The power of role models
By iNSPIRE Sport
It’s no secret that having a good and positive role model in your life can be extremely influential. Do you ever consider how YOU influence younger athletes? You are likely to be a role model to someone and may not even know it. Below we discuss the power of role models and how you can lead those who look up to you!
Understanding that any athlete can be a role model
A study showed that kids ranked famous athletes among the most admired people in their lives (73 percent) and 9 out of 10 kids said famous athletes teach children mostly “good things.”
However, you do not have to be an Olympian or a pro athlete to be a role model for other athletes. You may be a senior level athlete and inspire young recreational kids training at your club. This is just as important as an elite athlete’s influence! Think back to when you were younger and looked up to the older athletes at your club. How did they inspire you?
Off the field
Athletes (especially higher profile) are admired for their achievements in sport. Yet the eyes of young athletes are also on them off the field. Especially in the world of social media where their personal life is easily accessible to audiences.
It is important to remember how easily influenced young audiences are. Everything that goes on your social media as an athlete should be age appropriate and reflect your professionalism that you show on the field. No matter how big of a platform you have, it is important to hold yourself to the same expectations as you do with pro athletes that you look up to. Be mindful of what you’re posting, commenting on and even liking – these all reflect your character.
Lead by example
We are sure that you have heard someone tell you to ‘lead by example’ – a quote that has been thrown around for years. While it may seem overused, there is importance to it. Majority of people are visual learners, meaning that those younger kids in your club probably take notice of your behaviour during training and are tempted to copy that.
This includes things as simple as your body language or reactions to feedback from a coach. Be mindful that every action at training could be influencing a younger athlete or even your teammates. It is okay to have bad days and show emotion, but how you deal with that and react afterwards is crucial in creating a positive perception from others.
Another great tip is to involve yourself in the younger athletes and teammates’ progress. Encouraging them by congratulating them verbally and acknowledging their hard work can make a huge difference to their self confidence – and it is easy to do! Look at our latest blog on building a healthy team culture.
Choosing your own role models
Finally, while we are saying that you may be a role model to others, it is also important to have your own role models! This can help you shape how you go about your own work and assist you in creating your goals and aspirations. Seeing other achievements can motivate you to train harder and smarter. An ideal role model is an athlete that is well received publicly in and out of the game – someone who motivates you not to just be a better athlete but a better person
You can find more tips like these on the iNSPIRE Sport app – see for yourself via the links below.