Raising a humble athlete should be at the forefront of every parent’s mind. Humble athletes are the total package of everything we want children to learn through sports – sportsmanship, teamwork, confidence and respect for others. An athlete who practices humility will become an internally motivated person. They seek to achieve and improve themselves not for external validation, but to satisfy their own desire to keep growing as an athlete, and more importantly and a person. Here are seven signs of a humble athlete:
1. A humble athlete is aware and accepts their limitations. Humble athletes focus on the things they can control rather than just focusing on winning, scoring points or getting the stat. From this they are able to learn from the wins and losses.
2. The humble athlete welcomes critique and correction from coaches and teammates. A humble athlete knows there is always room for improvement. They accept instruction, correction, and submit themselves to the written and unwritten rules of the game.
3. The humble athlete acknowledges the contribution of others. No athlete accomplishes anything alone. Athletes depend on coaches, officials, family and friends, and most importantly, their teammates, for their success.
4. The humble athlete is gracious in defeat and modest in victory. When the humble athlete loses, they do so humbly and graciously, realizing defeat is a part of life. And when the humble athlete wins, there is no excessive celebration...they realize that victory is a gift.
5. The humble athlete respects his coach. They don’t talk back to the coach, they don’t slouch when on the bench, and they accept the role the coach chooses for them. The humble athlete thanks their coaches everyday after practice.
6. The humble athlete respects the officials. They don’t protest a call, or lack of a call. They shake the hands of the referees, as well opponents and coaches after the game, with a smile. When a humble athlete volunteers, it allows them to connect with others through service to help them see the bigger picture and gain perspective on the things they should be grateful for.