In this article, resident positive psychology expert Lara Mossman looks at good character through a strengths lens, focussing specifically on two strengths, courage and caution, and looking at how these can be overused or underused in coaching.
We often hear calls for good character in our young football players, but what about our coaches? After all, coaches influence their players in a multitude of ways (Lorimer & Jowett, 2014). Viewed positively, they can be great role models for their players and leave a lasting legacy. Coaches should never underestimate the power they have in shaping their players’ youth sport experience. They can demonstrate that self-control can tame anger, that forgiveness can lead to team cohesion, and that leadership is about eliciting the best in others rather than controlling others. Good character is made up of a collection of personality traits. In positive psychology, these are defined as ‘character strengths’, and include such things as creativity, open-mindedness, teamwork, optimism and leadership. Individuals are high in some of these strengths and lower in others (Peterson, 2006).
Echoes Beyond the Game: The Lasting...
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