Whether you’re a party animal or an all-powerful and focused scholar off the court … your behavior off and on the court can affect your team and club. For example, if you are an aggressive person away from the game, you could slip up, and you could accidentally use that aggressiveness on the court. On the other hand, if you work hard and practice a lot while keeping your grades up and staying out of trouble, you can use that same behaviour on the court as well.

Whether or not you plan to take your athletics further on into life, such as your career, scouts all around will be focusing what you do on and off the court. They will check your grades, your criminal records, and some may even interview close peers, such as friends, teachers, employers, and coaches. If you do not have good etiquette both on and off the court, that could decrease your chance of being chosen from a high-quality university or college.

Also, coaches use character and behavior as both incentive and consequence. If you are caught disobeying the law or even a simple missing assignment is found, the teacher could use that against not just you, but your team, and other teams around you and to follow.

As an incentive, you could gain more respect from the coaching staff, and they’ll find you trustworthy and want to believe you. That brings honesty and a relationship with your instructors, so if you need something or just want to talk about a situation or something other than that, your coach will be willing to listen, will be willing to help you, and you’ll find trust and respect out of it.

Not only do you show others, such as peers, your true character, you also show the parents, as well as other acquaintances from opposing teams what you really are. If you are in a lot of trouble and it shows, you weaken the team by giving the team a bad image. Behavior and character are major factors in all sports and activities. One person can bring a whole league down.

If you are not conscious about your behavior, you could bring down the team, as well. By not showing up for practice, or not showing good sportsmanship, you prove to a lot of people that your team is not really your main focus. You are in the game for some other reason.

Don’t bring down your team or yourself by misbehaving or showing bad character. Be willing to compromise, and always do what you know is right. “Listen to your heart.” When you do this, you are well on your way to showing everyone around you as to what a good player and person you are. Part of good sportsmanlike conduct is on and off the court. If you were in the NBA you would have to do the same. No matter your level, you have to be one of the team no matter where you are.

Picture credit: Zach KleinCreative Commons Attribution