Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Samante: Building character

Game On

"BE MORE concerned with your character than your reputation" -- John Wooden.

These words from Coach John Wooden resonate heavily for coaches, myself included.

Wins and victories will not matter 10, 20 years down the line. It is how one played the game that matters. This virtue will remember athletes and coaches.

In light of the recent statement of PSC Chair William "Butch" Ramirez on athletes gearing for the Tokyo Olympics, he has encouraged everyone to live by this virtue.

"Character is more important than medal wins," says the chief in the light of a brewing controversy on athlete support from the agency and their private sponsors.

While they have been extending support to the athletes through the NSAs, athletes seem not satisfied or even sadly forget about the agency's support once they hit it big with their private sponsors.

True enough, when athletes deliver, it is these private sponsors claiming the glory, forgetting to give credit where credit is due.

Tasked to oversee the development of grassroots, amateur, and elite athletes is the agency, and financial support is one of the many ways to extend it. And they have never been amiss in this, plus the fact that the president has also given special instructions to take care of these athletes for bringing honor and prestige to the country during competitions.

In a myriad of admiration after victories, it is easy to forget those who have helped reach the pinnacle of success.

However, if these values are ingrained, they will be difficult to ignore.

We view the chief's statement from the lens of a parent to their children — a reminder of our values as a family, in this case, as an organization.

And like understanding and loving parents, we can only guide and not meddle in the affairs of our children. We let them think and decide on the path they want to take.

However, we are also ready to set them on the right track if they go astray.

Having worked with the chief before, these are virtues he indeed championed. He was very clear on this from the sports coordinators, coaches to the athletes. He was placing an evident premium on everyone's character in the conduct of our sports functions.

All the medals and accolades are the bonus of one's dedication and hard work. And through this, the character is formed — more than winning, character matters.


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