Humility in Athletics: True Role Models are Rare

In Inspiration, Trending by Lynne Leggett

As parents, we always want the best for our children; for them to grow up with healthy role models, become productive citizens, and follow their passions. Since we are examples to our children, we always look out for different opportunities that are teachable moments for them. In my daughter’s case, she has always admired Steph Curry, who plays in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors. I realize not everyone follows the sport of basketball like I do, but Steph’s rise to fame was not overnight. Since Megan has played basketball for years, she would always talk about sports at school with her other athletically minded friends. But for Megan, Steph Curry embodies more than just a phenomenal point guard who is known for his 3-point shooting ability.

“Thankfully, she follows Steph Curry for other, more important reasons. His level of determination, work ethic, team play, humility, and family values are just some of those reasons.”

If all Megan was interested in was a player’s record in a sport, there are many upper echelon players to follow. Thankfully, she follows Steph Curry for other, more important reasons. His level of determination, work ethic, team play, humility, and family values are just some of those reasons. I live in Virginia, so for those of you who don’t know, that is ACC country. The Curry family is synonymous with basketball. It is a family tradition. Steph’s ability was under the national radar for a while. He was not the biggest player or the best player on some of his teams growing up. The one thing that set him apart is his determination and work ethic. He knew what he wanted to accomplish, but it takes a lot of hard work to build up the skills necessary to play on the college level, much less in the NBA. Megan has a lot of the same attributes, but in own her way. I have heard her say to her teammates that she may not be the tallest, or the most skilled player, but she has the most heart and determination. In this day and age, that is a trait that is sorely lacking. Having the will to succeed coupled with determination will take you far in life.

Having Megan seek out someone who has those qualities certainly makes a mom feel good. But wait, there is more:) Steph is a team player. As a basketball coach myself, I often tell my teams that someone who is selfless and cares more about number of assists is elevating the team above themselves and is encouraged. Most players will look out for their own stats and score as much as they can. The “true” teammate will look for the opportunity for a team mate to score and pass the ball accordingly. In case you are wondering where Steph compares with other NBA players, he averages 6.8 assists per game versus the NBA average point guard at 4.5 per game.

Steph signing 1

Humility in athletics is certainly rare. Every time I turn on the television I always see a player pointing to themselves, thumping their chest or bragging about their efforts versus the competition. Megan values how Steph Curry handles himself after he scores. Next time you watch ESPN highlights or a game, notice that Steph is not doing that, he is pointing and looking upward. In comparison, when Lebron James scores he is in someone’s face or pulling his jersey in celebration. Which athlete between these two would you prefer your daughter to admire? Yes, I am proud of her.

The next attribute that Steph embodies is his love of family. Megan has always valued her family and has never acted like she was ever a shame or disappointed. There have been times, especially as her basketball coach, she could have distanced herself from me, but she never has. In fact, she proudly has told others that she knows I am harder on her than the other girls, and that is fine with her – it makes her a better player. This closeness has also created a bond between us.

All moms know that turning 16 is a big deal and for a daughter, even a bigger deal. What Megan asked for surprised me in the beginning. She asked for an experience for her birthday, not a thing. Being told this really early in the morning sort of took me aback. 🙂 She asked to attend a Warriors NBA game so she could see Steph Curry play live. Thankfully, they came to Charlotte, North Carolina which is a lot closer to home versus flying to California! I did my best and got the closest tickets I could buy so she could be at the railing when the Warriors entered and exited the court. It was an experience neither of us will forget.

I am so proud of Megan looking up to someone that is deserving of her praise and admiration. Please let the sharing of Megan’s 16th birthday experience remind you to look for opportunities with your own family.

Just like Steph Curry looks out for his team mates and gives many assists each game, as DeWers, we need to look for opportunities to assist one another.