In a democracy like that of the United States of America, the promise is there which says that our society will allow an individual to rise as high as his talents and merits will take him. This opportunity is true to a greater degree than any other time in history and in any other country in the world. However, when one cheats in order to achieve his goal, the victory is a shallow one.
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the saviors of baseball after the 1994 baseball strike, have both fallen from grace and despite record breaking numbers, will most likely never reach the Hall of Fame because of their suspected heavy use of steroids. They bought into the ideology of” winning at any cost. ”(Pearson, 2005) And where did it get them: Momentary glory followed by a lifetime of shame and increased harm to their body. I would not lie to my boys and say that if everyone work s hard, then they can all go play in the Major Leagues.
I would say that a strong work ethic will increase their chances of maybe playing in the Major Leagues but it will certainly help them through life. I played organized sports growing up and realized I had the power to increase the level of my game through hitting the weights, eating right, a lot of practice and the humility to listen to my coaches direct me on how to become better. Years of this produced in me a strong work ethic.
When I hear people brag about how much money they are receiving from the government in the form of welfare checks because they made one irresponsible choice after another or just don’t want to work, I get angry and vow that that will never be my lot in life. When I don’t feel like going to work, I make myself go because I know that laziness can creep back into my life and have seen the dangers of it in others and periodically in myself and through my efforts on the field, realize that there is a direct correlation between hard work and success. It would be these qualities that I would stress to my boys on the little league team.
If I felt that some of my boys did not agree with the idea of fair play, happening to be a believer in history and the lessons that it can teach contemporary society, I would point out the numerous examples of the athletes who cheated and how, despite being decades removed from the event, people still remember and such a reputation is hard to get rid of in the minds of, perhaps not millions of sports fans, but in the minds of your friends, co workers and even your family. On the subject of cheating, legislation formed by Arizona Senator John McCain in an attempt to place criminal charges on sports figures that use steroids is being discussed.
(Pearson, 2006) This is important since it is being discovered that boys as young as thirteen are using some form of steroids and at that age, especially, such actions can produce irreversible damage on their developing bodies. (Pearson, 2006) Pointing out the falls from grace that happened to Ben Johnson, Pete Rose and Floyd Landis have all proved to be not worth the effort. (Christie, 2005) All three had a great deal of talent, both natural and acquired through hard work but chose the throw it all away by cheating, of which they were all eventually caught.
I would stress the fact that at one time or another, the cheating is discovered and more times than not, prove that the deception was not worth the reproductions that will most certainly follow. Hard work and self sacrifice have helped to make this country great and so too can it help to make the individual reach his full potential in every aspect of his life. These optimistic yet accurate truths would be stressed every single day until each player could recite on command, what my main points of my ideology detailed. For the 99.
9% of individuals who are not born to be Michael Jordan, success comes in the preparation and those lessons, if learned at an early age, are hard to shake off in a world that is increasingly lazy and hesitant to take personal responsibility for the shortcomings in their life. If any member of my team complained about anything in their life that was obviously their own fault yet did not take responsibility for it or where it was obvious that they had the power to change their circumstance and yet did nothing but complain, they would be staying after practice to run until the park district manager came to turn the lights out.
That is the last characteristic that I would instill in my boys. With a sharp decrease in the number of young boys with positive male role models in their life, a coach for a sports crazy young man is the closest thing that they will get to a father and his words will be revered to the same degree. This only adds to the responsibility that the little league coach has to steer his boys in the right direction and to help prepare them for success in their own lives.
Winning isn’t everything and not everybody wins despite their best efforts. But as Grantland Rice, the famous sportswriter once said: “When the great scorer comes to write against your name, it isn’t whether you won or lost but how you played the game. ”(Panel, 1935)
Christie, J ( 2005) The Way it Looks From Here: The Story of Ben Johnson. New York: Harper Collins.Lombardi, V. (1967) The Winning Edge. Superior Films. Metcalf, L. (1999) The Essential Aristotle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Panel, H. (1935) Grantland Rice. New York: Premium Publishers. Pearson, D. McCain Leads Fight Against Steroid Use. Chicago Tribune May 21, 2006. C3 Pearson. D. McGwire Testified Before Congress. Chicago Tribune March 10, 2005 C1