Bill Gosse's youth sports column: Life always tests our character

12:56 AM, Jan. 27, 2013  |  Comments
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Ever since Buzz Williams was hired in 2008 as Marquette University's basketball coach, two words have served as the trademark for his program - character revealed.

Williams is about values and work ethic, and he's backed that up by not only dismissing an on-staff coaching friend for minor recruiting violations, but also suspending various players for infractions of team rules.

Buzz's program also reveals its character by logging community service hours through Williams' organization called "Buzz's Bunch." This effort reaches out to those with special needs and provides opportunities to attend games and summer camps.

Not all big-time sports programs can boast a foundation like that, but I'm sure there are some programs that do even more.

The first weekend my son was at his college football training camp, his coach conducted an entire roster clean-up project for a Chicago elementary school.

He was planting seeds to his players - even those who eventually wouldn't finish camp - that they would be a program with the mindset to help others.

I think quite a bit of character is revealed during important games when coaches react like little children when officials' calls don't go their way.

How do employees behave in organizations with misplaced leadership or organizational holes? Do they display their impeccable character or do they push the envelope to see what they can get away with?

What about students who have a substitute teacher for a class or for the day? Are they well behaved or do they act as if school is out for the summer?

All of us are works in progress who must overcome until we can become.

This means we'll experience difficulties and temptations that help us grow.

The problems we run into develops our perseverance - which strengthens our character, deepens our trust and gives us a greater confidence about the future.

We probably find our patience tested every day, like when we're tired.

We should be thankful for those opportunities to deal with them and grow.

If we approach a football field and find the complex loosely surrounded with rope - not a chain-linked fence like many high school or youth stadiums - and discover one end of the field has a table with someone taking money for entrance fees and the other end of the field completely unattended, do we sneak under the rope and get in for free or do we walk to the table and pay?

This may seem like a little thing, but this is a test of character.

Our character can be tested when alone, but also with others.

Keeping company with those who refuse to do what's right can corrupt good character. Make sure not to let relationships with the "wrong crowd" lead us astray.

I know Buzz Williams' program has detailed schedules and many assistants to keep his players out of trouble. Not all of us have that luxury, and we need to make decisions on our own.

That's when we will surely have our character revealed.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1279 votes

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports