Respect Yourself, Others and the Game

Sportsmanship Series with Dr. Larry Lauer

Respect is essential to playing tennis, both how you treat yourself and others. Learn the importance of respect and how it can enhance your game.

Respectful – Acts in the way of appreciation, courteous to others, focused on the best in others, honors rules of game. It is one of the 7 core values of a champion!

Respect matters on and off the court. Showing respect for others is an outward demonstration of our character. Do not let tennis or competition take away from your character, let it add to it. 

Respect enhances performance. In addition to respect being the right thing to do, it can help you play better. You will be better prepared for matches if you respect tennis and you respect your opponents. If you show respect outside the court you will find not only will your life be better, but so will the lives of those people around you.

Respect starts with Self-Respect. Those who show self-respect by acting according to their character values are more likely to show others respect. 

Respect can mean many things; thus you need to define it. It seems simple enough, but respect is somewhat an individual idea that varies based on culture, race, gender… we all need to remember this when interacting with others. In some cultures speaking your mind to adults is not appropriate nor is eye contact. 

Respect is a widely used term that covers many acts of appreciation and humility. In a given day how many acts of respect do we exhibit? Shaking hands, saying hello, looking someone in the eyes when they talk, not interrupting, not cutting line, allowing someone to go before us, thanking a coach for practice, giving best effort and attention, asking someone else about their day… Respect is given in so many ways that we don’t pay attention to it. This is why it is so important to set clear expectations about respect as it relates to the coach-athlete relationship from the start! Otherwise, the coach or athlete may unintentionally disrespect the other. This breaks down communication and trust, the foundations of the relationship.

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