide by the final results of play. How do you feel about Armando Galarraga after his classy response to the call that cost him a perfect game? He earned my respect and that of his teammates.
Refuse to harm your body or alter your performance with drugs. Earn your wins through hard work and your confidence will soar. Protect your legacy and avoid being labeled a "cheater."
Sport is a metaphor for life. Do it right.