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YOUTH SPORTS: And character development

| January 5, 2024 1:00 AM

There are 6.5 million youth sports coaches in the U.S. Many of these coaches will have lifelong positive influence on the young people they teach. It is important that along with teaching the fundamental skills of their sport that coaches include player character development as part of their program. One of the things that is unique about coaching youth sports is that it offers numerous instances in practices and games when positive character can be recognized, reinforced and praised.

Listed below are some character traits that are important for success in both sports competition and every day living. Remember, these traits will help make children better players and become more valuable members of society. Many coaches will have useful character traits that they can add to this list.

1. Persistence, “Never Give Up Attitude. 2. Gratitude: Being thankful for somethings you have or receive. Saying, “Thank You.” 3. Concentration: Complete mental focus on what you are trying to achieve or perform. 4. Repetitive: That ability to practice a skill or movement until it becomes a reflex action. 5. Respect: This include developing a positive view of yourself, teammates, game officials and opponents. 6. Hustle: Show enthusiasm and best effort. 7. Teamwork: Learning to work with others to achieve a common goal. 8. Praise: Positive recognition for someone on your team that does something well. 9. Patience: The ability to wait for something we want. 10. Generosity: Giving something to those in need.

Summary: Some of the positive character traits that athletes learn can last a lifetime. Coaches who teach character are improving their players and helping society.

CHRIS WELLMAN

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