Moral Development in Youth Sport

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Moral Development in Youth Sports

Morality can be defined as the principles that govern our behavior. These principles that we obtain during our youth and adolescent years begin to play an important part in our relationship with society. What we think, how we act, and what our beliefs are play a crucial role in our morality. Most believe that moral behavior is not something that in innate, but that it is something that is learned through observation. The concepts of fair play and sportsmanship are taught directly and indirectly from the coaches, parents, and others during the development of the child. Moral behavior is learned from observing others and is a result of intellectual development One important factor that defines moral is “intentionality”. Poinsett (1996) states that for a moral act to occur it must be intentional. Additionally he adds that the person contains a sense of obligation to fulfill a certain duty. After gaining knowledge on the subject on moral behavior, one can now be able to identify morality in the context of sport. Helping out an opponent after a brutal fall, or retrieving a ball for an official are all intentional, while at the same time making the child believe that he or she has a certain obligation to fulfill. Sports give children ample amounts of opportunity to show and display their moral practice because the concepts of fairness support the very existence of the notion to sport (Poinsett, 1996). Fairness, sportsmanship and character are all terms that are associated with morality that will be further discussed in this paper. As we know competition is the basis for almost every sport contest there is. But in youth sports there is a lot less focus on competition, and a lot more on cooperation and fair play. In order for fair play to be met all competitors must understand and agree to the rules of the game. By doing this the competitors provide each other with a worthy challenge, and the determination of...
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