Commitment

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Gaining Trust

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Trust is something that it earned not given. It can often take a great deal of time for someone to earn another’s trust. This trust must be gained over time and through many processes of getting to know that person. It is hard to trust someone if you can’t grasp the type of person they are or what values they stand for.

What Makes a Good Leader?

There are many attributes that can help to make a leader be successful. One thing that I think is extremely important is the ability to lead by example. If you can’t make the correct decisions in your own life how can you expect others to stay on the correct path. It is often necessary for leaders to make sacrifices in their life to show their followers that they are committed to the values that they preach.

Within this attribute it often requires a leader to be humble and respectful. As a leader you can’t always boast of your accomplishments but rather show others the hard work you put in to get there. A leader must gain the respect of the people they lead. For me, I have a hard time viewing someone as a leader when they say to do one thing yet I see them doing the opposite or not living up to that model. Personally, one of the fastest ways to lose my respect is to teach people to do the right thing but when they think others aren’t watching they don’t follow their own teachings.

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For example when a leader steps up and yells at another guy to hustle every play at practice and then they turn around and take a couple plays off it is not a positive way to lead by example.The pressures of leading by example can be great but it is important when leading to live by this method. If your followers see you doing something the right way they are more likely to emulate that.

Failing First: The Path to Success

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Just as in life, in sports more times than not failure comes before success.  The path to success is often a rocky one. Sometimes in order to reach greatness you must first fail. This is often a tough pill to swallow because whenever you do something you expect to complete that task. When failure comes your way, and sooner or later it will, it is how you react to that failure that will lead you to success.

The past couple of weeks my team and I went through a couple of hard losses. Throughout the season we have achieved success and also experienced failure. But when you lose two games in a row and one of them in overtime, that failure takes a toll on you. When you expect to win and come up short it is a difficult feeling to overcome. Losing can change the entire demeanor and confidence level that a team may have. The reality of this failure is that you can learn from the mistakes and bounce back or lose focus and continue failing.

Failing at the first turn can sometimes lead to great things. For example, in 2010 when we lost to Hawaii on the road (our only loss of the season) it put things in to perspective and helped everyone to re-focus and prepare that much harder to finish up the season strong. It is very hard to be perfect, and when you fail, it gives you an opportunity to get better. Failing is just a bump on the road to succeeding.

The Importance of Goal Setting

Goals are a desired result that are set in hopes of achieving. Setting goals are a great way to stay motivated. It is important to sit down every once in a while and set some goals for yourself. It is also important that the goals you set are are measurable, specific, and attainable.
Related to motivation, short-term goals are usually more applicable. Short-term goals help you to stay focused and organized on your path to success.

Measurability- One important factor when deciding upon goals is to ensure that they are in some way measurable. This allows you to track your progress towards reaching that goal. One idea may be to break your goal down into parts to help show how much of the goal you have accomplished.

Specificity- Another part of goal setting is making the goals relevant and specific. If a goal is too broad it wont have very much value and will be more difficult to accomplish. Your goal must be easily understood and have a specific purpose to help you to be successful.

Attainability- A common mistake when setting goals are setting goals that are impossible to reach. If a goal is unlikely to be attained no matter how much effort you put towards it is probably not a very good goal. On the path to success make sure the goals you set are reasonable.

As a student-athlete it is very important for me to set goals. Being a student-athlete is very time consuming and requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. Setting goals for myself are very important and helps me stay on track. Also, every week before a game our coach has us fill out a goal card for the game that week. We set a few goals, then identify some obstacles for each of those goals, and then include a solution for them. There is also a section on the goal card labeled progress, and sometime after the game we discuss them to help us track our progress towards reaching that goal.

How do you use goals to help you stay on track?

Sports: Facilitating Motivation and Leadership

Sports are often viewed as just games and that the skills developed through them are not relevant to you in real life. I strongly disagree with this perception and believe that sports can be a great facilitator of motivation and leadership skills that can benefit you throughout life.

Millions of people across the country use sports to help young children grow and develop their talents. Leadership is no different than any other skill that can be practiced and sports are a great way to learn and practice how to lead and motivate.

It may just be my competitive nature, but to me, sports are just like everything else in life. I am always motivated to go out there and perform at my best. When I begin my career I plan on bringing that same mentality I developed through my athletic career to whatever path I may take. Just like in any company, sports bring people together who are working for a common goal. In life it is making money and in sports it is winning. Yes, there is much more than making money and winning in life but that is almost always the end goal.

Being a collegiate athlete has helped me discover the amount of motivation and leadership it takes to be successful. In my opinion the average person is incapable of going through the grind of being a student-athlete and being successful. It takes a great deal of hard work and dedication and can’t be accomplished unless you have a certain level of motivation. I believe that collegiate athletes have a great advantage in the workplace and that this advantage is due to their participation in sports.

Everyone has different driving factors in their lives but sports have helped me and thousands of others develop leadership skills and helped motivate me to be successful. There are many routes to take in learning how to lead and motivate but being involved in athletics is a unique opportunity to help develop those skills.

Do you think sports are a major contributor to the development of leadership and motivation?

Bouncing Back After Defeat

Leading through turbulent times is often a challenging task.  No, a loss is not the end of the world but initially it feels that way. Especially to a team that believes they are championship caliber. It is important when a team suffers a loss to bounce back right away and move forward. This is achieved by how the leaders of a team react to a loss.

It is important that those leaders set a good example for the rest of the team and stay positive when moving forward. Don’t dwell on the negatives of the loss beforehand but rather learn from those mistakes and use the loss as motivation to never let it happen again. I am a big believer in leading by example and think that a team’s overall demeanor can be determined by the attitudes and body language of its leaders.

Many great leaders are born through failure. It often takes a loss or tragedy to occur for a player to step up and become a leader. The true colors of a leader are often shown when faced with adversity. Adversity gives a leader an opportunity to rise up and take that adversity head on and succeed. And if success is not met, react as a true leader should and stay positive.

I’m not saying it is wrong to be emotional and upset with a loss. It would be wrong not to be upset but don’t let failure consume you, rather  move on from that and rise above it. Turn a negative into a positive and build from that.

What do you think?