Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Pro Athletes As Role Models For Competition

Share This Resource

Chris Ballard (@SI_ChrisBallard) is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated most known for long-form articles on basketball and his books on the sport, including Hoops Nation and The Art of a Beautiful Game. His coverage of Golden State Warriors Coach and PCA National Advisory Board Member Steve Kerr and many other top players and coaches, along with Chris’ own youth sports coaching experience, uniquely qualify him to explain how best practices of pro sports coaches can translate to youth and high school sports.

Ballard describes two different perspectives on leading pro athletes from their teammates in championship settings; do they fell they are winning the championship with that great player, or for that great player? He uses the examples of Tim Duncan, a former San Antonio Spurs basketball player, and Kobe Bryant, a former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, for these two roles respectively. Ballard talks about how a combination of elite “talent, mindset, drive, and humility” is what classifies a role model, though in a more simple light, the coinciding of confidence and humility. Players like Tim Duncan, Steph Curry (current Golden State Warriors player), Peyton Manning (former Denver Broncos football quarterback), and Andrew Luck (current Indianapolis Colts football quarterback) display this combination of the latter two, and that is what makes them role models—not solely their impressive athletic abilities.