The realm of sports is ripe for teaching young people and athletes important skills they can use and put to work for the rest of their lives. For coaches, it takes being able to turn words like “character” and “competition” into behaviors and traits that athletes can see and feel. Once those ideas become tangible, they can be learned and developed. This week, author and teacher Dr. Ralph Pim shares ideas for breaking down critical concepts into teachable and adoptable life lessons.
Dr. Pim started his career coaching youth sports. Over the years, he worked his way to college coaching and ultimately, to West Point, where he became the director of competitive sports for the entire military academy. At West Point, all cadets are also athletes; it’s a mandate of the school which early on, recognized the benefits of sports experience in building great leaders. Now an international leadership consultant and educator, he’s sharing what he both learned and developed at West Point about shaping athletes into well-rounded and persevering people in all aspects of their lives.
What You’ll Learn:
- Develop self-discipline
- Turn buzzwords into teachable behaviors
- Develop good behaviors into great habits
- Transfer sports lessons to life and work
- Learn to speak to the heart of players
“What character is made up of is a multitude of character strengths. So, what my framework has done is we’ve taken the word character and we’ve really put it into two categoeis. One is performance character strengths. And performance character strengths are attributes that promote mastery and success in any type of setting. … The second type is relational character strengths. And the relational character strengths promote ethical conduct and teamwork in a sports setting.” -Dr. Ralph Pim
“Your sports career ends and then really, what is the greater purpose of sport? It has to go beyond just the numbers on the scoreboard. It has to be the life skills that someone learns that they can apply into everyday life.” -Dr. Ralph Pim
“If you listen to the top coaches throughout the entire world, there’s a common theme and the common theme is talent opens the door, but talent alone is not enough. And so, it takes more than just raw talent. It takes the character strengths, … but it also takes a self-awareness of each athlete in order to know how to get themselves as close to their full potential as possible. There’s the mental piece of it.” -Dr. Ralph Pim
“No matter where I go in the world, on the white boards I see the same words. All the coaches have all these words. But the most important thing is turning those words into observable and productive behaviors.” -Dr. Ralph Pim
“We have to have daily reminders, I think, in order to help us learn how to compete everyday.” -Dr. Ralph Pim
You can follow Dr. Ralph Pim on Twitter @KeepDrivinOn.