As sport has become more intense, professional and commercialized so have the debates grown about what constitutes acceptable behaviour and fair play, and how to encourage and develop ‘good’ sporting behaviour, particularly in children and young people. This book explores the nature and function of values in youth sport and establishes a framework through which coaches, teachers and researchers can develop an understanding of the decision-making processes of young athletes and how they choose between playing fairly or cheating to win.
The traditional view of sport participation is that it has a beneficial effect on the social and moral development of children and young people and that it intrinsically promotes cultural values. This book argues that the research evidence is more subtle and nuanced. It examines the concept of values as central organizing constructs of human behaviour that determine our priorities, guide our choices, and transfer across situations, and considers the value priorities and conflicts that are so useful in helping us to understand behaviour in sport. The book argues that teachers and professionals working with children in sport are centrally important agents for value transmission and change and therefore need to develop a deeper understanding of how sport can be used to encourage pro-social values, and offers suggestions for developing a curriculum for teaching values through sport in differing social contexts.
Spanning some of the fundamental areas of sport practice and research, including sport psychology, sport pedagogy, practice ethics, and positive youth development through sport, and including useful values and attitudes questionnaires and guidance on their use and interpretation, this book is important reading for any student, researcher, coach or teacher with an interest in youth sport or physical education.