With ten days left until Christmas, I thought it would be an ideal time to elaborate upon the SP 10 Commandments. We ask every athlete who comes through our doors to read and reflect on these commandments when they first start training. Some athletes already wholeheartedly subscribe to these ideas, others need to incorporate them more into their lives. Whatever the case may be, it is these commandments – and the kind of character they help forge – that sets SP athletes apart. They aren’t just champion athletes, they are leaders worth following. Are you?
We respect our parents. The first to provide support, comfort, discipline, and an example to follow – without them, we would be literally nothing. Growing up, we all believe we know better than our parents but this is rarely the case.
We treat our peers with dignity. We do not look down upon another simply because they may be weaker, slower, or more technically challenged. Rather, we use our strengths to empower and improve their weaknesses. We never know when the roles may be reversed.
We are strong for those who are weak. This applies to all aspects of life, from the athletic arena to the classroom and beyond. Whatever our athletic or academic abilities may be, they are wasted if not shared with those less fortunate. Success is not measured by how much we improve our own lot in life, but by how much we improve the lives of others.
We do not bully, and we come to the defense of those who are bullied. As I’ve mentioned before, there is nothing more pathetic or cowardly than a bully. A bully shies away from challenges, and is too lazy and self-absorbed to positively affect those around them. They demean others to feel powerful and significant. A leader’s self-worth is directly tied to the challenges they overcome, the failures they rebound from, and the positive effect they have on those around them. Bullies exist in multiple forms – from coaches, to classmates, teammates, and even parents. SP is a safe zone. Bullies are not welcome here.
We do not lie, cheat or steal. Eventually, lying and cheating will catch up to you, no matter how insignificant it may seem in the moment. If we are to own our successes, we must own our failures as well. Lying not only betrays another human, but disguises itself as honesty as well. The only bad honesty, is blind honesty.
We are confident but not cocky. Confidence in our abilities and our teammates prepares us to succeed in the face of adversity. Cockiness, however, primes us for failure. Confidence is contagious. Cockiness is toxic.
We are proud but not arrogant. We are proud of where we come from and who has helped us get to where we are. Our experiences and mentors make us unique, they do not make us better than those with different backgrounds. Like cockiness, arrogance also primes us for failure. Pride is earned and exhibited. Arrogance is disgusting filth that wreaks of self obsession.
We do what is right, not what is popular. There’s nothing more dangerous than a mob mentality. Hiding in the crowd feels safe and easy, it provides a feeling of anonymity and protection from individual judgement. We aren’t here to feel safe, we are here to take risks in the hopes of reaping great rewards. Stand out, don’t fit in, and be the best you can possibly be no matter what others think.
We possess only what we have earned. If there is a championship we want to win, a specific GPA we want to achieve, or a skill we want to master, we are the only ones capable of making it a reality. We must put in the time and effort; there are no shortcuts to success.
We are the new culture. We are always looking to improve our abilities, our teammates’ abilities, and our character. We seek out challenges and welcome the chance to learn from failure. In the place of trash talk and jeers, we let our actions speak for us. We are humble in both victory and defeat. We are the next generation of leaders, and we are changing the world.
This is our culture and we want it to be yours.