Friday, 27 January 2017 16:22

No Trophies for Boasting!

Written by Damian Fantauzzi
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The history of every sport is littered with cautionary tales of men and women who eagerly and loudly proclaim their greatness, only to fade into obscurity...or infamy. Likewise, there are those very rare moments when legends—Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Babe Ruth—boldly staked their claim to greatness and made good on the promise. Dominance claims in a sport needs support with evidence by more than just raw talent; it takes a burning drive to do what it takes to get better. If a guy makes more headlines talking about the records he’s going to break, rather than the success he’s already had, then he isn’t as good as he believes or isn’t doing what’s necessary to get there. My dad was a terrific guy, he always said to me to let my game do the talking. He would say, “if you’re a good player, it will show in your game.” I lived by those words. As a youngster I worked day-in and day-out to be the best that I could possibly be as a basketball player without comparing myself to anyone. I wasn’t a wannabe, I just wanted to be a basketball player! When you perform to do your best, there could not be a better satisfaction in a sport, or a memorable personal feeling of achievement. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Exceptionalism in sports really doesn’t need self-promotion and personal fanfare, or frankly, self-abnegation. Witnessing of performance by others is all that’s needed for the proof of being an athlete. People don’t want to hear bragging from the athlete about their greatness. If an athlete is outstanding on the field of play, his ego must be put into storage. I feel that humility must become part of the athlete’s character. Maybe the most important aspect of playing sports is being on a team, because it recognizes everyone’s worth and that’s something special. I know guys who play pickup, or who are in adult basketball leagues, or softball teams and know all their own personal statistics, like points scored, hits, goals, or whatever. I firmly believe that that’s fine for personal satisfaction; keep your accomplishments to yourself and be satisfied. No boasting to your friends and especially people who barely know you. The truth be told is to enjoy the moment as a participant, feel fulfilled with whatever the accomplishment was and that it was fun. If you have a need to be recognized, let your game do your talking. Humility means no boasting. Walk tall and know in your subconscious mind that you were emotionally fulfilled and you did well.
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