“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”
Above is a fantastic quote that applies to not only sports, but life in general. Class, Pride, and Character are more important than any athletic talent in the world.
Something that I always preach is to exemplify class and good character. Some might say I’m the “Preacher Boy” as well as the Bleacher Boy! 😉 Always respect the umpires and coaches no matter what. An ump may call a strike that skips to home and a ball that was surely down the pipe. That skipping strike was called a strike, so the umpire is correct, not the batter barking back. If there is a problem, it’s the coaches job to deal with it. Take that called strike back to the dugout with a head held high, respecting the call. Let’s face it, we all get mad at awful calls, but the call is the call, and that margin of error is part of the game. Go back next time and succeed! When errors or strikeouts occur, never slam any equipment or throw a temper tantrum – trust me, you look like an idiot. These mistakes happen to the best of us…even Mike Trout! Stay up, keep a positive attitude, after all, baseball is a game of failure. If other players are melting down, support them, don’t push them down. If someone is getting crap from his own teammates about a mistake he already feels bad for, how is he supposed to recover for the next one? Not all players agree with the decisions of the coach either – which is fine, but never talk back or bad mouth your coach or the opposing team’s coach. It is completely reasonable to voice an honest concern or question about the team in the appropriate place and time with respect – but NEVER during the game. If your team is getting pounded, don’t take the frustration out on your opponents in any way, other than winning. Yes, they may be crazy waving cowbells and blowing fog horns after everything (trust me I’ve been through this), but if someone barks at that team, it makes them no better. Don’t give away the game by showing the other team that they have gotten in your head. Also, please DON’T be that cowbell team! Have pride in success, but don’t shove it down their throats. Like the great Vince Lombardi once said, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
If these three qualities are shown, respect will be earned. Abiding by these three principles will allow winning to take care of itself.
Always remember, when you are playing you are not only representing yourself and your team or school, but also your family and what they stand for.