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Gerardo Castillo Ceballos, Professor Emeritus of the School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra.

Educating in values through sports

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:02:00 +0000 Published in Diari de Tarragona

Commenting on the phenomenon of road deaths of so many young people along the so-called "cod route", the journalist Jaime Capmany put his accusing finger on those who provide them with all subject of early experiences of evil:

"What have we given to these young people? Excessive permissiveness, bad examples, bad Education, perverse incitements (...) We have built for them the culture of the ball, the discotheques where drugs are bought as if they were licorice, where minors have at their fingertips the cubata and the alcohol bomb. We have incited them to sex without love, without fruit and without commitment to mutual fidelity. We have made a youth of pasotas (...) And now they kill us on the road before they are twenty years old. What did we expect?" (Capmany, J.: ABC Newspaper, December 11, 1993).   

These words suggest that it would not be entirely fair to criticize the behavior of young people who travel the "codfish route". Their lack of values is, to a large extent, result of the educational deficiencies they have suffered.

Alcohol abuse is usually prevented and/or reduced by joining a sports team educational. It is the one that is developed in schools seeking improvement staff through the creation of habits that are growth in values. Some examples:

- Social values: respect for the opponent and the rules of the game, cooperation, friendship, solidarity, companionship.

Personal values: creativity, self-discipline, self-expression, sacrifice, perseverance.

Formative sport is different from competitive or performance sport that takes place after school; the priority of the latter is usually not the person's training , but the results themselves. Does this mean that we should disregard the competitive dimension of sport? No, as long as competitiveness does not cancel out fair play; we must flee from the dominant sports model , which has privileged technique, physical strength, and the efficiency of movements over social and ethical values.

Let's look at two real cases of performance athletes with values that are role models:

Moto GP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has proposed 20 keys to be the issue 1 (Surprisingly, he does not mention skills or technical qualities; only human values).

I have selected the following seven:

1- A issue one has to be courageous, for without courage it is not possible to see the opportunities that tough competition sometimes offers.

2- A issue one has to be persistent, as there are always difficulties to overcome, every year, at every degree program.

3- A issue one has to have the look of the tiger, because when an athlete loses the hunger that led him to the cima, he is finished.

4- A issue one knows how to accept defeat and learn from it. You learn more from defeats than from victories.

5- A issue one is patient. After the storm, the calm always comes.

6- A issue one must be a gentleman. Recognize when the opponent has been superior and has beaten you.

7-.A issue one must be grateful, because only with the support of their sponsors, team, family and friends has managed to become the best.

The second case is that of another issue one, tennis player Rafa Nadal.

Toni, his coach, says that what has always set him apart from other tennis players is his willpower, his courage and his spirit of self-improvement. That is the harvest of the seed that his grandparents, his parents and his coach sowed in his day: they helped him forge his personality, instilling in him, above all, the virtue of humility. Every time he plays or trains Rafa carries his baggage and leaves the locker room as tidy as he found it.

Here we see how internship alone does not guarantee the development of values. Educational guidance is also needed.

In the current Spanish schools, is formative sport practiced? There is a bit of everything, but there are some common aspects that could be improved:

-In the programming of Education Physical the objectives are usually reduced to results to be achieved, and the assessment is limited to the application of a physical performance test.

Knowing how to compete and win is more valued than having positive attitudes, such as effort, hard work, honesty, discipline, and companionship.

-Priority in attention is given to the most capable students, to those who play better, relegating the less capable ones.

-There is little emphasis on fair play: knowing how to win and how to lose, playing without cheating and with respect for the rules, the referee and the opponents.

A conclusion: "The most important thing in sport is not to win but to participate, because the essential thing in life is not success, but striving for it" (Pierre de Coubertin).