Advice for athletes from Olympic Gold Medalist Dot Richardson

July 06, 2010, 12 a.m. (ET)

Youth sports coaches and parents hoping to inspire their athletes should listen to Olympic Softball Gold Medalist-turned surgeon Dr. Dot Richardson. She has taken life lessons from the playing field to an arena where there is far more at stake. In the latest podcast from the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports program Dot defines a great teammate:

"You learn very quickly through sports that there is something within you that has to grow, that wants to commit yourself to what you're doing, whether it's on the field or off, and then a commitment to say, 'I want to be a teammate who is going to lift my teammates, too, because I believe in them.'

"...I don't want to be a teammate who is sucking energy from others, who is distracting others during competition, whether it's crying because I made an error or being upset and throwing the bat because I struck out, you know, the self-pity. You learn very young that it's not about you."

Listen to the full podcast, including the amazing, inside story of how the U.S.softball team bounced back from defeat to win the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal.

The Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports TM program supports volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the field. We offer many youth sports resources including $2,500 community grants, instructional videos, weekly tips, peer and expert advice, and coursework for those interested in improving the youth sports experience for all involved.