Respect can mean a lot of things in a lot of different situations. As an athlete, respect comes into play in every aspect of a sport. Playing in a game or match, practicing, communicating with your teammates and coaches, all involve respect. Respect to me means that you treat everyone you come into contact with kindness, and make them feel like they matter.
In volleyball, not only do you respect your own teammates, but the team across the net as well. Although you are playing a competitive game, it’s just that, a game. While you are wanting to be aggressive and intense, a good athlete knows how to treat a team with respect. You want to be as competitive as possible because that is showing your opponents you respect them and the hard work they have put into this sport, but a respectful athlete never taunts or makes disparaging remarks. As well as respecting the other team, you have to know how to respect the officials. They are there on their time to help you play your game and that is something you should appreciate. When interacting with them, show them they are valued. Officials note when an athlete shows respect on, and off the court or field.
In some cases, an athlete will get the opportunity to play at a national level, allowing them to interact with more players, coaches, parents and officials. At a national level, athletes are expected to be respectful no matter what the situation. You want to show others, and yourself, that you can be held to a higher standard.
Respecting yourself and others is put to the test as you are being observed by other spectators, and not only them, but college coaches as well. Some people believe that college coaches only look for talent, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Coaches watch how you interact with the people you play with, how you react to situations, and how you respect the people around you. Colleges want athletes and players who can represent their schools and programs in a positive way. What is one HUGE way to show good representation? Respect. Respect is having consideration for others by showing them that what they are doing and accomplishing matters, and isn’t going unnoticed.
Respecting others is one thing, but you have to know how to respect yourself as well. You can respect yourself in many ways. Making good decisions, getting good grades, and surrounding yourself with good influences are all prime examples. Every athlete should want to respect themselves in a manner so at the end of the day, they can be proud of themselves. They can be proud of the way they conduct themselves, the way they perform in an athletic event, and the way they treat others. Respect is more than just wanting to do it for others; you should want it for yourself. Because if you show respect to others, you will get respect back. We all need respect to make the world go round – I’m doing my part, and I challenge all of you to do the same!
Peyton Stark is a sophomore at Cheney High School. She was a varsity basketball and volleyball player her freshman year, and is on the honor roll. Peyton also plays club volleyball and attended the Girls Junior National Championships for volleyball this past June in New Orleans, LA.