Geoff Miller

Positive Role Models in Sports

In Mental Game Info on November 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

A few years ago, I was at a networking event in downtown San Diego and I had an executive tell me that he thought you could count the positive role models left in sports on one hand.  I immediately pointed out that 30 Major League Baseball players had been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award for outstanding community service.  The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough positive role models in sports, it’s that we don’t hear enough about them and instead we hear about scandals, steroids, affairs, and police reports.  So on a weekend that reminds me how much coverage those negative stories get (I’m not going to bother mentioning the headlining story, but you all know what it is and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more events unfolding for weeks after this), I wanted to make sure that the world knows that both AL MVP Joe Mauer and NL MVP Albert Pujols were their teams nominees for the 2009 Clemente Award and that Derek Jeter won it this year in addition to his fifth World Series ring.  Here’s MLB’s page on the Clemente Award and the full list of nominees.  You can click on each nominee to find out why he was nominated.

I also wanted to share two more links.  The first is a story on NBA player, Baron Davis.  I used this story to teach minor league players more about perspective this year and I think it’s a great example of how an athlete’s identity shouldn’t just be as an athlete.  The quote that really sticks with me is from his grandma, who asked him when he was growing up, “If I take that ball away, who are you?”

Baron Davis Story

The second link is a story about Pirates pitcher, and a former client, Ross Ohlendorf.  Ross is doing an internship with the Department of Agriculture in DC this winter after earning 11 victories in his first full season as a starting pitcher in the big leagues.

Ross Ohlendorf Story

There are plenty of positive role models in baseball and in all sports that we can all learn from.  Let’s make sure that their stories get heard and that we continue to develop character on and off the field in the athletes we teach and coach.

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Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, will be released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:

http://www.bytelevelbooks.com/books/intangibles.html

For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at miller@thewinningmind.com.

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  1. Thanks, Geoff! I enjoyed reading this blog and the attached stories. There are still some good guys out there in sports.

  2. Thanks Geoff for focusing on the positive! In this day and age of sensational journalism which seems to focus on the negative, it’s nice to read some good news. Keep bringing on the positive articles.
    Thanks
    Kurt Wittmayer

  3. Keep ’em coming Geoff…another great example of the “power of positivity.” (if that’s a word) Good to see you reinforcing another aspect of the values that teach kids to respect the game and their opponent. I now have The Winning Mind as one of my quick references (along with Positive Coaching Alliance and The Josephson Institute) for parents and players.

    Thanks,
    John Davis
    Ohio Valley Sports, Inc

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