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Heart

Great coaches understand the importance of developing the heart or what might be called character. A winning behavior that effective coaches try to instill in their athletes is a strong character, but what is the definition of character? Many think of character from a morality standpoint. They ask the questions of what’s fair, what’s just, what’s noble. Others consider character from a social standpoint. They ask the question of who is willing to sacrifice for the good of the group. As we read and watch news reports regarding character in sports, we see both the moral and social definitions being used depending upon the slant of the story. Despite the difficulty in defining character, effective coaches combine the moral and social definitions of character to develop a list of qualities that have been historically linked to the word “character.” An effective coach’s definition of character is one who is “loyal, cooperative, persevering, selfsacrificing, courageous, honest, responsible, fair and respectful” (Haworth, 2004; Rudd & Stoll, 2004).