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Self-praise is no praise

Friday, September 6, 2013
Dirt Under The Nails

I am not a huge facebook user but I do utilise this form of social media as it has proven to be very popular and extremely efficient in getting “the word” out. Problem is a lot of what people post on there can sometimes be absolutely worthless. I had actually stopped using facebook for a while because I found it to be a sneaky form of time wastage.


Anyway, I recently got back on facebook and started seeing some of the posts made by the different people I have as “friends” on my account. Included in my list are people I am more acquainted with on a professional basis as, of course, it is good to keep in touch with what your colleagues are up to, particularly in an industry that is so locally underdeveloped when compared to more developed nations. Anyone who knows me knows that I take the approach that we can accomplish more in this industry as a single unit than as separate entities.


In cricket, one of the things that Dwayne Bravo always stresses is the importance of celebrating each other’s victories on the field, a statement so applicable in my profession as it is in cricket. 


Although individuals may be pursuing different paths it should be with the common purpose of the development of sport and development of the athlete. Unlike athletes though, who enjoy recognition both on and off the field, sports medicine professionals celebrate professional success through their athletes but gain recognition within their industry, more so among their peers.


I recently had the opportunity to be in the company of some of the best athletes in cricket right now and I was reminded of all the things that I enjoy about being a part of truly elite sport (as I have largely been contributing more to the developmental aspects of sport since coming home to Trinidad). I had to admire the confidence of these personalities but what I admired most about them was their humility and their graciousness. It made me realize how much of this is lacking in my area of sports medicine in Trinidad.


When I read some of the posts on facebook and quietly observe some of the decisions made in sport, I realize how self-absorbed and bold some of the big fishes have become in this very small pond of sports in Trinidad. 


The money and the power attained with the few sports positions available in sports professions seem to inflate egos make some think that they are the only ones achieving anything out here or are the only ones that know anything about anything, but how wrong these individuals are.


Once again, I have to look outside of this small pond to find my inspiration. When I go on the web sites of bodies like Athletes’ Performance, The Gray Institute or Equinox or visit personal sites/pages of other athletic trainers and therapists like Susan Falsone and Gary Gray, I never see them blowing their own trumpet or putting down any of their own colleagues. The recognition for their achievements is always tastefully done. 


Everyone will have their own way of promoting themselves as we all need to for business. Create a facebook page, start tweeting, post on instagram, build a web site, write a column, make bold statements, share your opinion but always keep it positive.


One thing that I find to be true is that “self-praise is no praise.” It is so easy to get absorbed in the way things are done here but I implore to my colleagues that they not cheapen the worth of our profession, discredit your peers or lose sight of our role here as professionals in sport. Leave the egos for the politicians and let us remain focused on what really matters and that should be to see the talent of our youngsters take them and this country beyond the confines of this small pond. Rest assured that the praise and recognition will follow. 


Let us celebrate each other’s successes and see it as a step forward for the industry, one that will help everyone and not one man.


Asha De Freitas-Moseley is a certified athletic trainer with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association of the USA. She has over 10 years of experience rehabilitating athletes and members of the active population from injury to full play. She can be reached at Pulse Performance Ltd, 17 Henry Pierre St, St James. Tel: 221-2437


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