Good Athlete, Better Person

As an athlete, your attitude and behavior outside of competition can have just as much impact on the team as your athletic ability. Coaches who want to get the most out of their athletes should emphasize the importance of being a leader and exhibiting good character at all times.

Athletes who establish a positive friend circle will more likely remain focused on doing the right thing on and off the field.

Individuals who encourage players to engage in negative actions reinforce attitudes that are not productive, and an athlete's performance can begin to suffer. Athletes must surround themselves with others that speak up and speak out against any injustice or behavior that is not appropriate.

The friend circle must also revolve around integrity and respect. Members of the friend circle should hold each other accountable for their actions, especially if those actions could jeopardize their ability to compete.

Another crucial element of focus for athletes should be leadership in the community and the classroom. Everyone pays close attention to how an athlete behaves, and his or her reputation will receive a negative spin if they lack good character.

Athletes are held under a microscope, and rightfully so. Any and every action can and will be scrutinized, so coaches and athletes must set high standards for themselves when it comes to behavior.

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