Teaching Respect in Sports – the Cougar Way

Great sports programs find creative ways to distinguish themselves for the way they teach techniques, tactics, and values such as respect, discipline, patience, and perseverance. More importantly, great programs teach their athletes “why” these skills, strategies and values are important. This is in line with one of the USA Volleyball’s axioms for coaching – The teams whose coaches teach their athletes “why” will beat the teams whose coaches teach their athletes “how”.

That point is illustrated in the following picture taken during the national anthem at the volleyball match between Washington State University and the University of Colorado during the 2016 PAC-12 season.

Washington State University athletes and coaches showing respect during the national anthem

For years, the Lady Buffs and every visiting team have stood at attention during the national anthem.

The Washington State University Cougars take it a step further. As a team, they show respect for the flag and what it should mean to all Americans. In addition, they did this long before San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a decision to refuse to stand for the playing of the national anthem during the 2910 NFL preseason. Hats off to the Cougars (and the flag)!

Coaches Jen and Burdette Greeny have taught their athletes “why” it is important to show respect for the flag. In the process of teaching their athletes “why”, they have reinforced the importance of understanding the value of showing respect for themselves, their teammates, coaches, officials, opponents, and others.

Hats off to the Greenys and the coaches in all sports who teach important values such as respect and discipline to their athletes.

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