John Luther once wrote that, “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece-by thought, choice and determination”.
If I was asked for a definition of character I would say that it is what defines you as a person. We can all show glimpses of good character when things go our way but what about when things get tough? I think there are words to a song that say, “When the going gets tough the tough get going”.
So in my view, it is highly appropriate to talk about character on the fortnight after the House Athletics. There were many winners who exhibited their talent but my interest was to look at those students who showed true character throughout the day. They entered a number of events without winning any but they persevered. If one school sporting event could show true character then this is it.
As it’s been said, “It is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that counts”.
If you are serious about your sport, you would realise that you need a high level of aerobic capacity or, in simple terms, the ability to run for long periods. Distance running is definitely one method of improving your aerobic capacity.
At a previous school, I taught and coached a very talented hockey player. He was very skillful – and even made state junior teams. However, he was teased about his weight and other students called him “pudding”.
During the summer vacation he set about getting himself fit and he completely changed his body shape. He ran the 800m and 1500m for the school and he won both events at the AGSV sports. He was in Year 11 and during that season he played State League One hockey, the equivalent in hockey terms of playing AFL.
He gained selection for the Australian Under 17 Schoolboys team and played in the school holidays in New Zealand. His success was put down to getting fitter and this he did by running regularly.
There is a clear message here for those of you who take your sport seriously.
I have never heard of Bernard Baruch but he seems to sum character up pretty well: “During my eighty seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think”.
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