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Want Your Kids to Be Good Citizens? Start With Sports

By Connie Flanagan and Stevie MacGregor, Parent ToolKit, 11/08/18, 12:00PM MST


One of the best parts of sports is the sheer joy of interacting with, looking out for, and being around teammates. 

Democracies require laws and institutions.  

They also need people with democratic dispositions, that is, people who are ready to pitch in to help their communities, who are open-minded and trust others, and who are prepared to work with fellow citizens, even those with whom they may disagree. These traits often develop when kids participate in extracurricular activities where they have a chance to be a part of a group or work with a team. Sports teams would seem to fit that bill.

But the way in which adults coach, talk about, and model behavior in sports can make all the difference. If you want your kids to grow up to be good citizens and productive members of society, here’s what you should – and shouldn’t – do on the field.