An Athletic Circle

Who do you spend most of your athletic time with? How do they shape the athlete in which you are and how are they helping you become the athlete you’d like to become?

In the first century (yes), Lucius Seneca opined:
“Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval. Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model. There is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make crooked straight.” During the German Renaissance, philosopher Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe eloquently stated: “Tell me with whom you consort with and I will tell you who you are.” Popularizing these concepts, contemporary motivational speaker Jim Rohn noted – we are the average of the people we surround ourselves with.

To sum, it is the people we surround ourselves that we establish an anchor around. They help us build a foundation for our thoughts, our morals, our work ethics, our ideas; and more importantly, what we set out to achieve, how we go about achieving it, and ultimately – if we eventually achieve it.

In my own athletic experience, I was surrounded with elite athletes from an early age. I was smaller than most and had to work harder to stay on pace with bigger, faster, more developed kids. Without knowing it, I was being pushed – both internally and externally – to do things better than I did them before. Unintentionally, I surrounded myself with elite athletes – and in doing so became an average of them (many who are now Professional athletes). This was the fundamental reason that I experienced “success” in my high school years and was rewarded with a D1 college scholarship. In college, I was surrounded with caring coaches and teammates that are still my best friends. However, neither my coaches nor my teammates truly pushed me. Everyone seemed to be content with the status quo – just making it to the D1 level was enough. Consequently, our collective focus became centered on “extra curricular” activities instead of becoming savage baseball players. Once again in my life, I became the average of the people I surrounded myself with – and that average wasn’t good enough to continue playing a game that physically should have been easy for me.

I am not making excuses on why I failed. In fact, my failure was the byproduct of my own choices. One of those choices was to surround myself with people who weren’t going to push me. Instead of surrounding myself with those that could bring me up; I surrounded myself with those who I enjoyed being around. Sometimes those are one in the same – in this case, it wasn’t.

Players – think of the 5 people you are around most often. Quickly analyze their individual strengths and weaknesses. Are they positively impacting your life? Are they pushing you to be a better you? Now, think of your own strengths and weaknesses. Do you positively impact the lives of those that choose to be in your company? Are you pushing others to be better tomorrow than they are today? If your inner circle isn’t helping you raise your game and you in turn aren’t helping them – maybe you should rethink who’s in your Five!

Parents – think of the teams and coaches you place your children on. Is the goal for your child to be the be the best on the team or to win every tournament they play? Does the coach teach and correct all players – or is much of the instruction focused on the “weaker” players (since the good players are already “good.”)? Are your children in an environment surrounded by other peers that are helping each other reach their goals?

As you continue your athletic careers, surround yourselves with caring people that push you to excel. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with – so why not choose people that are willing to go through the grind with you. Surrounding yourself with people who will push you to be better is the first step towards excellence.

Comments 3

  1. Agreed
    Hindsight is always 20/20. Its how we learn from our failures and successes to move forward more efficiently.
    If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are no plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them……..

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