“No building is better than its structural foundation, and no man (woman) is better than his (her) mental foundation. When I prepared my original Success Pyramid years ago, I put industriousness and enthusiasm as the two cornerstones with LOYALTY right in the middle of the pyramid – Loyalty to yourself and to all those dependent upon you.”

The Legendary NCAA Basketball Coach and ”Wizard of Westwood,” John Wooden. From The Edge – by Howard Ferguson

DR. G’s COMMENTS: Loyalty is not a word that we see displayed very much in professional sports. Apparently our high visibility role models seem to only understand the part about loyalty to “you.” They don’t get the “loyalty to all those dependent upon you” piece. Unfortunately this “me- first culture” seems to have trickled down from pro athletes to much of sports in general at almost every level that it’s played. Young athletes are more concerned with their playing time and stats than what’s best for their teammates and the team in general. Their parents (quite naturally) only have eyes for their son or daughter, often ignoring the team’ s mission and disagreeing with their child’s role as assigned by the coach. Parents will even covertly or directly encourage their child’s disloyalty to teammates. Coaches, for their part tend to get too caught up in winning and, as a consequence, will say and do disloyal things to their young charges. Coach Wooden wasn’t successful for all those years, with all those athletes because he was incredibly lucky. He was successful because he genuinely understood what the important ingredients were that went into winning. He was a Hall of Fame Coach because he knew how very important loyalty was as a behavior that you modeled and one that you demanded from your players. Today’s sports world could stand to re-learn a very old fashioned lesson. Winners are loyal and loyalty makes a winner.

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