Here are a couple of articles I like to include each year in our player’s notebooks. I also think that these qualities or any mental or intangible qualities you are looking to instill in your players must be a part of your improvement season or out of games season workouts or practices.
A certain amount of growth in maturity (or any other character trait that we value in our programs) will develop with returning players being a year older. But, my belief is that for those traits to reach the level I want them at, our coaching staff must work to develop them.
I hope these ideas have some value to you and can share them with your athletes to help them improve mentally.
Like any list that I provide on this site, I don’t claim that it is all inclusive, but I hope that you can adapt some of the ideas and use them in your program.
- The ability to do a job whether you are supervised or not; finish a job once it is started; carry money without spending it, and be able to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
- The ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction.
- Patience. It is the willingness to postpone immediate gratification in favor of the long-term gain.
- Perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks.
- The capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat without being bitter, complaint or collapse.
- Humility. It is being big enough to say, “I was wrong” and I am sorry.” And, when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so!”
- The ability to make a decision and stand by it. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities; then they do nothing.
- Dependability, integrity, and keeping one’s word. It coming through in a risis. The immature-have excuses for everything. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are confused and disorganized. They are the chronically tardy, the-no shows the gutless wonders who fold in the crises. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business and good intentions that somehow never materialized.
- The art of living in peace with that which we-cannot change, the courage to change that which can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference!
- Something each of us possesses large-or small-pockets of immaturity: the totally mature individual does not exist. Nor does one grow up all at once. Like physical growth, emotional growth is achieved one day at a time.
- Unselfishness, responding to the needs of others.
“Our coaching staff believes-through extensive experience-that competitive athletics contributes materially to maturity.”
6 Qualities of Character Essential for Maturity
SINCERITY. Some people we know always have their cards face up. We know where they stand and we know where we stand with them. There is no sham, pretense, hypocrisy, apple-polishing, show, arrogance or equivocation. They are real all the way through. This is an essential ingredient in getting along with people.
PERSONAL INTEGRITY. This refers to the special qualities of decency, honesty, loyalty, fair play and honor. An individual with a real personal integrity has a deep sense of responsibility and dependability. He is sound. He keeps his promises. He lives up to his commitments.
HUMILITY. If one picks out the great leaders of our present, of our past, one invariably finds the character trait humility. Maturity is usually combined with modesty. Never is it present in the smart alecks, the know-it-alls, the self appointed saviors, nor the persons whoknow the answers before they hear the questions,
COURTESY. This means much more than just being thoughtful or polite to other people, It means tolerance. I have my eccentricities and peculiarities and I approve of you having yours. You are just as good as I am, and I’ll respect your right to speak your piece even if I don’t agree, this is courtesy in its largest sense. Can you, under pressure, remain gracious, considerate, and courteous?
WISDOM. There isn’t any escape from the fact that, even though an individual might, be sincere and humble and courteous, unless he has the wisdom to make the right decisions and actions, to do the right things at the right time, to give correct guidance and counsel when it is indicated, he doesn’t get along with people.
CHARITY. Maybe this is the most important attribute for any personality. In its broadest interpretation it means the capacity to love. It implies acceptance of the fact that we all have weaknesses; we all make mistakes. To be able to get along with people requires the charity of forgiveness. Are you big enough and generous enough to love your neighbor as yourself?
Six Qualities of Character Essential for Maturity by: Horace E. Hudson, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia
Adopted from materials on Character and Moral DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois, Cooperative Extension Service in Agriculture and Home Economics, Urbana, Illinois