Dr. Jim Loehr has studied the relationship between character and performance outcomes. There is a huge link between building character and performance outcomes. He explains, “Everyone of us know how to build a muscle, you place demands on the muscle by investing energy in it and consistent energy investment spawns growth and that metaphor of the muscle of the physical body is exactly how you build the muscle of character”. There must be an investment in energy expended to grow muscles of character, it’s no different than building a muscle in the body.
Have a listen to Dr. Loehr’s short video below, X’s & O’s OF BUILDING CHARACTER, he provides strategies to building character muscles with players.
Strategies to Building Character – X’s & O’s
- Select a character muscle theme of the day or the week (Persistence, Positivity, Patience, Focus, Self-Discipline).
- Have every player select a character muscle they are going to work on every day and write it down in their journal.
- Integrate coaching character muscles into your daily coaching work with players on an individual & group basis.
- Display articles and quotes to drive home a character muscle.
- When character happens, highlight it.
- Use an injury as an opportunity to exercise the resilience muscle.
- Have former Athletes come talk to the team about how character has positively influenced their lives in and away from sports.
- Be a Role Model for the character strengths you want your players to develop.
- Have each player create a set of core character values they will use to guide the personal choices they make every day.
You don’t need a PHD to coach character. The data overwhelmingly supports character drives performance on and off the playing surface. A player’s sport’s career is short, building performance character muscles will help a player’s performance development and position the player for success in life after sports.