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. A focus on character can turn sports and physical education programs into the powerful, positive forces they should be. 


From Character.org’s Blog

Character Development Through Sport
“I learned there was much more to soccer than the physical skill set. Soccer taught me sportsmanship and how to work on a team. It taught me how to handle unexpected challenges and use critical thinking to evaluate the situation. It even taught me to reach for water when I might have grabbed a soda.”
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View from the Sidelines: A Character-Focused Half-Time
“During halftime, the 6 seniors from the Chester football team held a special on-field ceremony where they asked their favorite teacher to come out on to the field and stand beside them.  Then, the public address announcer read a simple paragraph — written by the players themselves — about why they chose that particular teacher.  ”
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Character Development: On and Off the Field
“In the grand scheme of things, this may seem like a trivial act and incident. Yet, I believe the importance of incidents like this cannot be understated. How we live as a society is about choice – we always can choose how we view the world, what standards we hold ourselves to, and ultimately, how we behave. When we go on “autopilot,” we can let our emotions, or ill-informed views get the best of us, which leads to division, lack of empathy, and lack of personal growth. It’s in these situations where we find opportunities to reflect to call on ourselves to be the best versions of us that we can be.”
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Promising Practices from Character.org
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 >>