30 January 2014

Why should people play sport?

When it comes to sport, we have to think about a powerful influence: most athletes love winning. Love it. Winning is sometimes the only thing on the radar.

There is an organisation in the US which has a goal to make youth sport a positive experience, that builds strong character. It says there is more than one thing you need on your radar.

Jim Thompson from the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) talks about how youth sport needs to talk about its goals: competition and personal development. It can't be only about winning.

Participating in sport is different from watching sports entertainment. Entertainment can have good moral choices or poor moral choices - either type of drama will bring in the ratings and sponsor dollars.

But when everyday people participate in sport, especially youth, we want them to learn to make admirable decisions. Win or lose.

Ultimate obviously has some of this culture built into our sport already. While the PCA talks about Honoring the Game, ultimate talks about Spirit of the Game.

Can we take a leadership role among sports? Is ultimate's approach to sportsmanship robust enough to handle internal and external changes? Do ultimate players view their sport as an activity that develops personal skills such as humility, resilience and respect? Or is it viewed just as a fun community that helps you stay fit?

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