Sports are filled with a variety of titles.
Coach, holder, captain.
Role player, assistant, letter winner.
Each title is part of what identifies you and identifies your position in the team or within the program.
Each title is usually the result of hard work and opportunities created for yourself or with the help of others.
In the purest form, however, titles are just words. More importantly, these are the words that have been won by your actions.
We strive for acclaim and recognition, and that’s a healthy challenge, but titles should never overshadow everything else.
The title can’t be the only thing that defines you.
If you are the head coach of a team, is that the only title you have?
Or are there unspoken titles that you are immediately affiliated with?
Are you a good listener? A good communicator? A good motivation?
Are you someone who smiles more than you criticize? Can you instill confidence and energy in your players in a culture built on teamwork and inclusion?
Can you create an environment that players want to play in?
If you’re the starting point guard, starting quarterback, or leading scorer, is that all you are?
Or are you a good teammate? A positive role model for the young players watching you?
Do you care more about the team’s victory than your individual spotlight?
Can you create positive energy, be the emotional and vocal leader of a team that will hear you and follow you?
For those who count, it’s 13 consecutive questions.
All designed to be rhetorical, but hopefully also designed to initiate thought.
For the one title that may be next to your name, it should be a personal ambition to collect as many unspoken titles as possible. They are what will build your personality, character, and development – and ultimately what will lead to the next opportunities for the next title your name might include.
And there’s nothing wrong with pursuing those opportunities; to get the shiny title that takes you to the next level in your career.
The special ones, however, find a way to increase their personal gain at the same time they uplift those around them.
Special people do it naturally and effortlessly because they do it with honest sincerity.
Be one of the specials.
It will be one of the best unspoken titles you could have placed next to your name.
This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: We all have a title, but what makes us, us?