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Competing with Character - The Book

​Putting Fun Back Into Sports

When asked why they participate in organized sports, young athletes rank giving everyone a chance to play and having fun far above winning. But even though 40 million kids play youth sports each year, an estimated 70 percent of them quit by age 13, and never play again! Why? Here's what they say:

  • "It's not fun anymore."
  • "The coach played favorites/was too negative."
  • "There's too much pressure."

In Competing With Character, Coach Kevin Kush outlines a comprehensive program that will put the fun and learning back into sports, and get kids back on the field.

EXCERPT (PP. 42-43)

Coaching for Character

If your main goals as a coach are only about victories, undefeated seasons, championships, and trophies, you're cheating your players and their parents - and yourself - out of a complete sports experience. Only a small number of teams and players are able to win most of their games or a championship trophy. In youth sports, most teams go down in defeat as often as they win. Coaches have to know how to handle winning and losing with class and character, and be able to teach their players (and parents) to do the same.

Emphasizing winning most likely will lead to disappointment for you, your players, and parents. No coach wants to be responsible for turning off a child's interest in athletics. But that's what can happen when it's all about victories and trophies.

Good youth coaches want players and parents to walk away with memories of fun, positive relationships, lasting friendships, and solid lessons learned. They want kids to learn and improve on new skills that can help them in sports and life. They want every player to be excited about playing again the next year. And, you know you've done it right when youngsters and their parents want to play for you again, regardless of your win-loss record or hardware won.

The main goal for any good youth coach is really very simple: to make your kids' athletic experience fun and enjoyable so they want to keep playing and learning. If more coaches had this one simple goal as their top priority, no one would ever lose! And that's where the Competing with Character skills and program come in.

“Competing with Character: Let’s Put Sportsmanship and Fun Back in Youth Sports” is a book calling for a return to the fundamentals of youth athletics – fun and sportsmanship. Children who are pushed too hard, or playing under coaches who are too obsessed with winning instead of the thrill of the game, are far more likely to give up a sport than those who are not under the harsh pressure of the must-win mentality. “Competing with Character” is a must for any coach or parent of athletic children.

— The Midwest Book Review, March 2009

Buy the book from the Boys Town Press

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