Published On: Tue, Aug 2nd, 2016
Sports | By

ON THE SIDELINES: Attitude plays a pivotal role in sports





Well, summer is over, fall sports are looming and On the Sidelines is back.  As I start this year’s columns on sports, I want to cover one pivotal aspect that particularly hits home in high school sports – attitude.

Albert Einstein once said, “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

That quote rings true on each sports team and in each locker room in the world.  For teams to work, everyone has to work together.  It might sound incredibly cliche’, but it’s the truth.

Anyone can have a good attitude in the fall breezes of October or in the first quarter of a game when your team is already up by 20 points.  But, coaches look for those players who still have a positive attitude in the 95 degree weather of August or the fourth quarter of a game they’re trailing in.  Those are the kinds of players that are inspiring, and those are the kinds of players that turn regular teams into championship teams.

The past few weeks, I’ve been assisting with the Cherokee Lady Braves varsity volleyball team.  I played the game for several decades and have been helping with drills and such.  Brianna Lambert, newly hired head coach, and her assistants, are working hard to create a new environment with the volleyball team – one surrounded not only by girls who are adept at setting and spiking, but one in which the girls inspire each other through positive attitudes.

During the tryout stage for the teams (varsity and JV), one of the major elements Coach Lambert and her assistants have been using to evaluate the players is attitude and the ability to be coached.  They are not only looking for that girl who can spike the ball through the floor.  They’re looking for the solid player who is also motivating her teammates during timeouts and in the locker room.

Looking back at the years I played sports, I hope I had a good attitude.  Those of you that know me personally can attest that I’m a very quiet individual, always have been.  I remember people being surprised to watch me play volleyball, football, and basketball because I was always so vocal during practices and games.  I just truly loved playing.  I loved everything about the games.

Not every player is going to be a cheerleader for their team, and that’s ok.  Just don’t be a downer.  Remember, a team is a balancing act…it only takes one cup to tip over before the entire tray falls.

Plus, having a good attitude is equal to displaying good sportsmanship, and that’s what it’s all about.  As a kid, I read a biography of famed Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.  He wasn’t always the fastest or the biggest, but his attitude was amazing and he led by example.

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it,” Rockne once said.

So, I welcome everyone to the 2016-17 sports season…let’s have some fun!