“Have fun, train, learn, respect, share and compete”
Effort, teamwork, respect, self-improvement, perseverance, sportsmanship and camaraderie are some examples of values that we learn from when we are little and that accompany us throughout our lives. In our day to day we face situations in which we activate our ethical and moral system and make use of our values to make the best possible decision.
Understanding values as the attitudes, beliefs and standards of conduct through which we behave and that are in tune with what we consider correct. There is a division between personal values and social values. Being personal those that we appreciate and respect individually and on which we form our own identity, morality and relationships with other people. For example, perseverance, humility or self-knowledge. Along the same lines, social values are those recognized as appropriate within the social context and that help to maintain harmony, balance and good social relationships. Some examples are respect, cooperation, sportsmanship or cohesion.
How are these values acquired?
The acquisition of values is carried out throughout our lives, in the different experiences and experiences that we are having, in the family, school, sports environment, etc. However, it is appropriate to start working on them when we are young, in order to form a positive adult personality that fits social norms and personal beliefs. Physical activity and sport have great potential and opportunity for the development of personal and social values in the child, in addition to contributing and favoring their integral education. Understanding then the sport as a pedagogical tool capable of transmitting values, attitudes and ethical behaviors.
As we all know, doing physical activity and sport brings a wide variety of benefits to its practitioners. In this case, in children, it favors and enhances everything related to the physical, to the motor, to the psychological, to the emotional and the social. Through physical activity, and more specifically regulated sport, we offer children the opportunity to acquire healthy lifestyle habits, develop their tastes, interests and personality, manage emotions such as frustration or anger, learn to adapt to certain rules , function satisfactorily in different social situations, face and learn from mistakes and of course to grow and be educated in values .
Through sports, children are exposed to a multitude of situations that are ideal for their comprehensive education and training. However, we must bear in mind the idea that sport can foster both positive and negative values. Therefore, the intentionality and correct organization of physical activity with regard to education in positive values are essential. The simple performance of a physical activity does not ensure the acquisition of values, training, activities and sports competitions must be consciously designed for this purpose.
This is done through specific tools and programs that allow us to take advantage of the framework for action provided by the sporting context. In other words, doing sports in a way that is capable of promoting self-knowledge, autonomy, improving self-esteem and self-concept in children.
Using sport as a pedagogical, educational and training tool that promotes dialogue as the best option to resolve conflicts, that highlights the importance of participation, acceptance and respect for all and that uses both success and failure as educational elements and of personal and social learning.
In short, to structure training sessions, tasks and competitions with special emphasis on players acquiring positive behaviors, attitudes and knowledge for their lives, both sports and extra-sports, and that allows them to develop their personality, ideas, interests and tastes.
How do we design sports activities to educate in positive values?
Here is a series of tools, techniques and strategies for this, always keeping in mind the age with which we are working and the abilities and skills they possess. Highlighting, in addition, the importance of carrying out multidisciplinary work together with all the professionals who surround sports practice, and of course, together with the children's families.
1. Be an example
Children tend to copy the behaviors of their authority figures, parents, coaches and teachers often make up the circle of people that children imitate the most and from whom they learn the most. That is why it is very important that you also present all the behaviors associated with the different values that you are working on.
2. Establish common standards
Among all the athletes and coaching staff, highlighting the importance of everyone participating and getting involved in their preparation. Also pose individual and group challenges.
3. Develop empathy
Through exercises and dynamics in which they have to work as a team, highlighting the importance of the participation of all players. That children learn to put themselves in the place of others, their peers, rivals or other people outside of them.
That the athletes reflect on the specific value that is being worked on and on certain associated behaviors. At the end of an exercise or training session, they have to reflect together on the importance of the value that is being worked on to achieve the objectives and exercises. Through sport they can learn to consider the consequences of their actions and those of others.
5. Develop the moral judgment of athletes.
Debate on ethically relevant issues, with the aim of encouraging discussion, thought and criticism among children on issues related to moral values that have an impact on sports practice. Collectively analyzing the values, behaviors and attitudes involved in decision-making on social issues and ethical dilemmas.
Search for specific situations within sports practice, both in training and competitions and analyze them together, so that the most appropriate behaviors for each situation are evaluated and identified.
7. Self-control, self-assessment and self-awareness exercises.
In order for children to become aware of their own thoughts, emotions and feelings that emerge in different situations, providing them with tools to manage and control them correctly when they are inappropriate.
8. Concrete and specific exercises
For each value, with its subsequent joint reflection.
To finish, I leave you with the following phrase that I have highlighted in my program "School of values"