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The Value of Respect

February 03, 2019 AT 12:00 AM

Game recognizes game

At the end of every basketball game, players usually take the time to shake the hands of their opponents and to thank them a game well-played. Beyond just a routine gesture, this inherent respect is one of the most valuable parts of basketball.

Opponents: The game is an intimate affair and you get to know your opponents very well as you match up against each other. You know not only their tendencies and skill sets, but also their drive and motivation. To respect your opponent is to always play your best, instead of showing them up. A true player derives satisfaction from playing the game the right way, be it shutting out an overmatched opponent or struggling against a comparable foe. At times, a simple nod is sufficient validation that you have earned respect with your play.

Coaches: Although players generally strongly revere their coaches, this is definitely not an easy or affectionate relationship. Instead, a good coach will frequently get on your backs and berate you for your mistakes and shortcomings. This tough love is not a matter of harshness, but about demanding a certain level of accountability and expectations. You respect your coach because he or she has taught you about life, beyond just basketball.

Teammates: There is nothing comparable to the respect among teammates. You push and encourage each other on and off the court, whether you are a role player or the star. Everyone has to earn their playing time and the respect of their teammates, and they are often tougher on each other than any coach or opponent could ever be. This respect is reflected in candor, where everyone openly speaks their mind in providing and receiving constructive criticism.

Basketball: Just as you earn the respect of your opponents, coaches and teammates, basketball will earn your respect as well. It becomes a part of your life, and not just a game. You respect basketball by always giving it your all, and basketball will respect you in return with progress and skill development, but also values and memories.

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