6 Developing character and resilience
The previous section shows cases whereby the relationship between the individual and the practitioner can sometimes lead to unethical practices. This section focuses on the relationship between coach and athlete in a different way, considering the extent to which it is the coach’s job to include moral and ethical education within the coaching/instructing environment.
The first question is whether the coach has a responsibility to foster ethical and moral behaviour within participants. The next activity will discuss the role of the coach in developing character and developing athletes holistically.
Activity 7 Moral development
Now read ‘Sports coaching, virtue ethics and emulation’ by Hardman et al. (2010) and then answer the following questions:
- What are the authors trying to do in writing this article? Do you feel it is the coach’s role to influence participants’ moral values?
- What implications does this article have for coaching/instructing?
- The authors are making a point that sport provides a context for individuals to explore the moral dimension of their character, and so sports coaches have a responsibility to positively influence the development of morals within the individuals they coach.
- The article identifies some of the ways that coaching practice needs to change to utilise the moral influence of the coach. According to Hardman et al. (2010) ‘the coach controls and largely directs the ethical agenda and sets the moral outlook.’ Therefore the values, integrity and character of the coach are vital and to be upheld at all times. The coach must treat the athlete as an individual person and learn to understand their character to help understand and develop technical and tactical aspects. The coach will need to develop skills and specific practices to be able to achieve this. The implications of this for coach training are also evident.