Letters to the College Athlete: Whose fault is it?
As a college athlete, you are going to have to develop your identity with a strong foundation in attributes that will help you succeed. This will help you become attracted to people and situations that are conducive to your success in college and beyond. Discovering your identity helps you monitor the people you choose to associate with. If you have a solid foundation of who you are, you are going to gravitate toward people who add value to you and support your goals.
I knew I should have stayed on campus, but I left anyway. I sat in my car in the middle of the projects in the rough part of Birmingham, Alabama. A woman came to my car and asked, “Do you know of anybody that would want to buy these?” She opened her hand to reveal different colors of pills. I was unaware of what kind they were, but I did know she wasn’t a licensed mobile pharmacist.
I had many thoughts!
What if I got caught around her? Would I go to jail?
No more school! No more basketball!
It wouldn’t be my fault! I don’t know her! I didn’t know we were coming here!
I’m not responsible………
Or was I?
That was an actual scene from a time when I was in college at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Like a lot of people, I believed that just because I was not doing anything wrong, I was being responsible.
I did not know that being responsible means more than controlling your actions.
I did not know that being responsible means being aware of and taking steps to avoid people and situations that would damage or stop your efforts to becoming successful in college and beyond.
Avoid people whose presence distracts you from achieving your goals to be a successful student athlete. For instance, someone who persistently tries to convince you to hang with them when you have to study is a person who does not have your best interest in mind.
This person can hinder you from being a successful student. Therefore, avoid that type of individual. You should not go with anyone, or by yourself, to any place that there is a possibility that you would get into trouble. Just your presence could end your career, and possibly your life.
I encourage you make being responsible a part of the foundation of your identity. Begin by being cautious of people and situations that could interfere with you achieving goals as a college athlete.
Do you have people in your life that you have to be cautious of?
About the Author: Geraline L. Handsome has developed a passion to help college athletes of team sports discover their identity. She is a former Women’s Basketball Player for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). There she earned a B.S. degree in chemistry/mathematics. She has a MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is an Environmental Scientist and the mother of two. She is also the author of the book Sins of One Woman’s Mind.
Geraline L. Handsome is currently developing Creating the Super Athlete, a product designed to help coaches help their athletes discover their identity so that they will be able to perform better in their sport, in the classroom, and in public. It is expected to be completed in 2017.
Visit her website Athlete’s Voice to Integrity at geralinelhandsome.com.