Are You An “Honorable” Athlete?

An “honorable athlete” is someone who can be coached, who accepts responsibility for his or her actions and who is willing to work hard to become better. An honorable athlete is a truly dedicated person who has the drive to overcome obstacles. An honorable athlete also is a great student—-one who is ready, willing, and able to take direction from an instructor or coach. In the Martial Arts, true honorable athletes stand out from the rest.
Other athletes are not so honorable. They may be referred to as “selective participants,” those who expect special treatment and take corrections as criticism. Selective participants do not give 100% in class every day. They may be inconsistent in their training and often expect to slide by during testing. The problem is, those selective participants who slide by at each belt level are not really getting any better, and sometimes they may actually be getting worse. To prevent that from happening to you, take a step back and look at your effort and attitude towards your training.
Are you an honorable athlete or not? Sometimes we may want to be honorable athletes, but our actions show that we are not doing all that we can to achieve that objective.
To correct the problem, you must recognize ways in which you are limiting yourself in your training. Do you come to class consistently or inconsistently? Consistency is the key to becoming a great and honorable athlete. You must be dedicated, especially when you feel like giving up or taking a break.
Next, look at your attitude during class. Are you putting forth 100% effort in class? Do you look at corrections as a way to improve, or do you look at corrections as criticism? The only way to get better is to pinpoint your weak spots and take the necessary steps to improve upon those weak areas. Honorable athletes rely on corrections to become better. They accept corrections as tools to improvement. Honorable athletes embrace opportunities each and every day and work to transform themselves into better performers.
To become better, more honorable athletes, you must be willing to step outside of the box. Ask your friends, family, and instructors if they feel that you are performing like an honorable athlete. Ask them to let you know when they feel as though you are not performing or behaving at your best level. Their feedback is valuable and will make a difference. If you have the desire to be an honorable athlete, you must act like one at all times. The rewards are endless and the feeling is priceless.

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