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“The programming coming out of the World Youth Peace Summit is directed at creating projects that will help people to learn to stop fighting.” - Dan Doyle, Closing Ceremonies, 2011 World Youth Peace Summit

News & Announcements

June 5, 2014
August 15 Love and Forgiveness in Sport Curriculum

Over the last 16 months, the Institute for International Sport has worked on the development of a special curriculum, which focuses on Love and Forgiveness in Sport. The curriculum is now finished and will be presented on this website on August 15, in conjunction with new formatting of the Institute's website.

Over this span of sixteen months, the Institute has worked with many distinguished individuals who have contributed to the development of the curriculum. Dr. Eileen Angelini, tenured professor at Canisius College and a Fulbright Scholar; Dr. Donald Pet, retired Johns Hopkins trained psychiatrist, who is now devoting his life to peace initiatives; Dr. Mark Brodie and Andrew Hippert, special consultants to Dan Doyle , and Institute team members such as Paz Magat, Lee Anne McCullough and Bob Stiepock have all made invaluable contributions to the development of the Curriculum. The November, 2013 Love and Forgiveness in Sport Symposium the Institute administered in Orlando was a great success, and included participants like Tom McCarthy, who traveled all the way from China, and Kunle Raji, who traveled all the way from Nigeria.

The Curriculum will be made available to schools on a global scale. Kali Newlen will oversee the social media communication aspect of this initiative.
 

Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Eileen Angelini, Adds to Love and Forgiveness in Sport Curriculum 

Dr. Eileen Angelini, a Fulbright Scholar and Professor of French at Canisius College, is working with Dan Doyle on a special component of the Love and Forgiveness in Sport  Curriculum being developed by Dan and the Institute for International Sport.  Dr. Angelini, who has participated as a coach and facilitator at the World Scholar-Athlete Games, has done considerable research on the race riots of 1955 in Montreal, and the role of NHL legend, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, in quelling the riots.  

Dr. Angelini and Mr. Doyle will be collaborating on a special component of the Curriculum that will compare the impact that “Rocket” Richard had in 1955 in Montreal and the impact that members of the Detroit Tigers had on quelling the 1967 Race Riots in Detroit.  It was the impact that these players had that caused John Fetzer, then owner of the Detroit Tigers, to eventually create the Fetzer Institute, which has as its main focus Love and Forgiveness, and is collaborating with the Institute for International Sport on this project.   

Dr. Angelini states, “Probably one of the most memorable events in Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard’s storied career is the March 17, 1955 Riot, a riot that can be viewed as a touchstone that led to Quebec’s Revolution Tranquille/Quiet Revolution in which the province of Quebec would claim greater autonomy in education, health, social services, culture, sport, and leisure.  The riot was brought on by the fact that Richard had been suspended by Clarence Campbell, league president, for having fought in a game between the Montreal Canadians and the Boston Bruins.  The suspension cost Richard the Scoring Championship of 1955.  French-Canadians have never forgiven Campbell for attacking their beloved hero.  Only when Richard made a public radio announcement, accepting his suspension and asking the people of Montreal to stop rioting with the promise that he would return to the ice for the 1956 season, did the rioting stop.  Richard carried the burden of these politics throughout his career and did so with tremendous humility.  It is exactly because of his humility and his dedication to his craft that he became and remains so, a beloved hero.  Consequently, even though Richard did not consider himself to be a hero, his story can be explored from a wide variety of vantage points and can serve as an educational model for an equally large number of disciplines.”

This powerful component will feature not only a written comparison between ‘Rocket’ Richard and Mr. Fetzer, but a number of questions that discussion leaders can employ with their students. 

The Institute for International Sport announces Part 3 of its extensive Sports Education Curriculum

Following Parts One and Two, in which the objectives of liking oneself and liking one’s teammate are at the forefront, Part Three involves the coach leading a series of discussions on the eleven important values to be learned from sports.  Part Three will help the coach, as well as the student-athletes, to move forward on their journey to a positive sports experience which encompasses, among other virtues, understanding the importance love and forgiveness going through life. 

Eleven Important Values to be Learned from Sports

In helping a young athlete forge a philosophy of sports that can be used throughout life, an essential early step is to discuss with the young athlete the fact that sports can be a marvelous vehicle for imparting values to children of all ages.  

Youth Coach and Parent Led Discussions

Many of the following values come under the umbrella of good sportsmanship which, broadly defined, emphasizes honesty, fair play, winning and losing gracefully, and respectful treatment of all players, officials, coaches and spectators.  Youth coaches and parents should help the young athlete develop and practice a sound, values-based sports philosophy, the tenets of which are useful in all facets of life.  

The Eleven Values

(All of which will be addressed in the following discussions)

Throughout a young athlete’s career, coaches and parents should reinforce the following values – and begin early! 

1. Balance and Perspective

2. Honesty/Good Sportsmanship

3. Self-Reliance/Responsibility

4. Self-Control/Non-Violence

5. Hard Work/Perseverance

6. Respect

7. Empathy

8. Teamwork/Unselfishness

9.Tolerance

10. Moral Courage

11.Physical Fitness

The Two Age Categories 

Important point – we have broken the following discussions into two age categories – Category One -- elementary and youth league players and Category Two – middle school, high school and college players. We begin with elementary and youth league players.

Category One

The Discussions – Youth League Coach and Parent-Led for Elementary/Youth League Players

In order for a child to understand the tremendous benefits of sports, it is important for youth league coaches and parents, either working together or with one person taking on the role to lead discussions on the eleven values.

Discussion of Value I – Balance and Perspective

The discussion leader points out that coaches and parents must help the young athlete establish a balanced, reasonably structured lifestyle which demands good character and academic proficiency, and thus encourages a child to choose extracurricular/recreational activities such as sports, music or the arts.  The discussion leader further points out that parents should not allow sports to become so time- and labor-intensive that schoolwork suffers.  Parents should not allow sports to gain such importance that an athlete only feels valued for his or her sports performance of for winning.

An Important Element of the “Balance and Perspective” Discussion!

The Six Points Regarding Perspective to be Employed by the Discussion Leader

Be sure the young athlete understands that:

1. Schoolwork, good character and good behavior come first, and sports are a complementary and beneficial extracurricular activity.

2. The joy and satisfaction of participating in healthy, fair and challenging competition – and the benefits of physical fitness – are among the most important reasons to play a sport.

3. You as a coach (or parents) are proud of your player’s hard work and effort, whatever the final score!

4. Winning is a worthy goal, but it is not the only objective of sports.

5. Losing is as much a part of sports as winning, and it is important for an athlete to learn from both – and learn how to handle both with grace.

6. A sports career will probably take up a very, very small percentage of your whole life. 

The discussion leader points out that coaches and parents need to continually reinforce a balanced point of view about where sports fall within the overall context of childhood learning and development, as well as a balanced attitude toward the sport itself. 

Discussion of Value II—Honesty and Good Sportsmanship

In this discussion, the coach (or parent) emphasizes the following:

• Always play by the rules and the spirit of the rules, even when no one is looking.

• Never cheat to gain unfair advantage.

• Never go along with others who cheat or play dirty.

• Honesty and fair play extend to unsupervised games and activities.  In unsupervised play, it is the athlete who must deal fairly with line calls, fouls, and playing time issues.

The discussion leader poses the following question:  Why is good sportsmanship so important?  After receiving feedback, the discussion leader points out two very simple reasons:  First, it is the right thing to do, and second, no fair minded person likes a cheater.  Institute for International Sport surveys of young athletes found that among the most common reasons that athletes did not like or respect opponents or teammates was because they used unethical means to win.

The coach (or parent) should encourage young athletes to talk to you about any questions regarding what is right and wrong.  Also, if the discussion is parent-led, the parent should encourage the maturing player to discuss such issues with the coach! 

Discussion of Value III – Self-Reliance/Responsibility

The discussion leader points out that coaches and parents who want their athlete to develop self-reliant, responsible behavior must allow their athlete the freedom to learn how to deal with problems without constant parental intervention.  Firm rules and guidance on issues such as good sportsmanship and self-control are okay.  Parental micro-management regarding issues such as playing time, playing position and coaching strategy is not okay.

Intrusive parenting stifles a child’s growing self-reliance.

Seven Self-Reliance Points To Be Discussed 

The discussion leader makes known the importance of encouraging the athlete (this can be done by both the coach and the parent) to do the following:

1. Plan ahead and practice time management skills for completing homework both before and after sports activities.

2. Gather equipment, uniform, water, etc. before a game without constant parental reminders.

3. Employ self-discipline to practice and improve skills during free time.

4. Engage in “free play” and “pick up” games in which players learn how to stand up for their rights, negotiate and compromise.

5. Learn to deal with directions, discipline, and criticism from coaches, as well as frustrating issues with teammates.  The parent job is to advise, not act on behalf of the child.  Parental intervention in coach/team activities is rarely appropriate or necessary unless there are health, ethical, abuse or sportsmanship problems.

6. Learn to deal with disappointing play by increasing resolve rather than by making excuses.

7. Discuss problems and problem-solving strategies with the coach and/or parent, and then try to follow through independently.  This is a key goal in the self-reliance journey!

Discussion of Value IV – Self-Control/Non-Violence

The discussion leader points out that young athletes need to understand that sports involve physical activities which result in accidental, incidental, i.e., ‘part of the game,” or sometimes intentional physical contact.  The discussion leader explains that the rules for each sport clarify which types of physical contact are permitted and which types are not.  The player’s job at all times is to maintain self-control in response to any physical or verbal harassment, contact or fouls.  

The discussion leader makes the following points:

• If you are accidentally or intentionally hit, tripped or hurt, do not hit back, retaliate or argue with other players.  Step away, and let the officials and coaches handle the problem.

• Avoid confrontational posturing, eye contact or verbal barbs while stepping away; in an emotional situation any of these behaviors can provoke a fight.

• Contact by you that is intended to hurt someone, illegally stop or impede a player, or retaliate and get revenge, is never acceptable.

• Doing something that is intended to hurt someone, illegally stop or impede a player, or retaliate and get revenge, is never acceptable.

• In leading discussions with young athletes, the coach (or parents) should make known your objection to profanity, trash talking and baiting officials.  Make it clear that these behaviors are unacceptable during or after a game.  Explain that fighting, during and after sports competitions, has resulted in severe, sometimes permanent injuries, and even death.

• Explain that self-control often leads to better and more consistent performance – and surely leads to a better quality of life. (The discussion leader points out that self-control is a key element in liking oneself.) 

Other Key Points From the Discussion Leader

When using sport as a vehicle to teach self-control and non-violence, coaches and parents must not tolerate low-grade aggressive tactics such as elbowing, shoving or tripping, which can escalate dirty play or promote fighting.

Your unambiguous coach and parental message should be:  “No fighting, dirty play or retaliation of any sort, regardless of whether you think the coaches and officials are watching.”  To reinforce your message, you must establish clear consequences for any violations.

And, by the way, it is always important for parent spectators to model self-control!  Bad parental game behavior is a source of great stress and embarrassment for children.  It can also provoke copycat behavior in a child.  Parents do not have the right to take the joy of sport away from a child by their lack of self-control.  

A Wonderful Question to Pose to Your Child! 

Billy Lee Long, who coordinated Institute for International Sport activities in the Pacific Rim, is a fine example of the “honorable competitor.”  As a boy in Australia in the late 50’s, Billy was among a small, select group of fledgling tennis players trained by the great Australian coach Harry Hopman.  Others in this select group included the likes of Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, and Billy’s best friend, Kenny Fletcher, who went on to win 14 Grand Slam doubles titles.

Billy himself had a sparkling career in professional tennis, followed by an equally successful business career. As he approaches his mid-70s, he is an inspiring combination of fitness, intellect, goodwill and serenity.

Based on our admiration for his perspectives on sport and life, we asked Billy about how his parents raised him.  We were particularly interested in any specific lessons he recalled as being vital to his success in life, and his present state of equanimity.

Billy responded, “When I was a little boy, my dad, who was our town’s best athlete, was firm but gentle. During those times in my youth when I was confronted with some type of challenge or disappointment, my dad would ask me, ‘how are you going to persevere?’  He would then help by providing me pointers on how to persevere in the face of the particular challenge, but would always leave it up to me to take it from there. 

“I am not sure there is a more important question and ensuing discussion that a parent can raise and talk about with a child,” said Billy. 

Discussion of Value V – Hard Work/Perseverance

The discussion leader points out that sports can be very useful in encouraging a youngster’s striving spirit.

The discussion leader explains to the players that hard work and extra practice will bring improvement and make a player more valuable to the team.  Youngsters will no doubt enjoy their activity more if they work to do their best and improve their skills. The discussion leader points out that at an early age, adults should begin to teach young players about setting goals and developing the resolve and work habits to pursue such goals, even when disappointed.  A wonderful aspect of sports’ success is that it often involves hard work and delayed gratification.  The discussion leader impresses upon the young athletes that when success comes after a long period of hard work, it can be even more rewarding than immediate gratification.

Alas, the value of delayed gratification has been lost on many contemporary parents.  Dr. Donald Pet notes that, “This value – hard work/perseverance – links very closely with liking oneself.”

Discussion of Value VI – Respect 

The discussion leader emphasizes that children should be taught to treat everyone with respect.  In sports, this encompasses teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and spectators.  The discussion leader relates the following message:  “You should never say or do anything that is rude or could hurt another person’s feelings or body.”  No doubt, most children have heard, seen, or been victimized by teasing.  The discussion leader poses a question:  Ask how he or she would feel is he or she were being teased for striking out or making a bad kick?

In addition to treating everyone with respect, players should be taught how to earn respect for themselves and their teams through good sportsmanship, hard work and skill development.  The points in this paragraph also relate to liking oneself.

Misuse of the Word Respect

Some players go into a competition loudly stating they are going to “get some respect” from another team or player.  This is a serious misuse of the word.  There is a difference between trying to force respect and earning respect.  “Getting some respect” may be a good motivational slogan for a team that wants to gear up for a game, but genuine and enduring respect is a by-product of effort, skill and honorable play. 

Discussion of Value VII – Empathy 

(This particular value will become a key regarding forthcoming discussions about Love and Forgiveness)

The discussion leader delivers the following message:  Helping your player to understand the feelings of others will be a major step toward your child’s maturity.  The discussion leader shares the following points:

• Winners should never be loud, boastful or taunt the losers.

• A player should never tease or make fun of a less skilled player.

• A teammate who makes a mistake does not need criticism, and usually appreciates encouragement.  Make a habit of saying something nice to someone who is less skilled, has lost, or has made a mistake (a key in the journey to a philosophy of forgiveness).

• Before you do or say something that could hurt someone, think about how you would feel if you were the other person.

• If you see someone being teased or humiliated, as yourself:

      How would I feel if I were that player?

      Is there anything I can do to help this person?

Discussion of Value VIII – Teamwork/Unselfishness

The discussion leader points out that athletes who engage in team sports should be taught that the team comes first – period!  Teams work best when everyone plays unselfishly and puts team goals ahead of individual statistics. The discussion leader provides the following message to parents:   If you expect a child to place team goals above personal goals, you must consistently demonstrate your unselfish commitment to the team!  Remember, what is best for the team may not always feel like it’s fair, or best, for individual players.

Discussion of Value IX – Tolerance 

(Another key step on the journey to Love and Forgiveness)

The discussion leader points out that many youngsters go into sports having had no contact with people from other backgrounds.  Sports can teach athletes how to feel at ease with people of different races, religions and socio-economic groups.

The discussion leader emphasizes the following “team” points:

• It is wrong to be intolerant of people who are different, whether because of dress, skin color, hairstyle, accent, point of view, religion or ethnicity.

• Sports can help you feel more comfortable working with people from all kinds of backgrounds.

• Treat all people the way you would like to be treated, with respect and good sportsmanship.

• When athletes strive toward common goals, there is a good chance that mutual respect and friendship will develop.

• The intense level of emotions generated, and the desire to achieve victory, help players forget personal differences.

• If you are mistreated because you are different, do not respond in a nasty way.  Rather, stand up for your rights by maintaining your self-control, displaying dignity, and doing your best.

• People who set a good example by treating everyone courteously and with respect encourage good behavior in others.

Discussion of Value X – Moral Courage

The discussion leader points out that moral courage is standing up for what is right, especially when it is not easy or popular.  Studies on bullying show that it is often a popular “star” player or student who belittles or bullies others.  The discussion leader relates the following points:

• Never “go along” with those who single out teammates for harassment or teasing.

• Try to have the courage to speak up when you see another teammate being teased or picked on.  Such courage is a quality that can be improved upon over time, and beginning the practice is the vital first step.

• Bullies lose much of their power if they are ignored or verbally confronted, especially by a group.

• Competing in unsupervised games may demand that a player exhibit moral courage by making honest calls of fouls or other infractions.  

Developing the quality of moral courage goes a long way toward liking oneself.

An Important Message to Discussion Leaders, Coaches and Parents!

Valuing The Whole Child  

Sports should not gain such importance that the young player only feels valued for athletic excellence or winning.

Throughout these series of discussions in the Curriculum, you will read about the perils of those coaches and parents who make young athletes feel worthwhile only if they win.  We caution against this for many reasons, including:

• If your child is a skilled athlete, it is likely that most of the feedback received from friends, teammates and even adults relates to the child’s sports performance.

• If your child is a highly skilled athlete, virtually all of the feedback received will be about sports performance.

This is precisely why you must balance the gale force of sports with consistent attention to the two anchors of character development and training the mind!

Discussion of Value XI – Physical Fitness

The discussion leader points out the importance that early in a youngster’s life, of explaining and regularly emphasizing the many benefits which result from being physically fit.  The message: “Staying physically fit will help you feel better, look better, think better, play better and p