Involvement in sports provides a practical opportunity to develop character. Successful athletes must have perseverance, self-control, and determination. They must be teachable, submissive to the authority of their coaches and the referees. They must learn to work cooperatively with others, yielding their personal preferences for the good of the team. They learn to take appropriate pride in their accomplishments individually, as a team, and as representatives of the school. They learn to be gracious in victory or defeat. The ultimate goal of the entire sports program is to develop these character qualities.
Since students differ in their interests and abilities in various sports, a number of avenues for participation should be made available. Opportunities should be provided for instruction and skill development; participation, practice and recreation; and competition and achievement.
Participatory sports focus on the development of skills in individual players by means of team competition. The participation and enjoyment of all is considered more important than the success of the team. Thus, in participatory sports, all members of the team will play equally and will often play at a variety of positions.
Competitive sports focuses on the development of a team by means of combining the skills of the individual players. The success of the team is considered more important than the participation or enjoyment of each individual. Members of competitive teams will not necessarily play equally and will tend to play at one particular position.