The world of sports sends us all kinds of messages that we can use to live our lives more effectively. Some of these lessons have to do with courage, rare skill and deeds or words of inspiration. And other lessons have to do with seeing something unconscious, weird or destructive and then maybe choosing to respond consciously.
We have tended to hold sports figures in a sort of high reverence, even when they say and do stupid things.
Some of the basically insane or misguided things that sports figures and fans say or do are WTF moments. We bring these up here for you to play with, not as an opportunity to denigrate anybody. So the personal names of the people involved will generally not be included in this series if they are still living.
The Sports WTF series posts will be generally brief and will often include questions you can ask yourself about what fits for you in your life.
art by Thomas Jordan
This Week’s Sports WTF
This first Sports WTF comes from the world of college basketball, which will complete its annual “March Madness” championship tournament this week.
One of the most talented players in college basketball—who happens to be coached by one of the most legendary coaches the game has ever seen—got into some controversy recently. He was caught intentionally tripping an opposing player during a game.
The first time it happened, nothing was done in the way of discipline. Let’s not judge that. Maybe the best response was to just let it be, and that is what the coach and school did: no discipline.
What makes it tricky is that the same player got caught a second time, and it was clearly intentional. The school or the coach could have suspended that player, but did nothing. A player getting caught twice in one season in such unsportsmanlike behavior has never happened before. With the coach and school letting it slide, they are basically condoning the behavior.
We tend to want to push the envelope: How much can we get away with? Even if we are caught, will the consequences be so insignificant that we do not care if we are caught? In the second tripping incident, millions of people were watching it on television. Consider:
One of the games ego can play: Deny the completely obvious if admitting it would be more painful emotionally.
Then, the same coach, upon losing in the tournament, makes a comment after the game to a star on the winning team: “Your’re too good a player to be showing off like that at the end.” That player, following the instruction of his coach, had taken a three point shot—and made it—when the outcome of the game seemed to be secure.
From here—and for maybe most competitive sports players—you do your best for the whole game and be as effective as you can. When the outcome seems assured, the smart or conscious coach will tend to bring in the players who don’t often see much game time. You don’t intentionally make a poor shot except when its a free throw and the idea is to get the ball to bounce back to someone on your team. Do some see doing their best as no longer important at the end of a game? And how often is a big lead near the end of the game really secure? We just had a team come back in this same tournament and win after being down 12 points with 35 seconds to go in regulation game time.
Maybe it appears natural for a famous coach to have a big ego. What message does the behavior of the coach and the behavior of the player send to fans and our impressionable youth?
For me, it’s a true WTF that the coach who did not take an ethical stand in disciplining his own player could question the integrity of an opposing player who was simply doing his best.
Another trick of ego to avoid dealing with oneself: Project your dirty stuff onto somebody else. It’s so much more quick and convenient than working on yourself.
At some point, we get that sports and life are not about just doing what you can get away with, but doing your best…and handling it with integrity when you lose.
by Carlo Ami
Carlo is the founder of the Simple Awakening Tools protocol that is designed to assist receptive people in their awakening process.