As I look through the paper or watch the news I am continuously discouraged by the actions of many of today’s athletes. They come to our attention not because of a job well done, but because of poor behavior. Soon there will be a joke that starts “How many college football players does it take to fill a jail cell?” What has happened to the concept of good character, leadership, and role models for inspiration? When I was competing in sports I was always aware of an expectation that I must conduct myself in a way that met high standards. As a team leader it was my job to encourage others to become their best both athletically and as people. Has this concept become archaic?

I want to return to a time when athletes were respected for their character and not just their paycheck. Let’s get back to glorifying people for their hard work, their endless pursuit for improvement, and for inspiring us to become the best that we can be. I want to relish in people’s commitment to improve their skills whether it’s record breaking or just a personal best!

Not all of us are born with superstar talent, but all of us have the ability to take great pride in our determined efforts and the character we have developed as the result of our attitude. Every one of us has the power to take on a challenge and show what we are made of. The effort alone is worthy of respect.

If these concepts were supported as much as the ideals of power and fame, might we see less of the behavior problems so common today? Great power comes from personal accomplishment. Try becoming well known for the incredible ideals you represent.
With good character and hard work, success is accessible to everyone!

I look forward to seeing this brand of success once again.

About the Author: Eric Bergreen, an NCAA champion, four time All-American, and former team captain at UCLA, has a doctorate in psychology and specialization in sport/performance psychology and derives great enjoyment out of teaching people how to find the best part of themselves, improve their performance, and feel the pride of their success.