The Quality of Effort…

…Integrity in Sport and Life for Student-Athletes, Parents and Coaches

This half- or full-day program is designed to promote sanity and alleviate the unnecessary suffering of parents and coaches of student-athletes who are engaged in youth, interscholastic or intercollegiate sports programs. The intention is that parents and coaches clarify their own values, beliefs, intentions and motivations in order to provide positive athletic experiences for their children and adolescents.

Toward this end, we will explore:

  • What and how each of us thinks, feels and believes—our individual view of ourselves, sport and the rest of the world.  We’ll call this worldview.
  • The physical body we’re were born with and what we do with it, from practice, playing and training to diet, supplements and substance abuse—behavior/experience.
  • Values, beliefs and traditions—the culture of the various groups that influence our lives, whether or not we are aware of or agree with them.  While family, neighborhood, school and team(s) may be the most relevant to our athletic activities, these groups may include our town or city, religion, state, ethnicity and nation—even gangs, if they are active where we live.
  • The physical environment—both the natural and human-made worlds, indoors and outdoors. While our primary concern here is access to athletic facilities and equipment, this includes everything from playing fields and fitness centers to internet access and public transportation; from the structure of the league with which we’re engaged to things we often take for granted like electricity and indoor plumbing.
  • What happens when “win at all costs,” “compete with class,” “everyone should play,” “we shouldn’t even keep score, as long as we have fun” and other worldviews meet each other.
  • Recognizing, honoring, instilling and implementing basic values that inform and emerge through athletics.
  • The respective relationships among talent, effort and results, and winning, losing and competing.
  • The various ways we hold ideas of “success” and “justice.”
  • What it is that motivates us to participate in (i.e. play, coach or encourage our children to play) sports. It tends not to be just one thing.
  • What needs to be added to the idea of “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” in order to have a real impact.

While not the focus of this workshop, the work of the Positive Coaching Alliance is significant in the world of youth, interscholastic and intercollegiate sports. Briefly, they endorse and develop: Double Goal Coaches (winning and teaching life lessons through sport), Second Goal Parents (focus on helping their children learn those life lessons), and Triple Impact Competitors (strive to improve themselves, their teammates and their sport).

Stay tuned for announcements in 2013 as we translate the underlying values in The Quality of Effort into real-world strategies for leaders in business, education and the arts.