by Dr. Toby Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-II, PES
“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do.” -Don Galer
It is a difficult time for anyone, particularly entrepreneurial newcomers, to be in business given the corporate climate in our nation and our world. With one time “blue chip,” can’t miss stocks selling for pennies on the dollar, 401k’s evaporating before our very eyes, and staggering job losses the world over, it is tempting to consider means by which to trim excesses and help the bottom line.
Despite some signs that the economy is on the way back to vitality, it is always appropriate, particularly when working with impressionable young athletes, to consider this one universal truth: coaches are role models. Whether it is one the field, on the court, or in the office, your athletes are watching.
While several high profile celebrities might argue the point, those same individuals could probably easily identify a particular childhood hero, a family member, a teacher, or yes- even a coach, who left an indelible mark on their soul. The greatest coaches across all sports share the uncanny ability to get us to believe in ourselves and to become the best we possibly can. At the same time, the impact of their very lives on the thoughts, words, and deeds of the athletes in their charge cannot be over-emphasized.
The bottom line here is that parents entrust that which they hold most dear in the world- their kids- to youth fitness coaches in the hopes that we can lead those children to greater success.
Oftentimes the dedicated pursuit or athletic improvement in and of itself can foster more positive behavior patterns such as improved study habits and grades, general behavioral disposition, and social skill. With that trust comes an enormous responsibility. There is no question that a marked demand exists for people worthy of being esteemed as role models. Sadly, what is lacking is an adequate supply of qualified candidates.
I encourage you today to be a man or woman of integrity. Be someone worthy of being looked up to by your young athletes. Be that someone their parents can trust without hesitation. Be the exception to the rule. It is good for business. It is good for compliance. But most of all, it’s good for your soul.
Dr. Toby Brooks
- Director of Research & Education, IYCA
- Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University Athletic Training Education Program
- Creative Director, NiTROhype Creative (www.nitrohype.com)