Character: Why is it important for training success?
BE MORE CONCERNED WTH YOUR CHARACTER THAN YOUR REPUTATION, BECAUSE YOUR CHARACTER IS WHAT YOU REALLY ARE, WHILE YOUR REPUTATION IS MERELY WHAT OTHERS THINK YOU ARE.
THE MEASURE OF A MAN’S REAL CHARACTER IS WHAT HE WOULD DO IF HE KNEW HE WOULD NEVER BE FOUND OUT
Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.
Woodrow Wilson/Twenty-Eighth President
A Philosophy of Life by Thomas Jefferson—
In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current. Give up money, give up fame, give up science, and give up earth itself and all it contains, rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask; yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.
He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells a lie without attending to it, and truths without the world believing him.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE CHALLENGES DESIGNED IN A WORKOUT TO BUILD ONE’S CHARACTER AND DELIVER CHANGE?
In today’s world of gossip and news at the speed of light, character in sport, health, and wellness are closely linked. I believe that just as animals play fight to learn about how to survive as adults in the wild, sports or physical challenges ( workouts) for humans is a way to develop character for the future at any age. Class, honesty, respect, teamwork, and loyalty through sport and training can be developed in an environment that is safe and controlled. Character is not so much learned as developed. It is developed through experiences that test an individual. It is easy not to steal when one has pockets full of money.
Unfortunately many of us seek out only the things we do well or are easy.
Character is tested and developed at crossroads in sport and in life. Creating challenges at any age will further remind us of what we are capable of overcoming. However, the challenges have to be legitimate, not fabricated to make us just feel like a ” winner” The great thing about sport and well-designed training is that it allows one to have numerous occasions to develop character on a regular basis. Great lessons are learned through these experiences. Program design in workouts can create reasonable challenges and progressions on a regular basis.
Unfortunately today environments to improve character have been hollowed out:
We develop character effectively through legitimate challenges. The idea that we should create challenges that are not really challenges does not allow an individual to experience what failure feels like and how to understand that failure is nothing more than a reward for having the guts to compete in the first place. We need to reframe the narrative. The win comes from truly “leaning in” on the challenge. It is a disservice to not allow the athlete or individual to fail. It is through this failure that one finds their true gifts.
Regular Failures ( real challenges) are the best thing that can happen to everyone!
Building character does not come by only winning. It comes by learning how to fail. Understanding that taking risk may result in failure, but the act of taking risk allows both young and old athlete to learn that failure is not the end of the world and that the lessons you take away is where the true value exists. Time training and the subsequent improvement is where the lessons start. Coaches tell me all the time that most young athletes today wantonly toplay in the games. They donot want to do the training necessary to play well.
I think the idea of character is best described in the following quotes above. Needless to say character and integrity is the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete and a good person and a great person. Sometimes things are not fair sometimes we are let down. How we deal with this is the true value of sport and also found in the training for sport.
In training athletes at Sirens and Titans Fitness we are demanding of our athletes and clients and it is our job as coaches to help them develop their bodies. It is also our job to coach them through things that are difficult. We develop this character through training and the sacrifices, failures and successes that come with training. We are demanding of the athletes and clients we train. We want them to be the best they can be physically, but we also want to reward them with the opportunity to build character that today is oftentimes given little importance.
My hope is that through sport and training we give more than just a great body.
The last quote by Thomas Jefferson is very appropriate today. When I was in high school after a wrestling meet we could not wait to see our name in the paper, because wrestling was pretty much an anonymous sport. However, in today’s world of technology the internet allows any public action to be recorded for the whole world to witness. It can be a wonderful medium because someday you will be able to show your children and grandchildren what a stud you were. Just remember that bad actions are also now a permanent record in cyberspace for all to see forever, so character is more important than it ever has been.
TRUTH IN FITNESS:
JACQUES DEVORE, CSCS