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How to Win

Role Models

Some of the most important people in my life would be shocked to learn that they were role models. They weren’t celebrities, or even particularly accomplished. But they had some quality that I admired, that made me want to be like them.~ Don Moomaw

Over the weekend I had the chance to watch a women’s lacrosse game between the University of Albany and Stony Brook University.

Halftime featured two local youth teams who put on an exhibition. Besides entertaining the fans and giving the youth leagues some exposure, the mini-game achieved another objective: it put the young players into contact with strong role models.

You can bet that many of those young players looked at the college game and dreamed of someday being just like the the athletes who were playing in it. And it would not be too far-fetched to think that someday, one of them will.

Role models can mean everything to a team or organization. They embody values and inspire others.

In the classic book, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” Tim Gallwey writes, “I was beginning to learn what all good (teachers) must learn: that images are better than words, showing better than telling …”

Good role models teach without words. They communicate values by what they do and how they carry themselves.

Recently a TV commentator mentioned that there is a new generation of golfers emerging who came of age while watching Tiger Woods. Now 33, Woods turned pro 13 years ago. That means a golfer who is now 25 was a very impressionable 13 years old when Woods won his first Masters. Who knows what golf will look like with Woods as the role model for thousands of young golfers?

Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe made such an impression on a young Wayne Gretzky that even after he himself became a superstar, Gretzky still referred to him as “Mr. Howe.”

Gretzky then went on to inspire others.

The question for you is: Who on YOUR team are the role models, and are they the kind that you want?


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