Pursuing Victory With Honor

What is Pursuing Victory With Honor?

    (from the State CIF Web-site)

    "Pursuing Victory With Honor," in essence, provides the tools to teach character development skills to the student-athletes of California high schools.

    "Pursuing Victory With Honor" came about through the Arizona Accord Conference, where major sports and educational leaders met in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the ethical and character-building aspects of athletic competition, with the hope that the framework of principles and values set forth would be adopted and practiced widely.  The Josephson Institute of Ethics, CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition and the United States Olympic Committee convened the conference on May 12-14, 1999.  Invited to attend were 50 major sports leaders including Olympian John Naber, coaching legend John Wooden, NBC commentator Bob Costas, former CIF Executive Director Jack Hayes, college and university presidents, coaches and athletic directors from major universities, Olympic coaches and athletes as well as representatives of the national sports media and national youth organizations.

    The CIF unanimously adopted the principles of "Pursuing Victory With Honor" at its November 5, 1999, Federated Council meeting, consisting of educational leaders  representing California's then 1,263 high schools (now 1400+).  The CIF recognizes the impact that high school athletics can play in society and is committed to the character-building goals of the program.  In fact, the CIF felt so strongly about the 16 principles of the program that these have been made the operating principles of the organization.

    Together, the CIF and its member schools can change the very nature of high school athletics and bring back the character, sportsmanship, ethics and integrity that high schools sports can instill.

"Pursuing Victory With Honor" and "Six Pillars of Character" are service marks of CHARACTER COUNTS! Coaltion, a project of the Josephson Insititute of Ethics. For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit www.charactercounts.com

Community Involvement: The Key to Character Involvement

    Young people don't develop at home, at school or in a program.  They grow up in a community.  Whole community involvement greatly increases the chance of success for a character-education program.

    Easier said than done.  Meeting academic standards and implementing character development is asking a lot of teachers.  Why should they have to involve the community, too?  Is it really that importtant?

    You bet.  Local businesses and civic groups will often support your character-education activities.  They can underwrite programs, sponsor events, publicize festivities, donate food or materials, provide an activity site, display posters, offer prizes, you name it. 

    With high school dropout rates soaring across the country, students clearly aren't getting what they want and need from education.  As a result, our society won't get what it wants and needs from them when they become adults.  Something needs to be done to engage our youth. 

    In the past, the solution was to plan tons of activities and groups for youth.  The mistakes with that approach are manifold: (1) it paints young people as a problem rather than a resource; (2) kids aren't involved in the planning; (3) they don't participate as a result; (4) adults conclude that they don't care; and (5) communities miss out on eager and talented resources who could make a real difference. 

    The answer, many believe, is to encourage schools, students and communities to work together because no single entity, on its own, can solve educational challenges and create positive community change.  In its white paper, Community-Based Youth Leadership: A Pathway to Civic Engagement, the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development outlines ways that community-based agencies can help facilitate youth civic engagement. 

    * Recognize that young people are assets to, and experts about, their community.  Giving students key roles in shaping their community lets them know that they're important stakeholders. 

    * Bring young people and adults together to work as equal partners.  In many youth programs, young people feel they aren't respected as partners, aren't listened to, aren't encouraged to suggest ideas, and aren't trusted with decision-making or leadership positions.  Such attitudes can segregate youth from adults, promulgate negative beliefs about young people and their capabilities, and alienate adolescents, particularly those who are already disenfranchised from society's mainstream for a variety of reasons. 

    * Connect young people to their identity, culture, and community.  By helping youth understand who they are, we can help them appreciate their heritage and understand how history has affected them.  They can use this knowledge to change their school and community for the better. 

    * Engage young people as community leaders on issues that matter to them.  Students are eager to take on leadership roles, learn new skills, and take on challenges outside the classroom.  Those who do so feel more valuable, gain self-confidence, and learn that they can make change happen. 

 

By Michael Josephson, CHARACTER COUNTS Sports!

Six Ways to Be a Model Coach

1. Everything you say or do makes an impression on kids.  What they don't see, they often sense.

2. The measure of character is how you act when you think no one's looking.  You'd be surprised at what kids know, hear about, and discover by accident.  Behavior speaks louder and more persuasively than anything you can say.

3.  Only a fraction of young people will play sports beyond high school, but most will become parents, employees, and citizens.  By building their character, you'll give them and the rest of society a permanent gift.

4.  Setting rules is important because young people are especially vigilant for unfairness and hypocrisy.  Too many adults (and pro athletes) are selfish and undisciplined because rules weren't enforced or didn't apply to them when they were young.

5.  When the game's on the line, so is integrity.

6.  If you're not sure how to handle a situation, ask yourself:

          What would I tell my child to do?

          What would I do if my child was looking over my shoulder?

          Do I want my character judged on this decision?

          How would I feel if my decision was reported on the 6 o'clock news?

          If everybody did it, would it be a good thing?

          What would my role model do?

Code of Conduct for Parents/Guardians

from the State CIF web site   

    Athletic competition of interscholastic age children should be fun and should also be a significant educational program.  Everyone involved in sports programs has a a duty to assure that their programs impart important life skills and promote the development of good character.  Essential elements of character building are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship (the "Six Pillars of Character").  The highest potential of sports is acheived when all involved conciously Teach, Enforce, Advocate and Model (T.E.A.M.) these values and are committed to the ideal of pursuing victory with honor.  Parents/guardians of student-athletes can and should play an important role and their good-faith efforts to honor the words and spirit of this Code can dramatically improve the quality of a child's sports experience.

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Trustworthiness - Be worthy of trust all you do.

Integrity - Live up to high ideals of ethics and sportsmanship and encourage players to pursue victory with honor.  Do what's right even when it's unpopular or personally costly.

Honesty - Live honorably. Don't lie, cheat or steal or engage in any other dishonest conduct.

Reliability - Fulfill commitments.  Do what you say you will do.

Loyalty - Be loyal to the school and team; Put the interests of the team above your child's personal glory.

RESPECT

Respect - Treat all people with respect at all times and require the same of your student-athletes.

Class - Teach your child to live and play with class and be a good sport.  He/she should  be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity, compliment extraordinary performance and show sincere respect in pre- and post-game rituals.

Disrespectful Conduct - Don't engage in disrespectful conduct of any sort including profanity, obscene gestures, offensive remarks of a sexual or racial nature, trash-talking, taunting, boastful celebrations, or other actions that demean individuals or the sport.

Respect Officials - Treat game offcials with respect.  Don't complain about or argue about calls or decisions during or after an athletic event.

RESPONSIBILITY

Importance of Education - Support the concept of "being a student first."  Commit your child to earning a diploma and getting the best possible education.  Be honest with your child about the likelihood of getting an athletic scholarship or playing on a professional level.  Reinforce the notion that many universities will not recruit student-athletes who do not have a serious commitment to their education.  Be the lead contact in the recruiting process.

Role-Modeling - Remeber, participation in sports is a privilege, not a right.  Parents/guardians too represent the school, coach and teammates with honor, on and off the field.  Consistently exhibit good character and conduct yourself as a positive role model. 

Self-Control - Exercise self-control.  Don't fight or show excessive dsiplays of anger or frustration.

Healthy Lifestyle - Promote to your child the avoidance of all illegal or unhealthy substances including alcohol, tobacco, drugs and some over-the-counter nutritional supplements, as well as of unhealthy techniques to gain, lose or maintain weight.

Integrity of the Game - Protect the integrity of the game.  Don't gamble or associate with gamblers..

FAIRNESS

Fairness and Openness - Live up to high standards of fair play.  Be open-minded, always willing to listen and learn.

CARING

Caring Environment - Consistently demonstrate concern for student-athletes as individuals and encourage them to look out for one another and think and act as a team.

CITIZENSHIP

Spirit of the Rules - Honor the spirit and the letter of rules.  Teach your children to avoid temptations to gain competitive advantage through improper gamesmanship techniques that violate the highest traditions of sportsmanship.

"Pursuing Victory With Honor" and "Six Pillars of Character" are service marks of CHARACTER COUNTS! Coaltion, a project of the Josephson Insititute of Ethics. For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit www.charactercounts.com

Code of Conduct for Student-Athletes

from the State CIF web-site   

    Interscholastic athletic competition should demonstrate high standards of ethics and sportsmanship and promote the development of good character and other important life skills.  The highest potential of sports is achieved when participants are committed to pursuing victory with honor according to six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring and good citizenship (the "Six Pillars of Character").  This Code applies to all student-athletes involved in interscholastic sports in California.  I understand that, in order to participate in high school athletics, I must act in accord with the following: 

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Trustworthiness - Be worthy of trust all I do.

Integrity - Live up to high ideals of ethics and sportsmanship and always pursue victory with honor;  do what's right even when it's unpopular or personally costly.

Honesty - Live and compete honorably; don't cheat, steal or engage in any other dishonest or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Reliability - Fulfill commitments; do what I say I will do; be on time to practices and games.

Loyalty - Be loyal to my school and team; put the team above personal glory.

RESPECT

Respect - Treat all people with respect all the time and require the same of other student-athletes.

Class - Live and play with class; be a good sport; be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity; give fallen opponents help, compliment extraordinary performance, show respect in pre- and post-game rituals.

Disrespectful Conduct - Don't engage in disrespectful conduct of any sort including profanity, obscene gestures, offensive remarks of a sexual or racial nature, trash-talking, taunting, boastful celebrations, or other actions that demean individuals or the sport.

Respect Officials - Treat contest officials with respect; don't complain about or argue with official calls or decisions during or after an athletic event.

RESPONSIBILITY

Importance of Education - Be a student first and commit to getting the best education I can.  Be honest with myself about the likelihood of getting an athletic scholarship or playing on a professional level and remember that many universities will not recruit student-athletes that do not have a serious commitment to their education, the ability to succeed or the character to represent their institution honorably.

Role-Modeling - Remember, participation in sports is a privilege, not a right; and I am expected to represent my school, coach and teammates with honor, on and off the field.  Consistently exhibit good character and conduct yourself as a positive role model.  Suspension or termination of the participation privilege is within the sole discretion of the school administration.

Self-Control - Exercise self-control; don't fight or show excessive displays of anger or frustration; have the strength to overcome the temptation to retaliate.

Healthy Lifestyle - Safeguard your health; don't use any illegal or unhealthy substances including alcohol, tobacco, drugs and performance-enhancing supplements or engage in any unhealthy techniques to gain, lose or maintain weight.

Integrity of the Game - Protect the integrity of the game; don't gamble.  Play the game according to the rules.

FAIRNESS

Be Fair - Live up to the high standards of fair play; be open-minded; always be willing to listen and learn.

CARING

Concern for Others - Demonstrate concern for others; never intentionally injure any player or engage in reckless behavior that might cause injury to myself or others.

Teammates - Help promote the well-being of teammates by positive counseling and encouragement or by reporting any unhealthy or dangerous conduct to coaches.

CITIZENSHIP

Play by the Rules - Maintain a thorough knowledge of and abide by all applicable game and competition rules.

Spirit of the Rules - Honor the spirit and the letter of rules; aviod temptations to gain competitive advantage through improper gamesmanship techniques that violate the highest traditions of sportsmanship.

"Pursuing Victory With Honor" and "Six Pillars of Character" are service marks of CHARACTER COUNTS! Coaltion, a project of the Josephson Insititute of Ethics.  For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit 

Code of Conduct for Coaches

from the State CIF web-site   

    We, in the California Interscholastic Federation, believe that high school athletic competition should be fun, but that it must also be a significant part of a sound educational program.  We believe that those who coach student-athletes are, first and foremost, teachers who have a duty to assure that their sports programs promote important life skills and the development of good character.

   We believe that the essential elements of character-building are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship  and six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring and good citizenship (the "Six Pillars of Character").  We believe, further, that the highest potential of sports is achieved when teacher-coaches consciously Teach, Enforce, Advocate and Model (T.E.A.M.) these values and are committed to the ideal of pursuing victory with honor.  Finally, we believe that sincere and good-faith efforts to honor the words and spirit of the Code will improve the quality of our programs and the well being of our student-athletes.  This Code of Conduct applies to all full-time and part-time coaches involved in interscholastic sports.

  I understand that in my position as a coach, I must act in accord with the following code:

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Trustworthiness - Be worthy of trust in all I do and teach student-athletes the importance of integrity, honesty, reliabilty and loyalty.

Integrity - Model high ideals of ethics and sportsmanship and always pursue victory with honor;  teach, advocate and model the importance of honor and good character by doing the right thing  even when it's unpopular or personally costly.

Honesty - Don't lie, cheat, steal or engage in any other dishonest or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Reliability - Fulfill commitments; I will do what I say I will do; be on time.

Loyalty - Be loyal to my school and team; put the team above personal glory.

Primacy of Educational Goals - Be faithful to the educational and character-development missions of the school and assure that these objectives are not compromised to achieve sports performance goals; always place the academic, emotional, physical and moral well being of athletes above desires and pressures to win.

Counseling - Be candid with student-athletes and their parents about the likelihood of getting an athletic scholarship or playing on a professional level.  Counsel them about the requirement of many colleges preventing recruitment of student-athletes that do not have a serious commitment to their education, the ability to succeed academically or the character to represent their institution honorably.

College Recruiters - Be honest and candid with college recruiters about the character and academic abilities and interest of student-athletes.

RESPECT

Respect - Treat all people with respect all the time and require the same of student-athletes.

Class - Be a good sport, teach and model class, be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity; encourage student-athletes to give fallen opponents a hand, compliment extraordinary performance, show respect in pre- and post-game rituals.

Taunting - Don't engage in or allow trash-talking, taunting, boastful celebrations, or other actions that demean individuals or the sport.

Respect Officials - Treat contest offcials with respect; don't complain about or argue with offical calls or decisions during or after an athletic event.

Respect parents - Treat parents of student-athletes with respect; be clear about your expectations, goals and policies and maintain open lines of communication.

Profanity - Don't engage in or permit profanity or obscene gestures during practices, sporting events, on team buses, or any other situation where behavior could reflect badly on the school or the sports program.

Positive Coaching - Use positive coaching methods to make the experience enjoyable, increase self-esteem and foster a love and appreciation for the sport.  Refrain from physical or psychological intimidation, verbal abuse and conduct that is demeaning to student-athletes or others.

Effort and Teamwork - Encourage student-athletes to pursue victory with honor, to think and play as a team, to do their best and continually improve through personal effort and discipline.  Discourgage selfishness and put less emphasis on the final outcome of the contest, than upon effort, improvement, teamwork and winning with character. 

Professional Relationships - Maintain appropriate, professional relationships with student-athletes and respect proper teacher-student boundaries.  Sexual or romantic contact with students is strictly forbidden as is verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed to or in view of student-athletes.

RESPONSIBILITY

Life Skills - Always strive to enhance the physical, mental, social and moral development of student-athletes and teach them positive life skills that will help them become well-rounded, successful and socially responsible. 

Advocate Education - Advocate the importance of education beyond basic athletic eligibility standards and work with faculty and parents to help student-athletes set and achieve the highest academic goals possible for them.

Advocate Honor - Prominently discuss the importance of character, ethics and sportsmanship in materials about the athletic program and vigorously advocate the concept of pursuing victory with honor in all communication.

Good Character - Foster the development of good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling (T.E.A.M.) high standards of ethics and sportsmanship and the six pillars of character. 

Role-Modeling - Be a worthy role-model, always mindful of the high visibility and great influence you have as a teacher-coach and consistently conduct myself in private and coaching situations in a manner that exemplifies all I want my student-athletes to be.

Personal Conduct - Refrain from profanity, disrespectful conduct and the use of alcohol or tobacco in front of student-athletes or other situations where my conduct could undermine my positive impact as a role model.

Competence - Strive to improve coaching competence and acquire increasing proficiency in coaching principles and current strategies, character-building techniques and first-aid and safety.

Knowledge of Rules - Maintain a thorough knowledge of current game and competition rules and assure that my student-athletes know and understand the rules.

Positive Environment - Strive to provide challenging, safe, enjoyable and successful experiences for athletes by maintaining a sports environment that is physically and emotionally safe.

Safety and Health - Be informed about basic first aid principles and the physical capacities and limitations of the age-group coached.

Unhealthy Substances  - Educate student-athletes about the dangers and prohibit the use of unhealthy and illegal substances including alcohol, tobacco and recreational or performance-enhancing drugs.

Eating Disorders - Counsel students about the dangers of and be vigilant for signs of eating disorders or unhealthy techniques to gain, lose or maintain weight.

Physician's Advice  - Seek and follow the advice of a physician when determining whether an injured student-athlete is ready to play.

Privilege to Compete - Assure that student-athletes understand that participation in interscholastic sports programs is a privilege, not a right and that they are expected to represent their school, team, and teammates with honor, on and off the field.  Require student-athletes to consistently exhibit good character and conduct themselves as positive role models.

Self-Control - Control my ego and emotions; avoid displays of anger and frustration; don't retaliate.

Integrity of the Game - Protect the integrity of the game; don't gamble.  Play the game according to the rules.

Enforcing Rule  - Enforce this Code of Conduct consistently in all sports-related activities and venues even when the consequences are high. 

Protect Athletes - Put the well-being of student-athletes above other considerations and take appropriate steps to protect them from inappropriate conduct.

Access - Help make your sport accessible to all diverse communities.

Improper Commercialism - Be sensitive to and and avoid unwholesome commercialism including inappropriate exploitation of my name or the name of the school and undue financial dependence on corporate entities.  Make sure any affiliation or association with a corporate entity is approved by school and district officials.

FAIRNESS

Be Fair - Be fair in competitive situations, selecting a team, disciplinary issues and all other matters; and be open-minded and willing to listen and learn.

CARING

Safe Competition - Put safety and health considerations above the desire to win;  never permit student-athletes to intentionally injure any player or engage in reckless behavior that might cause injury to themselves or others.

Caring Environment - Consistently demonstrate concern for student-athletes as individuals and encourage them to look out for one another and act as a team.

CITIZENSHIP

Honor the Spirit of the Rules - Observe and require student-athletes to observe the spirit and the letter of all rules including the rules of the game and those relating to eligibility, recruitment, transfers, practices and all other provisions regulating interscholastic competition.

Improper Gamesmanship - Promote sportsmanship over gamesmanship; don't cheat.  Resist temptations to gain competitive advantage through strategies or techniques ( such as devious rule violations, alteration of equipment or the field of play or tactics designed primarily to induce injury or fear of injury) that violate the rules, disrespect the highest traditions of the sport or change the nature of competition by practices that negate or diminish the impact of the core athletic skills that define the sport. 

"Pursuing Victory With Honor" and "Six Pillars of Character" are service marks of CHARACTER COUNTS! Coaltion, a project of the Josephson Insititute of Ethics.  For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit 

16 Principles of Pursuing Victory With Honor

from the State CIF web site 

1.  The essential elements of character building and ethics in CIF sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship.  The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these "six pillars of character."

2.  It's the duty of School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership - including coaches, athletic directors, program directors and game officials - to promote sportsmanship and foster good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling these "six pillars of character."

3.  To promote sportsmanship and foster the development of good character, school sports programs must be conducted in a manner that enhances the academic, emotional, social, physical and ethical development of student-athletes and teaches them the positive life skills that will help them become personally successful and socially responsible.

4.  Participation in school sports programs is a privilege, not a right.  To earn that privilege, student-athletes must abide by the rules and they must conduct themselves, on and off the field, as positive role models who exemplify good character.

5.  School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership shall establish standards for participation by adopting and enforcing codes of conduct for coaches, athletes, parents and spectators.

6.  All participants in high school sports must consistently demonstrate and demand scrupulous integrity and observe and enforce the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.

7.  The importance of character, ethics, and sportsmanship should be emphasized in all communications directed to student-athletes and their parents.

8.  School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership must ensure that the first priority of their student-athletes is a serious commitment to getting an education and developing the academic skills and character to succeed.

9.  School Boards, superintendents, principals, school administrators and everyone involved at any level of governance in the CIF must maintain ultimate responsibility for the quality and integrity of CIF programs.  Such individuals must assure that education and character development responsibilites are not compromised to achieve sports performance goals and that the academic, social, emotional, physical and ethical well-being of student-athletes is always placed above desires and pressures to win.

10.  All employees of member schools must be directly involved and committed to the academic success of student-athletes and the character-building goals of the school.

11.  Everyone involved in competition including parents, spectators, associated student body leaders, and all auxiliary groups have a duty to honor the traditions of the sport and to treat other participants with respect.  Coaches have a special responsibilty to model respectful behavior and the duty to demand that their student-athletes refrain from disrespectful conduct including verbal abuse of opponents and officials, profane or belligerent trash-talking, taunting and inappropriate celebrations.

12.  School Boards, superintendents, and school administrators of CIF-member schools must ensure that coaches, whether paid or voluntary, are competent to coach.  Training or experience may determine minimal competence.  These competencies include basic knowledge of: 1) The character building aspects of sports, including techniques and methods of teaching and reinforcing the core values comprising sportsmanship and good character. 2) The physical capabilities and limitations of any age group coached as well as first aid. 3) Coaching principles and the rules and strategies of the sport.

13.  Because of the powerful potential of sports as as vehicle for positive personal growth, a broad spectrum of school sports experiences should be made available to all of our diverse communities.

14.  To safeguard the health of athletes and the integrity of the sport, the school sports program must actively prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and performance-enhancing substances, as well as demand compliance with all laws and regulations, including those related to gambling and the use of drugs.

15.  Schools that offer athletic programs must safeguard the integrity of their programs.  Commercial relationships should be continually monitored to ensure against inappropriate exploitation of the school's name or reputation.  There should be no undue influence of commercial interests.  In addition, sports programs must be prudent, avoiding undue depedency on particular companies or sponsors.

16.  The profession of coaching is a profession of teaching.  In addition to teaching the mental and physical dimensions of their sport, coaches, through words and example, must also strive to bulid the character of their athletes by teaching them to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens.

"Pursuing Victory With Honor" and "Six Pillars of Character" are service marks of CHARACTER COUNTS! Coaltion, a project of the Josephson Insititute of Ethics. For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit www.charactercounts.com