How Sports Adds Value To Society
Through entrepreneurship, charity, and politics sportspeople can lead us all into a better society
Sports build character and that’s the core of what a good citizen is.
Because having a good character creates more leaders and role models in society. And that helps more people.
Without those who can see what’s needed in society and what should be done, it can be a dog-eat-dog kind of world. Because good leadership attempts to identify what is wrong and strives to do better for the fairness of all.
Better again role models spot opportunities and lead the way in finding solutions to problems through social and business entrepreneurship. They create employment and look outside the box to solve problems.
One such example of that is the great basketball player Michael Jordan.
After being a serial NBA Championship winner and the most famous man in his sport he used his ability to attract people to his entrepreneurship. Initially, he became the face of the Nike Air sneakers and then took ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats after paying around $175 million for the organization.
And they employed a lot of people and looked after many athletes too.
And many sports stars create their brand and make money from this and give back through charity too.
Baseball’s Derek Jetter created his charity during his rookie season in 1996 with the New York Yankees. The Turn 2 Foundation was created to motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and adopt healthy lifestyles instead. Jetter started this charity off as he had witnessed his father become a drug and alcohol abuse counselor and knew it would do some good for people.
Then some sports leaders go a different route.
That’s where political opportunities rear their head and sports stars often chose to compete in that field instead to further their leadership role and try to give back to those that follow them.
For example, bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger left acting and became the governor of California for a time. He initially became successful in office by repealing an increase in the vehicle registration fee but after a time his various initiatives in office were not so popular with voters.
Yet still, character was needed for Schwarzenegger to try this new political career. And Jordan and Jetter succeeded in their adopted fields for being strong in their decisions to lead in other areas away from sport.
The Cambridge dictionary defines character as:
“The particular combination of qualities in a person or place that makes them different from others.”
And the best of sportspeople often have characteristics that set them apart not only in their sport
but in life too.
One such trait is that of self-discipline.
By being able to decide that they want to achieve something and then to keep their head down and make it happen is an admirable trait that many top sportspeople share. They realize their shortcoming and look at the top sporting talent in their field and adopt a similarly disciplined approach. Things like going to bed on time and eating the right foods are chosen by these types of people as they strive to become the best in their sports.
And although these habits improve their chances of success it’s the ability to stick to them that means they are ahead of other people when they decide to adopt a new habit that will benefit them.
But of course, all of this comes with hard work.
Because being disciplined can often be admired but it will not get an athlete very far if they don’t realize that they must use their newfound habits to work harder than those competing against them to achieve their goals in sport and in life. Spending longer at practice, being smart about how you spend your free time and thinking more about how you can improve in your sport are just a couple of ways in which top athletes strive to improve.
And all of this comes from a burning drive to be the best.
This will sustain their efforts when the pressure is on and the chips are down. Because many people give in. Even top sportspeople give up at times.
But it’s those that preserve throughout the tough times to maintain their initial drive that will survive past the others that compete against them. And that drive must come from somewhere very deep to beat off all the opposition, otherwise, the self-discipline will fail and the temptation to work less and continue trying to improve will win out.
That’s where focus comes in.
Because the best of the best need to know where they want to be in their sport. They must see themselves in the number one position in their sport so that they can satisfy their drive in the first place. Being focused may take practice but it must be the default behavior of elite players so that they stay on the straight and narrow.
And success doesn’t necessarily happen overnight so that’s when patience is required.
That’s when self-belief is often tested and the athlete will question their ability and often become puzzled as to why they are not succeeding in the first place.
That’s why have resilience is always required too.
Because even the best of the best get rejected in sport and in life. And when they get rejected they have two choices. One is to lie down and take it personally and the other is to stand up, learn from their mistakes, and try again to succeed.
And the latter is the one where all rewards are granted.