Learning moments I’ve found, often come at the most unexpected times. It is our job as parents to be aware of these moments and use them as teaching moments with our kids. Here is what we learned from this year’s athletes.
- It takes a team to win even when you are superstars. You can’t get that forced interception or tackle if your teammates aren’t doing their part. Celebrate your accomplishments while recognizing the role your team played in that success. Von Miller, this year’s Super Bowl MVP recognized his teammates first and foremost before answering any questions about his own success. In fact, he even recognized the role the offense played in his defensive success. People won’t remember what he said, but they will remember the spirit in which he delivered his comments.
- Losing stinks. It is painful, disheartening and just feels awful. Anyone can lose but not everyone can lose and still win. So much about a person’s character will be revealed by how they react to losing. Did they run and hide, throw a temper tantrum or did they own the part they played while recognizing the talent of the winning team? Sadly, the video of Cam Newton storming off the stage at the after-game press conference will get more play time than all his successes. He missed a great opportunity to be an example for the millions of people (and especially young children) on HOW to lose with dignity.
- Hard work doesn’t guarantee a win but it will guarantee success if you work hard long enough. It isn’t enough to clock in and clock out doing the minimal amount required. Champions sacrifice. They are up early and stay up late. They work when others are resting and they never stop trying to get better. Showing up will get you a paycheck and that is it. Hard work however, will bring you gratitude, camaraderie and great wins.
Talent and skill will fade over time, even for the greatest athletes. The lessons they’ve learned along the way however can have a lasting impact…positive or negative.