Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Last weekend the New England Patriots lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL playoffs. Anyone who watched Bill Belichick, the coach of the Patriots, as he
was interviewed after the game saw what has become an expected posture and disposition following the game. He was mad, angry, short, and not in the mood to answer any questions. Here's a guy who won three Super Bowls in a span of four years, and is touted by some as one of the greatest coaches ever. A guy who took a team that wasn't supposed to be all that good this year and brought it to within a few minutes of yet another Super Bowl. And here he was, seemingly ready to throw up on his sweat shirt as he answered questions in a barely audible monotone. He reminded me of Parcells after every loss, and in most weekly interviews also.
Prisoners going to their execution have looked better.
And it has become expected and no longer surprising. The losing coaches and players when interviewed often are just plain ole bad sports.
Good sportsmanship occurs when teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials treat each other with respect. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially their parents and their coaches. Kids who see adults behaving in a sportsmanlike way gradually come to understand that the real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity — whether they win or lose a game.
Here are some ways that you can show others what good sportsmanship is all about:
Be polite to everyone you're playing with and against. No trash talk - which means saying mean things while you're in the middle of a game.
Don't show off. Just play your best. If you're good, people will notice.
Tell your opponents "good game!" whether you've won or you've lost. Recognize and appreciate good performances, especially by the opponent. Applause for an opponent’s good play demonstrates generosity and courtesy. It shows a true awareness of the game and athletic ability.
Learn the rules of the game. Show up for practices and games on time - even if you're the star of the team.
Listen to the coaches and follow their directions about playing.
Don't argue with an official, even if you don't agree with his or her call. Umpires are impartial and perform to the best of their abilities. Any mistakes made are part of the game and must be accepted.
Don't make up excuses or blame a teammate when you lose. Try to learn from what happened. Be positive and friendly even after losing.
Be willing to sit out so other team members can get in the game - even if you think you're a better player.
Play fair and don't cheat.
Cheer for your teammates even if the score is 1,000-1! You could inspire a big comeback
Win with class – lose with dignity.
It seems in our sports today, the concept of good sportsmanship has been lost. While winning at all costs and poor sportsmanship may be condoned and even promoted in professional sports, this does not mean it is the proper way for us normal people to behave. Whether we like it or not, sportsmanship in sports is a direct reflection of our own ethics in real life. Sportsmanship like ethics concerns both the character and the actions of an athlete. The image you project as an athlete is a product of your character. Good sportsmanship is not just what you do on the field, it is hopefully the way you conduct your life both on and off the field. In the same way, unsportsmanlike behaviour on the field is probably an indication of your off the field conduct. When I see someone displaying bad sportsmanship, I get a real clear picture of the way they act in their business dealings, their treatment of their family and others.
We can sit back and blame television and pro sports for the decline in sportsmanship but we can also take the responsibility of bringing it back into our own contests and games. It is time for all of us involved in sports of one kind or another to practice good sportsmanship. This is especially important if we are involved with children either as a parent or coach.
"For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost - but how you played the game." (Grantland
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
The Fifty Yard Line, both a great place to watch the game from, and even when you are playing, a great place to be on the field. When your team is on the fifty, you have so many choices to choose from - go for the bomb, keep it conservative and grind it out slow and easy, or something in between. And when sitting on the sideline or in the stands, you have a great viewpoint to see the whole game and to see the big picture. You can see it all so clearly.
The highlight of my reaching the 50 yard line in life was a birthday party with my friends. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. There was such a wonderful sense of love and joy among the birthday party people. Hearing the kind comments about myself at my 50th made me feel like I was at my funeral without having to die.
Reaching this important yard line, I noticed a few things about myself:
My eyesight has changed, and not for the better.
My hearing has changed, and not for the better.
My reflexes have changed, and not for the better.
My pant size has changed, and not for the better.
My healing time has changed, and not for the better.
On the other hand, I am more patient than ever before (this might not be saying much).
I know more than ever before.
I can anticipate things better than ever before.
I am more analytical than ever before.
I am friendlier than ever before.
I am more confident than ever before.
I laugh more than ever before.
I am wiser than ever before.
Now the second list is a good one, a darned good one, but in my mind, all of this could deteriorate in the next decade or two. I am hoping not. I am only going to be positive.
Being on the 50 yard line is not a bad thing at all, in and of itself. I can see that there could be a time when I know I shall be ready to go, or that the plan to punch my ticket is something far beyond my control. When much younger I looked to the age of 50 as something far far off, and now that it has arrived, I look at the final curtain in just the same way. None of us wants to leave early and it is with the energy I now possess that I plan to set in motion those things that give me the best chance of staying to see the whole show. The wisdom of age is the ability to
employ whatever it takes to let you enjoy being older.
I have found the fifty yard line to be very liberating. I feel alot of the emotional and spiritual work I have been doing for many years is “finally” coming together in an extremely empowering and exciting way. I feel more like myself than I have ever felt before. It feels wonderful! My creativity is extremely high. The only problem is finding the time to do all I want to do! Is it a time when everything “goes right?” I think we all have our individual journeys to undertake. What “goes right” for one may not be the “right” thing for another. But everything shows up in our lives to enable us to move forward on our spiritual path and with our lives true mission. I believe we are all here to heal ourselves and to learn to love and forgive ourselves and all others. I believe all of the situations whether we perceive them “right” or “wrong” are opportunities to do this. I look forward to moving into my power even more as I learn to balance and heal every aspect of my life on this beautiful planet!
I have been enjoying my view at the fifty yard line. And to those who are just now getting to their seat, relax, you are going to love the game from the fifty yard line. And I certainly will enjoy having you seated with me.
Wishing you the best...Ric
Monday, January 1, 2007
Happy New Year
May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.
And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.