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Entitlement, the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. This word entitlement is the key factor that undermines a young athlete’s daily routine in getting his or her work done in the sport that they play. Of course everybody wants to be a big leaguer, an all-star, or maybe even a hall of famer. But the entitlement of young athletes does not only have an affect on young baseball players. This is happening all around America in every youth sport played. Being a young student-athlete myself, I tend to see a lot of players that feel this sense of entitlement. These players that have this feeling tend to be the ones who don't work as hard, slack off, or can possibly just be conceited. Not only does being an athlete that believes themselves to be entitled to something affect them, but it affects the people and players around them. "Kids are not as coachable as they were years ago," Rhonda Rompola said. "I see kids sometimes talking back to their coaches, and it's like a way of life. I'm just being honest. The rules and everything they get, they haven't taken time to appreciate." Rhonda retired from her coaching job at SMU because the kids were getting more and more difficult to coach. Legendary University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido hit the button during a speech when he stated, "The biggest thing wrong with college baseball today is entitlement." Garrido's resume includes two College World Series trips, three Golden Spikes Award-winners, four national Players of the Year, six CWS MVPs and 53 All-Americans. But during his speech, he looked back fondly to his early days of coaching at Cal State Fullerton, where the players also were the grounds crew and had no locker room. Thus being said, many athletes nowadays have it all made because they have nice locker rooms and beautiful fields. This entitlement does not only affect young athletes, but college athletics as well.



There are a few different reasons why some players feel this type of entitlement. The way that young athletes are brought up into the sport that they invest their time in plays a huge role in the characteristics of the players. Parents play the biggest part of a young athlete's mindset. Parents can hype up their child and make them believe that they are the best player ever, although, If a kid is continuously told “you are the best player on the team”, that kid may feel that his or her coaches need to treat them better and that they should always play. These athletes have been shaped by their environment. They are a direct result of lenient-parenting and “giving children too much without earning it”. Although most of this comes from the parents, some may also come from the coaches. Coaches can only foster the environment during the time in which they are working with the athletes, however, they still play a critical role in overall physical and emotional development. The problem with giving children everything they want is building false expectations that needs and desires will be at the center of future problems.

 

Besides the fact that they may be the best on the team, this does not mean that the team is necessarily good. Athletes who play on team sports and feel a source of entitlement are usually the ones who do not produce for the team that they are on. Athletes affect the team that they play for constantly without even knowing. An athlete distributes to a team just by being on the team. Without teammates that work together there would be no team. Although a player who only cares about the benefit of himself or herself for their own cause could be known as a cancer on the team. These players can bring a team down and cause a huge domino effect on the attitudes of the other players on that team. If a player only cares about their own stats, or their own accolades, the rest of the team may feel some sort of anger and or hate towards that person which causes conflict between that player and the team.

 

As stated before, some young athletes are oblivious to the definition of the word team. Nearly 83% of Americans surveyed strongly or somewhat agreed that America's youth feel more entitled compared to 10 years ago, according to a national survey conducted by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute. Many people are clear eyed to the fact that entitlement plays a huge role in young athletes, although it is still in effect at the next level of play. These athletes do not understand the basic concept of a team and what it takes to be a good teammate. The basic and main reason why some athletes feel a source of Entitlement is because of their parents. Parents in this generation need to understand that not every child is going to be the next best thing. Some parents should push their kids to try their best and work as hard as they possibly can. Young athletes will soon come to a realization that if you work hard for a goal, that goal that you may meet will be the best outcome because you worked hard for it. Anthony Rizzo, a professional baseball player for the cubs, once said “I will respect the limits of my experience but that won't stop me from trying to lead by example of my work. Being a good teammate and picking them up on and off the field is a simple goal of mine.” I believe that every athlete should have this mentality of putting the team before themselves. Without a good work ethic and determined mind, athletes will not go far in the sport that they love to play. 

 

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