Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Like a Champion

Just like millions of other people around the world, I have been positively influenced by the 2012 London Olympics.  The accomplishments at any levels, winning the medals or not, are evident on the TV screen throughout these exclamatory seventeen days.  The athletes' sportsmanship (except during some of the badminton matches) are easily transformed into motivation and encouragement for the children who are about to go back to school.  I too, am looking forward to sharing some of the glorious moments of the team U.S.A. in my classroom.  At the same time, I would like to discuss with young stars, what a true champion is.

Think Like a Champion.  What would a champion think in a terrible situation?  For instance, the America's favorite gymnast, Jordyn Wieber's disappointment was beyond most people's belief and we all knew how devastated she was when she learned that she was not going to the individual final.  What did Jordyn think?  Redemption.  She flipped her situation from the unsatisfactory result to a positive attitude towards the team final.  True champions have been trained to motivate themselves by themselves.  Their mental training must be as extraordinary as their physical training.  It is absolutely difficult for a 16 years old girl to manage the whole nation's disappointment.  You can define if this is a true champion or not when this person is in trouble. 

Talk Like a Champion.  Again, Jordyn Wieber's quote: "I am disappointed, but I am also happy for my best friends Gabby and Aly.  I want them to do their best."  After so many days of intense workouts for this big event, some athletes act sour to the interviewer for their unexpected results.  A true champion always focuses on the positive side, even if it seems so small.  There is no time for pitying themselves because the true champions always must move forward.  They have to reach higher each time. 

Act Like a Champion.  Celebrating the victory seems so appropriate at the medal ceremony.  The best part of this process is shaking hands before the podium.  Congratulating each other shows a beautiful act of sportsmanship and respect.  Even outside of the podium, the athletes' gratitude spreads towards all staff, coaches, team mates, judges, etc, who are involved in the game.  It is seldom to see whining (forever) athletes. The Japanese women's soccer coach commented after the final match, in which someone claimed the referee made a wrong call at the P.K., "I respect the referee's decision."   Their silver medal is beyond worth to be called the true champions.

I am fantasizing if these Champion traits happens in my classroom and school.  What I should think when I hear, "I am not playing with him because he is cheating!"  How should I talk to a student who tattles, "Such and such called me a name!"  How should I act during the boring staff meeting?  It all realistically comes to me.  I will think like a champion.  I will talk like a champion.  I will act like a champion.  So I will be a champion.