Sports remain one of the most popular pastimes around the world. We love sports for the spectacle of watching people achieve incredible acts, for the thrill (and agony) of choosing a team and cheering it to victory, and for the always unpredictable results. Here are four powerful lessons we can gain from today’s most popular athletes:
1. Lebron James and Being Humble
Image Source: www.theguardian.com
When Lebron decided to “take his talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat, he caused a huge uproar in the sports world. Some people criticized his choice to leave the hometown Cavaliers, but nearly everyone had an issue with his “Decision” to announce his choice in a sit-down interview broadcast around the world. Sometimes the big decisions should be made quietly (especially when they’re likely to make some people upset).
2. Russell Wilson and Leading Behind the Scenes
Image Source: Wikipedia
Russell Wilson is the 26-year old reigning World Champion quarterback from the Seattle Seahawks. And while people love him for what he’s done on the field, the reason why Russell Wilson is likely to become a legend in the Pacific Northwest is the work he’s doing behind the scenes. Read that story and you can’t help but root for a guy who clearly is using his platform to make the world around him a better place. Are you serving yourself or others?
3. Pete Carroll and Being Positive
Image Source: Getty Images
As coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll has developed a “Win Forever” pyramid that has three beliefs at the bottom: “It’s all about the ball. Everything counts. Respect everyone.” While he might be the oldest coach in the NFL, you would never know it by watching him – he’s always on the sidelines cheering for his guys, smiling, and congratulating them on huge plays. He’s won an NCAA Championship and a Super Bowl, but the reason Coach Carroll’s players love to play FOR him is because he believes IN them.
4. Lebron James and Staying True to Yourself
Image Source: SI.com
This guy again? Yes, this guy. This year, after spending four years in Miami, Lebron announced that he was coming home to Cleveland. When you’re in the public eye (including being arguably the most visible athlete in the world), people always will second guess the decisions you make. So why did Lebron choose to return home? It was more than a game:
“I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile.”
Even for the players and coaches whose lives are dedicated to playing “a silly game”, sports gives them the chance to do something bigger and more meaningful. Your life – whether you become a business leader, an accountant, a nurse, a writer, a chef, or anything else – should be about something more than “the next game”, too. Otherwise, why even play?