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Teaching Moral Values And Character Through Sport

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Jack Bowen, a past Double-Goal Coach® award winner, is an author, water polo coach and philosophy teacher at Menlo School in California. To see him in action and to hear what his players say about him, see this video, made when he won the PCA Double-Goal Coach award.

As a coach and philosopher, Bowen approaches life lessons of sports through a nuanced lens. He is excited by the way sports and ethics serve each other, how we observe morality through sports, and the unique ways in which sports provide a platform for teaching morality.

Coaches, parents and administrators can use sports to reinforce morals and ethics in youth, assigning moral blame or praise to certain predictable actions, such as flopping or framing pitches. Plus, certain in-the-moment ethical quandaries that the live action of sports can introduce also can educate youth athletes in how to to think and act for themselves, with an opportunity for players to reflect later on whether they made ethical decisions.

Coaches, parents and administrators have an opportunity to bring this sort of education to all their youth athletes through the uniquely exciting environment of sports.