Growing up, everyone has their dreams. When you are young, it is a fantasy dream of being a superhero. Then as you get older, maybe it is being a professional sports player. Once you reach college, you may not have a clue and are hoping you do not end up in a cubicle. Whatever your dream job may be, there is a list of reasons why the job is on the top of the list. It could be a passion, family tradition, good money — the list goes on. In sports, it is safe to say passion is a big reason for why athletes choose to pursue it as a career. On top of passion, role models are another crucial factor.
Role models have an extreme influence in our drive to becoming better. Whether you are looking up to Tom Brady or Cristiano Ronaldo, they are an inspiration to get better. From a young age, you dream big, saying, “I want to be just like them.” In front of a crowd, winning championships, being called the GOAT — this is every kid’s dream growing up. Then once you hit the teen years, you realize you may never reach their level or even become a professional athlete.
Why do we look up to athletes if we know we will not become professionals? The answer goes beyond sports itself. Having a role model helps us grow on and off the playing field. Of course, it gives you motivation to train harder and be the best that you can achieve. It is not always a matter of getting the big bucks, but rather the high level of competition you enjoy.
What about off the field? Athletes impact the community as much as they impact the playing field. A great example is Russell Wilson, who is well known for his love of helping his community and making the world a better place. People look up to his character on top of his stellar performances. Seeing an athlete’s work ethic is valuable, as well. As a spectator, you see who is busting their tail and giving their all to help their team win. You see the athletes who slouch around and start trying whenever the play is near them as well. Those heavy work ethics are not specific to sports, but the real world as well. In the workforce, school or even family, a good work ethic is applicable everywhere.
For myself, this time of the year is always a hard time to get by. My role model is Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka, who died three years ago on Nov. 7. If you follow the esports industry, the name is equivalent to Michael Jordan. INTERNETHULK was a character that could not be replaced. His impact in the community only brought smiles amongst everyone he worked with, and his work ethic and achievements are nothing to overlook. He is my role model and has made an impact on my life that I will cherish.