Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

5 Ways That Sports Teach Humility And Teamwork

Share This Resource

PCA National Advisory Board Member Dacher Keltner is a Psychology Professor and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center (@GreaterGoodSC) at UC-Berkeley. Keltner is most famous in the sports world for his study on NBA teams, when he identified a link between positive, supportive ‘touching’ (such as high-fives) and success on the court. Keltner is also a published author, most recently publishing The Power Paradox.

At the Greater Good Science Center, Keltner intensely studies humility. In sports, there are several instances and chances for players to learn humility and for coaches to reinforce those moments in practices and games:

1) In team sports, players are often asked to share the ball

2) Players must often give up their own desires for the more humble desires of the team, another player, or the coach

3) Players need to learn how to take failures in stride, and swallow their pride quickly

4) Sports are filled with "awesome" moments of beauty, that make you more interested in other people's experiences than in your own.

5) Sports bring into focus other people's virtues and make it clear that you're a part of something larger than yourself, which is proven to make people humble and happy.