Use sports-team participation to build character

Fall sports season presents adults, coaches and volunteers with an opportunity to build character in their teams. Explore the following strategies for success in doing so.

Fall sports season has started and that means coaches are developing youth of today and tomorrow. Coaches, teachers, parents and spectators participate in making sure athletes are developing good character and honor. As adults, we have the responsibility to ensure that the lessons learned from participating in sports are positive ones. Through sports, young people should be taught the value of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

The Josephson Institute of Ethics developed a CHARACTER COUNTS! Sports program called Pursuing Victory with Honor. This toolkit is loaded with information for coaches, parents and administers to develop and implement sports programs that show the true champion in athletes.

Here are 10 reminders to keep character front and center in sports:

  1. Great coaches and athletes model good behavior every day.
  2. Honor the letter and spirit of the rules.
  3. Promote good sportsmanship in the stands by enlisting home game “ambassadors.”
  4. Concentrate on winning with honor, not winning at all costs.
  5. Make decisions as if your mother or child were looking over your shoulder.
  6. Don’t make cheating an option.
  7. Congratulate everyone, including the opposing coach.
  8. Focus on the team, not the stars.
  9. Have fun without winning.
  10. Make sports a setting for learning.

To learn more about how to bring character education into your community, read these articles:

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