Being a person of integrity means you are solid, principled, true to your very best self. It means you walk your talk by living up to your highest ethical values. It means you always try to do what is right even in tough situations, and you don’t let temptation compromise your beliefs. Your Character is defined by what you do, not what you say or believe. Every choice you make helps define the kind of person you are choosing to be. Good character requires doing the right thing, even when it is costly or risky. You don’t have to take the worst behavior of others as a standard for yourself. You can choose to be better than that! What you do matters and one person can make a big difference? The payoff for a good character is that it makes you a better person and it makes the world a better place. Some thoughts from Dr. Mike on Athletics and Respect before you begin: Coaches, athletes and their parents must always treat the players, referees, opposing players and their fans with respect, courtesy, and consideration. This means avoiding and preventing put-downs, name calling, trash-talking, insults, or other verbal or non-verbal conduct. It also means never taunting an opponent or engaging in flamboyant displays of chest thumping, ball slamming, or high-fiving. Coaches, athletes, and their parents must be informed that if they think an official misunderstands a rule or made a bad call, they should not humiliate the referee through their own behavior. Coaches need to maintain control over the conduct of their parents, fans, and players by preventing negative cheers, name-calling, trash talking, or the like. It should be emphasized that demeaning, ridiculing, yelling at, or embarrassing players for their mistakes or for any other reason will not be tolerated. Treat all of your players as you would like to be treated, recognizing and appreciating their diversity in gender, ethnicity, skills, and race as a part of good sportsmanship and respect. And finally, emphasize that everyone associated with the team will be listened to for their input and opinions without fear of reprisal or put down. Some thoughts from Dr. Mike on Athletics and Trustworthiness before you begin: As a coach, your primary goals within athletics should be to build character, self-esteem, teamwork, leadership, teach the fundamentals of the sport, teach the rules associated with the sport, and have fun playing the sport. You should encourage athletes to focus on the meaning and the importance of trustworthiness within your particular sport. Adopt a policy of being honest and demanding honesty from athletes, their parents, and your coaching staff. Make it a point to not engage in or permit dishonesty by lying, deception, or trickery by any means. Be willing to admit your mistakes openly and honestly as a demonstration of your integrity. Keep your commitments by doing what you say. Evaluate your rules on a regular basis with your team members (coaches, athletes, and parents) and ask yourself and others whether each is following these rules.

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