Character Counts in NASA!!
Winning Is Important, but Honor Is More Important.
Quality sports programs should not trivialize or demonize either the desire to win or the importance of actually winning. It is disrespectful to athletes and coaches who devote huge portions of their lives to being the best they can in the pursuit of individual victories, records, championships and medals, to dismiss the importance of victory by saying, “It’s only a game.” The greatest value of sports is its ability to enhance the character and uplift the ethics of participants and spectators.
Ethics Is Essential to True Winning.
The best strategy to improve sports is not to de-emphasize winning but to more vigorously emphasize that adherence to ethical standards and sportsmanship in the honorable pursuit of victory is essential to winning in its true sense. It is one thing to be declared the winner, it is quite another to really win.
There Is No True Victory Without Honor.
Cheating and bad sportsmanship are simply not options because they rob victories of meaning and value and replace the inspirational high ideals of true sport with the degrading and petty values of a dog-eat-dog marketplace. Victories attained in dishonorable ways are hollow and degrade the concept of sport.
Ethics and Sportsmanship Are Ground Rules.
Programs that adopt Pursuing Victory With Honor are expected to take whatever steps are necessary to assure that coaches and athletes are committed to principles of ethics and sportsmanship as ground rules governing the pursuit of victory. Their responsibilities to demonstrate and develop good character must never be subordinated to the desire to win. It is never proper to act unethically to win.
Benefits of Sports Come From the Competition, Not the Outcome.
Quality amateur sports programs are based on the belief that the vital lessons and great value of sports are learned from the honorable pursuit of victory, from the competition itself rather than the outcome. They do not permit coaches or others to send the message that the most important benefits derived from athletic competition can only be achieved when an athlete or a team wins.
Sports as a Setting for Learning.
Sports provide an extraordinary setting for learning. Coaches who identify themselves as teachers (“teacher-coaches”) place very heavy emphasis on assuring that the athletic experience supplements and enriches the academic education of student-athletes.
For more information on Character Counts initiatives please view the Character Counts! in Iowa website.