Did anyone catch the Brigham Young University and New Mexico Women’s Soccer Match last week? If not, trust when I say mayhem certainly ensued. New Mexico player Elizabeth Lambert exhibited, well, unsportsmanlike conduct in the tournament game, including but not limited to punching, tripping, kicking and yes, even hair-pulling. The assaults “incidents,” garnered national media attention and left Lambert suspended indefinitely from the university team, despite the only penalty of the game being a yellow card. The viscious behavior left ESPN sports analysts baffled at the lack of reaction from fellow team members, coaching staffs and BYU players. Lambert has since apologized, stating she whole-heartedly regrets her actions and is ready to accept full responsibility.
While the national media focused mainly on Lambert, I think the more important lesson can be derived from the BYU players. Admist all the viscious physical attacks, not a single BYU player, to my knowledge retaliated. Perhaps this lack of reaction was involuntary, because of injury via assault, but nevertheless, no one punched Lambert. This self-control and focus despite negative external conditions is a tremendous part of leadership. The ablity to continue on in the face of extreme adversity is admirable and brave. The ability to contain one’s emotions in such an attack on personal boundaries is meritorious. These players should be commended on their sportsmanship, despite the absence of its extension towards them.
How would YOU react to such an event? Are you focused and dedicated enough to your cause to overcome negativity, adversity?
“Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court, the space between your ears.”