When it comes to interpersonal relationships, I would define trust as a strong belief in the integrity, reliability, and overall character of someone. When someone trusts you, you have proven to be trustworthy. You are honest and dependable, and that person holds you in the highest regard. They can count on you to make the right decisions and do the right things in any situation. Trust is the backbone to every relationship you will ever have. How does this apply to sports?
High school coaches are hired to help develop boys and girls into well-rounded young adults while teaching them to be as good as possible at whichever sport they play. This is simplifying the process, but this is how a successful program usually develops. The foundation of this process is trust. As a member of any team, you have to be trusted to give every other member your all. You have to maintain your academics. You have to stay out of trouble. You have to eat right, get enough sleep, and take care of your body. And of course, you have to show up every day ready to work. With sports programs that are perennial powerhouses, these types of things are the expectation. Can you be trusted to all of those things for your program? Coaches are always looking for leaders and the most trustworthy leaders are usually the team captains. You should do everything in your power to put yourself in that conversation each year.
Even recruiting is built on the idea of trust. High school coaches do everything in their power to get as many of their players as possible into college every year. Colleges will trust them to vouch for your character. Make sure your high school coach can make that an easy conversation. The best college coaches will want to establish a relationship with you in order to develop trust. If you check all of their boxes, they may end up offering you a scholarship. When a college coach attaches their name to you, it is a massive display of trust. They trust you to represent them well. Recruiting is one of the key aspects of their career and their livelihood. Signing a troublemaker could cost them their job, because when college athletes do something stupid and break the law, the headlines don’t just include their name. The headlines will include the name of the university that signs their checks.
At the end of the day, sports only last so long. Sports provide an amazing vehicle to help shape us and prepare us for life. The qualities, like trust, that sports promote and cultivate will hopefully make all of us better spouses, better parents, and better human beings. We certainly need more of those.