EHR 101 SOCIOCULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN MOVEMENT
Discuss the suggestion that sports build character.
Does sport build character?
Both negative issues and positive developmental indicators can arise when people are associated with sport participation. This paper will discuss the issues and prove that it is the way in which sport is delivered by coaches, the amount of pressure placed on sportspeople and the previous experiences by the participant. Different types of delivery, external and internal pressures and experiences will lead to different types of outcomes.
Character is a wide range of qualities encompassed within that includes such traits as honesty, self-discipline, independence, good citizenship and sportsmanship. “The character building dimension of sports is one of the central arguments sports advocates use to urge children’s involvement in sports”. (Robert S. Griffin) In my definition I believe that there are 3 main traits that define character: independence, integrity and responsibility. Independence is the key to good character in that the person isn’t a sheep following a shepherd or a tool of someone else. They can think for themselves and don’t always follow. Integrity in a person is that they have the ability to keep a firm sense of direction on their personal values. A responsible person knows that their development is based on themselves and how they apply themselves to listen to others around them. “A good way to see character is the integration of a number of contrasting qualities into a harmonious and complementary whole.” (Robert S. Griffin)
With the millions of dollars spent on facilities, equipment and fees to play sport it is a positive that the people delivering the activities or rules deliver them with a high standard. Nothing can justify all of that investment unless there is purpose and opportunity to practice and develop good character. Not only can sport build bad character when conducted improperly, the habits of good sportsmanship doesn’t always carry onto the rest of their lives.
“Aristotle said that character is the composite of good moral qualities, whereby one shows firmness of belief, resolution and practice about the such moral values as honesty, justice and respect. He also said that character is right conduct in relation to other persons and to self. Our humanness, he continues, resides in our ability and capacity to reason, and virtue results when we use our reasoning ability to control and moderate our self” (Stoll and Beller, 2000)
“Social development comprises such things as friendship, social ranking, status, power, rejection and acceptance, inclusion and exclusion, dominance and submission, leadership, connection to the group, cooperativeness, aggression and passivity and withdrawal, and conflict” (Griffin, 1998)
Schreiber (1990) argues that sport does build character. “Perhaps more important, sports reveals character – in kids and adults. Just watch a group of kids play basketball, and see if you cant immediately discern who looks to pass, who looks to shoot, who hollers at team-mates when they make a mistake, who berates themselves for the slightest error, who’s the leader, who’s eager to take the ball during crunch time, and so on, sports an uncanny truth-detector”.