Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 7/8
By Tim Crone former Blue Springs Activities Director
There are times when it can be difficult to come up with an interesting topic, however the past two weeks have been full of crazy things done by athletes. We put athletes on such high pedestals that when they don’t live up to our expectations we are in disbelief.
The latest bizarre situation is the news that New England Patriot, tight end Aaron Hernandez, now faces murder charges. It is very difficult for the average person to understand the psyche of a star athlete signed to a $40+ million contract who could get so far out of whack.
These athletes are normal people with special talents – obviously who also lack character. A-Rod is a perfect example of an athlete gone wrong. He is a player who has more than 500 home runs to his credit but yet is willing to cheat at his sport.
Another great example is Lance Armstrong. He appeared to do so much for so many yet apparently all of his impressive victories came under false pretenses. There are many more examples of athletes who disappoint themselves as well as everyone around them.
As I’ve gotten older, I find that I am more likely to analyze carefully both professional and personal attributes – not quite as quick to admire what’s on the surface. The media discusses daily all the problems we have in sports, politics, business, etc. The real test of any big time figure is the type of character they display in everyday living.
It was interesting that ESPN reported that a Patriot teammate of Hernandez stated that he was one player that he did not understand or trust. This was a big statement to me.
In my world only my family comes before the guys I coached with and the players who played for me. Let’s face it … the NFL is no different than the society we live in. Only one percent of the players get into trouble but they become the primary topic of discussion around the clock for months. Do you think it is possible to teach character to that one percent?
Coach John Wooden once stated, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Individuals with character need to be examples for the very young to the very old. The greatest and coach and mentor I had in my life was my father. He used to tell me (on daily basis) that I was where I was because that is exactly where I wanted to be. Those words remained priceless throughout my life. They represent character to me. Whenever things went wrong I knew I had no one to blame but myself.
The pedestal on which many athletes perch means nothing in the end when they give way to temptation and poor decisions. It is easy to place blame when we sports heroes fall but, as my dad taught me, you have the ability to make the right decision every time. I am a big Blues fan and the words to a Buddy Guy song make a lot of sense to me, “You will see the same people moving up as you see when are moving down.” People will admire you only as long as your character shines through. Forget the pedestal!
My quote of the week is from American Clergyman, J. Hawes, “A good name is seldom regained. When character is gone, all is gone, and one of the richest jewels of life is lost forever.”
Tim Crone is the former Activities Director at Blue Springs High School.
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