Before his team won the 50th Super Bowl on Sunday, the oldest quarterback to start the championship game, Peyton Manning, was asked what he hoped would be said about him when his career was complete.
He tearfully responded that his father, Archie Manning, always advised him: “Be a great teammate and earn the respect of your coaches and those you compete against.”
Being a great teammate is a mouthful. It means you showed up. It means you did your job. It means that you supported others. It means that you were a model for others. While it could speak to talent, a teammate usually isn’t called “good” unless his teammates thinks he got the best of his talent through practice, hard work and persistence. They know if you are slacking.
Like earning respect of the coaches, both for you and against you is huge. You don’t fool them either. They see talent, but they also admire leadership, preparation, insight, knowledge. You earn the respect of your coach when the coach is glad you’re on the team. You earn the respect of the others when they wish you were on their team.
We will see if Peyton is finished soon. But, whether your team won Sunday or not, Peyton deserves a nod. He did it the right way.