Sports & Integrity
For years, the world looked up to Lance Armstrong as a role model for hard work and success. After all, he proved that cancer survivors could participate, and win, on a worldwide scale. Several years later, the world watched as he found himself in a performance drug scandal.
Parents need to use examples like these as teaching tools. We want our kids to learn that integrity is important at an early age so that years down the road they are not cheating in school or lying on their resumes. We want our kids to be people of integrity.
Kids need to understand that integrity is more important than winning. In 2010, when playing against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Derek Jeter faked being hit by a pitch so the umpire would award him first base. Is this just part of the game? Would we validate that attitude on our child’s ball team?
Kids need to understand that playing with integrity is part of winning. Kids will take their cue from you. They will remember your actions more than your words. How do you cheer at their games? How do you respond about the game in the car going home? Take every opportunity to reinforce the importance of integrity in every situation.
Oprah Winfree said, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not.”