Character is defined as: The way someone thinks, feels or behaves.

I was at Level 9 Westerns last year and noticed something interesting. I was standing next to a college coach of a top 12 team. We were watching the meet together, focused on the younger age groups. This coach standing next to me had a tablet out and was jotting down names of girls he saw that were being positive, encouraging teammates and respectful to their coaches. He was not focused on performance, but on character.

When you have coached in college long enough, it becomes apparent that talent is necessary, but character is a must. We all have had teams full of talent and could not produce results. Character is the key! Having a team of gymnast that have strong work ethic, passion and respect for teammates are just a few of the qualities that make the difference. Some athletes come to college with a foundation of these traits, others learn these qualities and some unfortunately will possibly never possess them.

As a team becomes unified, bonded and focused not on themselves as individuals, but on the team first, they thrive when the pressure is on. The more the intensity of “team” the better they perform. Many college coaches will come to meets or your gym to watch practice.  Yes, they are watching your technique and skills, but they also are focused on how you act, talk and behave.

John Wooden the most winning coach in the NCAA said “Be more concerned of your character then your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is what others merely think you are”.