By Walter Sorochan
We are all familiar with growth and development of children and teen-agers. Children develop physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. The developmental phase completely overlooked and misunderstood throughout the world is moral reasoning. Children progress through different stages of moral reasoning as they interact socially in all kinds of activities, including sports.
Morality is a system of rules that regulate our behavior and conduct in social situations. It's about the doing of "good" instead of "harm," “right” and “wrong”, or “good” and “bad."
Morality comes from the Latin word, " moralis," which means, customs, manners, or patterns of behavior that conform to the standards of the group. The group can be a country or culture, an organization or sporting activities.
Morality generally comes into play in sports when players interact with each other during the game. The more interactions the better the chances for developing moral reasoning and moving to a higher level of reasoning. Coaches expect players to play by the rules of the game, to also conform to the prevailing customs or expected manners of civility and to meet commitments to the sport. Players, on the other hand, need to know the value expectations and rules of the coach as well as the rules of the game and what is socially acceptable behavior both on and off the field. Players need to apply moral reasoning [ values ] of right and wrong and good and bad when they have to dribble or pass a ball, or check defensively the opposing players. These skills of the game must meet pre-established social criteria or rules of the game as well as pre-defined sportsmanship behavior.
We all make the assumption that the learned morality of the game is carried over into adult life. In other words, the values learned from the game of soccer become the values of adult life -- that is, the values by which we live, conduct ourselves every day and how we play! The values of life are the tools needed for success in life, as well as sports!
Unfortunately, the majority of coaches do a bad job of inculcating moral reasoning in their players. A few of the articles on this web-site allude to this!
The other topics on this web-site, like corruption in sports, provide ample evidence that we have a big morality problem not just in United States, but all over the world. We need to try to fix the problem of immorality! It starts with you and me in our own community. We can start by getting a better understanding of values and morals.
It is with all of these aspirations that the topic of morality is explored in the references below: