Wednesday, April 6, 2016
With the start of spring sports it gives us two sports in particular where integrity and doing the right things come into play in a big, big way. The sports of golf and tennis are, for the most part, controlled by decisions that the players make on the course and on the court.
I believe that golf is the ultimate game of integrity. The rules are set up to be self governing and those that have played or competed know how extensive they can be. High School tennis competitions are set up so players are making their own calls in their matches. There are no line judges, chair umpires, or even ball boys or girls that will toss you the ball when you need it. Both games offer the ultimate opportunity for sportsmanship and integrity.
Two of the bullet points of The Rider Way are tied together in one fantastic thread for these sports. "Control What You Can Control" and "Integrity Above All Else". In these competitive areas you will always have the ability to control your ability to do the right thing as you look at the lie of your golf ball in the rough or make the right line call on the tennis court.
Can you control what your opponent does? Obviously, the answer is no. You do control your own integrity though and just because someone else improves their lie in the rough, makes the wrong call or doesn't apply a rule correctly never gives you the right to return the favor just to try to even the score.
That's why educational athletics is such a great tool for teaching lessons that can make an impact for a lifetime. There will always be people looking for shortcuts and a shadier way to get ahead. We have to rise above that and do the right thing because the right thing is always the best thing to do. This may mean that we may not receive immediate rewards or accolades, but in the end, if we do things the right way, and do them consistently, people will notice and the acknowledgement will come. Besides we don't do the right thing for the praise, we do it because it's the right thing to do.
We should also keep in mind that the example we set in some of those situations not only reflects on who we are but also serves as an example for those that may be watching. We need to use the opportunities where we have a choice of doing the right thing or the wrong thing to be a leader and stand for the right thing. One right decision at a time could not only change your destiny but also help shape the person watching how you handle the decision.
Don't miss your leadership opportunities even in times of difficult decisions.