Be the Role Model
With college football season beginning over the weekend, I thought about some of the famous athletes that I looked up to over the course of my life.
When I was growing up, I had several players that I looked up to in the various sports.
Guys such as Hank Aaron, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Dave Justice, and Wayne Gretzky were just a few of the players that I followed week end and week out.
The things that these men all had in common were, that they developed their careers during college.
With so many people looking up to them, especially young kids as myself, certain things are expected of them.
Any athlete will tell you that they had their favorite player and a favorite team.
The thing is, the image that those athletes create for their self, influences the younger generation of athletes.
For instance, Tim Tebow has unique way of displaying his religious character.
He is often seen kneeling in prayer after a touchdown and before and after games.
Younger players have followed that display.
Younger players were seen kneeling in prayer after Tim Tebow began his personal tradition while playing with Florida several years ago.
Touchdown celebrations are often imitated by other players.
So, when a professional player acts in a manner that is inappropriate, younger athletes see that display also.
When players get involved with drugs and alcohol they also observe that.
The eyes of the world are on these guys from week to week, not just during season.
As with any sport, there are positive and negative role models.
I have had the honor of meeting several professional athletes during the course of my life.
Unfortunately, I have observed some of those players displaying negative traits, treating fans badly, and making some horrible mistakes that unfortunately make it into the news networks.
They are all normal people like any of us and lead seemingly, normal lifestyles.
Thing one thing that sets them apart are that every ounce of their lives is seen by the world because of who they are and what they do and stand for.
The eyes of the world and our children are upon them.
As with any sports fan, we dream of one day being just like our favorite player.
We dream of running for that touchdown or scoring that goal, just like them.
The biggest piece of advice that I would like to give any child or teenager who is destined for sports greatness, is to stay true to yourself and remember that you were once that child watching your favorite player, dreaming of becoming them one day.
As you enter whatever team you are a part of, be that role model for someone dreaming, just like you.