The Way I Was

7 Winning Character Traits of the 2013 Boston Red Sox

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When a team comes together like the Boston Red Sox did this year, the players deserve to be honored as champions, not only because of their athletic accomplishments, but also because of the example they’ve set for everyone who endeavors to be a winner.

Here are the lessons they’ve taught us about what makes people into winners:

  1. Believe you can do it! (Faith)
  2. Play full steam, giving 100% of your best effort, no matter what the outcome appears to be (Perseverance).
  3. Don’t be afraid to take chances (Courage).
  4. Celebrate each others’ victories (Encouragement).
  5. Don’t condemn each other, criticize, or show jealousy (Forgiveness).
  6. Set aside your individual ego for the good of the team and don’t ever think you’re the indispensable solo act who made it all happen (Humility).
  7. Give thanks to everyone who made it possible (Gratitude).

Who exemplifies the best virtues of an honest-to-goodness winner for you? 

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32 thoughts on “7 Winning Character Traits of the 2013 Boston Red Sox”

    1. Next to baseball, I like tennis. I like the contrast between them, of the team and the individual winner. Both offer great opportunities to shine in sportsmanship, I think.

      I also prefer games that demand finesse and strategy, as well as athletic ability.

      Recently quite a few athletes have behaved like spoiled children, and even like thugs. I feel that because of the way our cultures revere “winners” athletes have a duty to society to be positive role models and am greatly heartened to hear that many of them are taking that duty seriously.

      Thanks for the great example, Jenny.

  1. What a motivational post! I think that sports teach us all sorts of things about the hard work necessary to win and the etiquette behind loosing gracefully. I think sports are wonderful for young children to be involved in. Even being in dance classes and competitions when I was younger taught me about about hard work and dedication, which are important life lessons in general!

    1. I agree. When sports are kept in their proper place, as opportunities for children to develop physical skill and practice healthy character traits, nothing is better than sports (people learn best, it has been proven, by “playing!”)

      I do get concerned, however, when people turn anything into an obsessions, and some of the ways that parents try to MAKE their kids into winners at all costs, perverts the notion of what it means to win.

      1. Oh I definitely agree with you on that point. Sometimes it seems that everything gets turned into a competition and then it’s all about winning. When that happens you loose the fun in simply participating in activities and enjoying. It’s a delicate line to balance I’m sure, as a parent.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I love that our grandchildren have such fine role models to look up to!

      My husband and I have been talking about this for weeks, so when I went to write the post after the win last night, it all came to me in about 10 minutes. That doesn’t happen very often. Usually I labor over a post for anywhere from 2-10 hours.

  2. I’ve never been able to get excited about sports – but this post helps me understand why others do!
    My choice for a winner – Gandhi!

    1. I used to never get excited about sports. But baseball, now that I “get” it, and when the team is made up of really decent people like the guys who played for the Red Sox this year, I can seriously get into it.

      Overall, though, I agree with you.

  3. The attributes that you’ve shared are essential for sports, business and all aspects of life. I’m not much of a sports fan, but was glad to hear the Red Sox won nonetheless!

    1. Agreed! I haven’t been watching sports recently, because I’ve been discouraged by the lack of old-fashioned, good sportsmanship (which seems to have been replaced by a lot of rudeness, arrogance and scorn for the defeated). The Red Sox renewed my faith in the ability of sports to teach people to behave well.

      1. This is exactly what has put me off sport. I don’t mind a bit of yoga or keep fit or climbing but my experience of team sports has never involved much sportsmanship 😦 Your post was inspiring – both to know that such examples exist in the sports world, but really good pointers for any team to keep in mind (and for those managing departments and team to aim for).

        1. This is the old-fashioned ideal which has been lost in the past 3-4 decades. I’m glad to see it reviving. It used to be that people assumed team sports would teach all these values…

          1. Politicians sometimes come up with speeches along these lines. However our society is moving away from these values, but they seem to think that merely going through the actions of playing sport will bring them back. We need to see these values in action again, and any encouragement is good.

            There is a lot good in team sport though, like volunteer coaches giving up so much of their spare time up and down the country so that youngsters can have the same chances and experiences that they had.

            1. Yeah, I’m pretty tired of empty rhetoric without action.

              And I do applaud all the volunteer coaches who do it for the motive of giving all children an opportunity to play. But I’m not so big on the parent-volunteer coaches who do it so that they can determine the roster and make sure their own child gets maximum playing time.

              1. Oh yes that reminds me of some local coaches too!! And not just their child but their children’s friends, and anyone who is “in” with the coach. My girls were never into team sports so luckily we didn’t have this to deal with…

  4. Genuine winners, in my opinion, are superb athletes AND decent people. When I look at the individuals and the teams that accomplish good things during the off-season, I believe they renew the spirit that also makes their winning even more significant.
    We’ve seen horrific behavior in the past–from dog fighting crimes to killing each other–and I wonder if some athletes don’t have the basic solid core, and they become “above” it all instead of a “solid part” of it all.
    Excellent post, Tracy.

    1. Thanks, Marylin. I agree with you about the horrors. I hope the trend is shifting away from putting up with athletes who behave badly, just because they perform amazing athletic feats. I think everyone is getting weary of that.

      I do think that by idolizing athletes, we are not doing them any favors. They’re only human, and being made into an idol is apt to fill a person with despicable hubris, which, as you said, leads a person to believe he’s above it all.

  5. It’s a great post, dear Tracy, and I have to say that I am only very mildly into baseball, BUT… I have to say my allegiance is to the Yankees! Sorry! 😉

    1. Yeah, well I’m a mom, and according to my mommy-logic, the Yankees have had plenty of championships and it’s the Red Sox’ turn to have a share of the glory.

      Mom rule #51: Everybody take turns. 😉

      1. Thanks, Dina! I really struggled for the first year, trying to figure out what my focus is. Then I realized that I was focusing too intently on a focus.

        Really, all I’m trying to do is share my enthusiasm and amazement–that life is so beautiful and interesting, despite (or perhaps, who knows, because of) all the really gritty awful things that can, and do, happen to us and the people we love.

        It really is all about love, isn’t it?

    1. That’s thoughtful, and means a lot. I really do try to cultivate a conversation, and I so appreciate everyone who comments because those comments help me think, rethink, and come up with new ideas and directions.

      I’m just learning what blogging is and what it can be. I think it’s a mistake to treat it the same as other forms of writing. Yes, it has “writing” in common, but writing a blog post is as different from an essay or a poem or a song lyric or a research paper, as each of those is different from each other.

      1. I wrote down your list. Thinking about them again… sometimes it is difficult to choose between number 2 and 3. Having the courage to change may mean giving up something that you have been working towards for a long time. (and it has taken me a LONG time to work that one out). 🙂

        1. Very astute, Elizabeth–and something I think that baseball helps a person understand.

          When you’re running toward first base and it looks like you’re going to be thrown out, you just keep running with all your power and all your heart. That’s perseverance.

          But once you’ve lost an inning, you have to give up on that one, and move on to the next one. You have to start over, entirely, and forget about all your dreams for the last trip round the bases.

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