In: Other Topics
Human ValuesScott Murray
Theory and Techniques
For decades, sports in the United States have been praised for reflecting the values of society and instilling these values in athletes. Some parents believe that values such as cooperation, fair play, learning how to win and lose, self-discipline, and teamwork are instilling in young people through participation in sports. Many coaches of youth and adolescent teams support the belief that sports teach values. Yet incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct, cheating, and other unethical behaviors in sports are common and not only at the professional or collegiate levels but in youth and adolescent sports as well. Respect, self-control, and responsibility are prime examples of character traits that can be taught through sports. However, it doesn’t take long to look around and see plenty of examples of just the opposite – loss of self-control (thrown helmets, fighting), loss of respect (arguing with the officials, offensive language) and irresponsible behavior (check the daily sports page for athletes charged with driving under the influence and assault). Values and character traits are learned in childhood and then molded throughout a lifetime. Modeling of core values can teach young people more about character than the best lectures. How coaches respond to bad calls, errors, irate parents can all be teaching opportunities to model self-control and respect.
Character Revealed through Adversity:
It is often said that adversity builds character. In reality, adversity reveals character. Character is revealed by how people handle difficult situations. Just look around you. Character is revealed many times throughout the day. What is your response to an aggressive driver on the freeway, a spilled coffee in the car, or an irritating colleague at work. In the same line of thinking, character is revealed through the sports arena. Children who observe coaches losing their tempers and verbally abusing athletes,...