Trustworthiness and Sports




This page was written for the video "Trustworthiness" in the "In Search of Character" video series. We think you will find it very useful even if you aren't using the videos.


Some thoughts from Dr. Mike on Athletics and Trustworthiness before you begin:

As a coach, your primary goals within athletics should be to build character, self-esteem, teamwork, leadership, teach the fundamentals of the sport, teach the rules associated with the sport, and have fun playing the sport. You should encourage athletes to focus on the meaning and the importance of trustworthiness within your particular sport. Adopt a policy of being honest and demanding honesty from athletes, their parents, and your coaching staff. Make it a point to not engage in or permit dishonesty by lying, deception, or trickery by any means. Be willing to admit your mistakes openly and honestly as a demonstration of your integrity. Keep your commitments by doing what you say. Evaluate your rules on a regular basis with your team members (coaches, athletes, and parents) and ask yourself and others whether each is following these rules.


Questions for discussion with student athletes: (If you are using the video, ask these questions after viewing. If you are not using the video you may want to skip question 5.)

1. Some adults say that your generation cannot be trusted, that you’ve lost the values from past generations. Do you agree or disagree?

2. How important is trust in your relationship with friends, family, fellow athletes, and others in your life? How would these relationships be affected if you found out someone was lying to you?

3. Dr. Mike said that your trustworthiness may be questioned but your choices will never lie. What does that mean? Do you agree?

4. What does trustworthiness have to do with the quality of your character? What does trustworthiness have to do with being a higher quality athlete?

5. How did Rosa’s story (the peer counselor) make you feel? What did you learn from it?

6. In the area of trustworthiness, what kind of reputation do you want for yourself as an individual member of this sport??

7. In what ways can the character trait of trustworthiness on a team either make or break the team?

8. What are the potential problems with the breakdown of trust occurring between the:

- Players and the coach?

- Players and the parents?

- Players and each other?

- Coach and the parents?

- Parents and other parents?

9. What kind of reputation do we want as a team with regard to trustworthiness:

- on the playing surface?

- off the playing surface?

- at school?

- in the community?

10. What do we need to do to help each other out in being trustworthy:

- on the playing surface?

- off the playing surface?

- out of season?

11. What do you think our team is already doing to model trustworthiness?

12. Name something you personally could relate to in this video program and tell why.

13. You have been hired as a consultant to build character in your team in the area of trustworthiness both on and off the playing surface, both in and out of season. What three suggestions would you have on improving the level of trustworthiness on the team?

14. Who’s the most trustworthy person you know? How many people who you know would name you? Almost all? At least half? Just a few?

15. How would someone using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs begin to affect the trust within the team?

16. List as many people as you can who would be affected by the decision of someone on the team to violate the policy regarding tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

17. A good way to live your life is to think of what you want people to say about you after you die, and then live your life backward. How would you like people to remember you in the area of trustworthiness?

18. Imagine that someday you are the coach of a team. You need to give the team a brief talk on how trustworthiness relates to your sport. What would you say?

19. Think of yourself as a coach. What would be the advantages of having athletes on your team with a high level of trustworthiness?

-for the team as a whole?

-for the team’s reputation?

-for athlete-to-athlete relations?

-for athlete-to-coach relations?

-for a winning season?

-for possible scholarship to universities?

-for team attitude?

-for locker room morale?

© Copyright Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc. All rights are reserved. Teachers and coaches may copy this material for classroom use. Youth group leaders and parents may copy this material for use with their kids. Otherwise this material is for private use only and may not be republished or copied without written permission of the publisher.

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