Influence on Student Growth & Development
The influence of athletics on student growth and development is significant. The core values, teamwork, and discipline often associated with participation in sports enables students to develop the personal and professional skills well suited to leadership positions. In addition to this benefit of athletics, many minority and female athletes are achieving positions of leadership. In large part, this is due to the reduced number of barriers to advancement athletics offers athletes compared to society at large with respect to gender and race. Gerber (2003) argues that team sports create leaders because of the following aspects of athletic participation:
Team sports create an understanding of teamwork and loyalty.
Team sports build players’ confidence.
Team sports teach how to fail and recover.
Team sports build competitive spirit.
This analysis will discuss the values and qualities of athletics that help promote leadership in individuals, including numerous leadership opportunities increasingly being won by minorities and women.
Knowing how to recover from failure, knowing how to win gracefully, knowing how to be a team player, and understanding sacrifice, hard work, and loyalty promote success are all qualities of an effective leader. So too, these qualities are inherent in the core values of athletic participation. High ethical standards, self-confidence, enthusiasm and a commitment to excellence are also qualities shared by successful leaders and athletes. Nunnely’s (2003) list of twenty motivational tips for promoting excellence in athletes demonstrates these similarities, “Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. Strive to make your group the best on the field. Develop their pride in self and group...If you want your players to be poised and confident under pressure, you must set that example yourself” (28). For these reasons athletic education is an excellent tra...