Character and Sports

Guidelines for Effective Character Education Through Sports, a white paper
Youth sports can and should be a powerful, positive, character building activity.
Unfortunately, far too much pressure today is being placed on coaches to win at all costs, and far too many athletes are literally “dropping the ball” when it comes to character. With the help of Jeffrey Beedy and Russell Gough, two noted authorities on education and sports, lays out guidelines for turning sports and physical education programs into the powerful, positive forces they should be. These guidelines are must reading for coaches, school administrators, teachers, parents, youth sport program directors and sports fans. 

From’s Blog
Pulling Up Bootstraps
We’ve recently posted some great news articles on our Facebook page from around
the country about communities that inject valuable character education into the
local sports scenes.  The Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy Leadership
and Character Development Camp in Vero Beach, Florida emphasizes character
education at their summer camp.  Midnight Basketball in Taylor, Texas is more
informal, yet is a well-known gathering place for teens to play in a pick-up
game at night and benefit from the wisdom and values shared by local mentors and
leaders.  Read blog post >>

Promising Practices from
Intramural Sports Program
Imagine East Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
Our intramural sports program teaches our students to show good character through sportsmanship, to face challenges, to accept winning and defeat with grace and dignity, and gives opportunities for leadership.

As an organization grows, stakeholders can be challenged by difficult changes.  In an education setting, it is important to ensure that these changes enhance students’ academic opportunities.  Our school’s intramural flag football program has exemplified how this can be accomplished. See other Promising Practices that relate to sportsmanship >>

A Classroom Resource
Finding Character and Ethics in Sports
From The Washington Post – Newspaper in Education
Learn more >>

Additional References:

Are sports heading toward ‘major crash’ because of cheating? ESPN on-line article: Ehrmann, J. (2011).

Inside out coaching: how sports can transform lives. Simon & Schuster: New York. Ginsburg, R., Durant, S., & Baltzell, A. (2006).

Whose game is it anyway?: a guide to helping your child get the most from sports. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston. Hyman, M. (2009).

Until it hurts: America’s obsession with youth sports and how it harms our kids. Beacon Press: Boston. Hyman, M. (2012).

The most expensive game in town: the rising cost of youth sports and the toll on today’s families. Beacon Press: Boston. Josephson Institute, Center for Youth Ethics (2012).

2012 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth. Los Angeles, CA. National Association of Sports Officials. (2002).

NASO Special Report: officials under assault – update 2002. On-line: Thompson, J. (2009).

Positive Sports Parenting: how “second goal” parents raise winners in life through sports. Balance Sports Publishing, LLC: Portola Valley, CA. Thompson, J. (2010).

The power of double-goal coaching: developing winners in sports and in life. Balance Sports Publishing, LLC: Portola Valley, CA. Thompson, J. (2011).

Elevating your game: becoming a triple-impact competitor. Balance Sports Publishing, LLC: Portola Valley, CA. Yeager, J., Buxton, J., Baltzell, A., & Bzdell, W. (2001).

Character and coaching: building virtue in athletic programs. Dude Publishing: Port Chester, NY.