Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sports Hero and Mentor Disappoints

Our Society today clearly puts too much emphasis on success. We make heroes out of sports figures that excel, but then we expect them to be perfect in every way. The latest news report focuses on Michael Phelps who is undoubtedly the greatest swimmer and Olympian in history.

With all the accolades and success he has had, it is difficult to understand why he would risk all of that to smoke some "dope." Noone may really know. Perhaps it was peer pressure. Maybe he was lonely....many "idols" in the sports world comment on the fact that they were famous and very popular, but very lonely and wanted more than anything to belong. No matter the reasoning, the fact that Michael smoked pot was unmistakeable since it was caught on camera.

The gymnastics athletes we coach were very disappointed and were able to clearly outline which of several pillars of character in the Character Counts program Michael violated in smoking pot. These athletes, even though gymnasts and not swimmers, were greatly disappointed.

However, the silver lining (if it can be found in this) is that Michael did not lie or try to cover up this incident. He took responsibility for his own actions, and apologized. He even promised not to let that happen again. He did the right thing, but as we all know, actions speak louder than words. So, we will see what the future holds for this bright star...but one thing is clear....Character does Count more today than ever....and Michael did show some character in admitting fault. I am hopeful that Michael will go on from here and become a great leader by example in character and life.

Visit for more information on the 6 Pillars of Character.

Until next time...keep leading with Character First...Heidi Ho.

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