What does it take to be a great sports role model? The easy answer might be looking at who has the biggest shoe deal or who is the start of the latest sport apparel commercial. But are those always the types of athletes you want your kids looking up to? Finding a role model in sports for your child to emulate and admire can be a challenge.
Despite the focus on shoes, money and contracts, there are still many athletes in sports making a positive difference in their communities and in the lives of people around the world. We’ll leave it to you to choose the right sport and person but here are a few traits to look for when looking for a great sports role model:
Always Sets a Good Example
We’re focused on helping kids succeed in life through sports so you want a role model who behaves the right way on and off the field. Look for an athlete who is a leader of their teammates as well as in their local community. An athlete who sets a positive example is someone who doesn’t argue with the officials or other players and is respected throughout the game. Many athletes also use their influence and wealth to make a positive impact locally as well. There are pro athletes who volunteer at children’s hospitals or schools or even purchase homes for underprivileged families.
Sports are full of ups and downs (just like life). An athlete who is optimistic and positive is a great role model. Athletes who keep their heads up and stay determined when the results are going against them or athletes who still have something positive to say after a loss can be a great influence on your child. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Athletes (and kids) who believe in optimism will go further in sports and in life.
Speaks Out and Respects Everyone
A great sports model uses their position of influence to speak up and defend others. These athletes stand up for the little guy and helps those in need. With bullying being a big topic lately among parents and kids, teaching kids to defend each other is important. Several famous athletes use their popularity to speak out about gender equality and promoting positive body image.
Great sports role models are out there for your kids. And they aren’t always just in the “big” sports like football or basketball. There are athletes in tennis, track, swimming and many other sports making a positive difference around the world. Share the stories of these role models with your child and encourage them to find their role model