Respect is a very important component of both personal identity and interpersonal relationships. To feel respected could be considered a basic human right. The word respect comes from the Latin word “respectus” meaning attention, regard or consideration. It can be defined as “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability”.
Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui
Being respected by important people in our lives growing up teaches us how to be respectful towards others. Respect doesn’t have to come naturally – it is something you learn.
Every day we encounter different forms and levels of disrespect. It seems as common as the potholes we face on the roads every day. How we deal with it is another case. We either go left, right, over it or we just stop
In the sporting arena, a lack of respect among youth athletes has been an issue that many observe and speak about but little seems to be done to address it. Respect is also showing those around us compassion and empathy. Children who show respect will find they are successful in all aspects of life. The sports environment is a great place to grow and establish respect. While involved in sports, young ones will learn the importance of respecting their teammates, coaches, opponents and spectators.
Group sports, in particular, teach children sportsmanship and how to be happy for their peers. There is the player to coach relationship where if an athlete wishes to improve and succeed, they must listen to the advice and criticism of those who coach them. Part of being respectful is understanding others may know better and we should listen and learn from them
I’ve experienced footballers in Trinidad and Tobago not being able to grasp what it is to have the access to or the luxury of iconic figures around them in training or in the dressing room. Is it a reflection of what is happening in the homes? I’ve witnessed first hand how players in England, Mexico, Costa Rica, France and other countries respond when someone of high pedigree who has achieved in the game, either walk into a training session or simply decide to have a one on one conversation with them. Those players understand the significance of such encounters and the fact that they probably wouldn’t be able to afford the opportunity if there was a price tag on it. Sadly, I’ve seen local athletes frown, shrug their shoulders or simply have little or nothing to say when dealing with iconic figures or coaches and personalities who’ve basically done it all in the sport
Have you ever noticed sometimes when a coach or manager is in conversation with a player, there appears to be absolutely no reaction and no enthusiasm? You’re left wondering if they are even hearing what is being said to them. I experienced it first hand recently with one of the most celebrated footballers and a youth player. Then too, it’s refreshing to see those that are all lit up when the opportunity presents itself. And no, we don’t expect the athlete to be skipping around happily just because a high achiever is present within the mix
For those of us involved in the sport for a long period, we appreciate the effort of what it takes to be a coach. It’s important to understand just how much time and energy goes into the job. That commitment deserves a verbal pat on the back once in a while. Of course, it must go both ways. There are times unfortunately when the behaviour of those entrusted with building a positive environment for our athletes is less than desirable, leading to the creation of an antagonistic environment that is to the detriment of our young ones. If referees, coaches, and parents are able to recognize these kinds of negative behaviours and focus on instead acting in a respectful manner to each other, everyone will benefit
Conducting ourselves with dignity is key. It’s called “Honoring the Game” in sports. And we hope our young athletes learn to both win and lose while respecting themselves, their teammates, their opponents and the officials and organization that help make their sports experience possible. We all hope sports teaches us to win and lose with dignity and respect and to carry ourselves in a manner that is suitable for the environment in which we operate
Floyd Mayweather said, “I don’t have to wait for nobody, I move when I wanna move.” But then the late great Jesse Owens stated, “In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more than that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness, and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?” Which do you prefer?
Shaun Fuentes is the head of TTFA Media. He is a former FIFA Media Officer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He is also currently a CONCACAF Competitions Media Officer and has travelled extensively, experiencing and learning from different cultures and lifestyles because of sport and media over the past 20 years. He is also a certified media trainer for athletes and a member of the FIFA/CIES Sports Management cohort