The Wheaton Park District has adopted an initiative called Character Counts which has already been implemented at several Community Unit School District 200 schools. The Character Counts program promotes six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. We want all participants to have good values and strong character. Good character doesn’t just happen. It’s up to each of us to lay a solid foundation for character development by teaching right from wrong and acting as a positive role model.
Program: Take 5 for Character
This program will be implemented in the youth sports programs of the Wheaton Park District. We ask that all coaches “Take 5 for Character” at the end of each practice and sporting event. This means participants, coaches and parents set aside five minutes to talk about what they could do in order to demonstrate good character. Here are some ideas for discussion topics:
- Be honest; don’t make excuses for your mistakes.
- Do not engage in or permit dishonesty by lying, deception or omission.
- Don’t steal.
- Build a good reputation.
- Teach and model the importance of integrity by doing the right thing even when the cost is high.
- Be loyal to your team and community.
- Do what you say you’ll do; keep your word.
- Support your teammates and be encouraging.
- Have the courage to do the right thing.
- Keep commitments. If you are unable to keep a commitment, apologize to those who were depending on you.
Clean up garbage around players’ benches, spectators’ bleachers, and surrounding areas.
Shake hands with opposing teams and, if a particular athlete played well, go out of your way to congratulate him or her.
- Do not celebrate excessively after scoring a basket or goal.
- Talk about what sportsmanship-like conduct should include.
- Do not use bad language or put down teammates or players of another team.
- Recognize someone who has had a nice play. Cheer good plays of both teams.
- Let the coaches’ coach, the referees ref, and the players play.
- Do not challenge the calls of a referee during or after a game.
- Never permit statements or acts of prejudice.
- Listen to your children.
- Respect their opinions and answer their questions without being defensive or arbitrary.
- Be on time and be accountable; if you cannot come to a game or practice, make sure you tell the coach.
- Use self-control.
- Be a good loser and do not blame the referees.
- Think before you act.
- Follow the Golden Rule.
- Take responsibility for your own actions; do not blame others.
- Be tolerant of differences and deal with disagreements peacefully.
- Always do your best.
- Do not lose your temper.
- Teach and model accountability by accepting responsibility for your choices of both action and inaction.
- Teach your children to win and lose with grace.
- Listen to others and don’t be a “ball hog”; work as a team.
- Play by the rules.
- Understand that you cannot play every minute of the game; sometimes you will have to sit out an inning or a quarter. Learn to cheer from the bench.
- Don’t run up the score.
- Make sure your child understands the importance of playing honorably.
- Teach and model fair-mindedness by being fair and by being open to ideas, suggestions and opinions of others.
- When you tackle, knock someone down, or collide with another player, lend a hand and help them up, even if they are not on your team.
- Cheer on someone if they make a good play, even if they are not on your team.
- Be a gracious loser.
- If someone gets hurt, be sympathetic.
- Be compassionate and show that you care.
- Thank your coaches for their time, effort and hard work.
- In your relations with players, coaches, referees, and other parents treat others the way you would want to be treated.
- Tell all players when they have done something well.
- Help to assure that your child’s experience is one of fun and enjoyment
- Set a positive example.
- Respect the facility.
- Respect authority.
- When traveling to other communities, take pride in the team and community you represent and make a good impression.
- Obey laws and rules.
- Protect the environment.