Tuesday, January 27, 2009


When I first conceived the dakband project (click here for story) I was responding to a need for a tool that could be used to promote sportsmanship and community within the youth sport context. My other business, Justplay collects data about the conduct of players, coaches and spectators (parents) in organized youth team sport environments. We analyze the data and present it back to administrators so they can identify variables that might contribute to problem behavior within their leagues and organization. As a result we've become 'experts' in some of problems facing youth sport organizations, especially those concerned with conduct and behavior. The dakbands were meant to be a solution to these problems, to encourage parents, players and coaches to focus on what De Coubertin (the father of the Modern Olympic Games) called "a nobility of spirit". Sportsmanship.

Although many parents and coaches insist that the positive character development that is associated with sportsmanship is a main factor for encouraging their children to participate in sport, few take the time required to teach it, emphasize it and highlight moments that capture it's essence. Research indicates that individuals (both youth and adults!) involved in sport do not by default learn to be good sports. Sportsmanship is a skill and it must be taught, emphasized and reinforced. We must learn as a culture to prize and reward, and recognize those moments that offer our children the opportunity to grow, not only as athletes, but compassionate, noble, generous human beings.

In honor of this effort we now have Sportdaks. Sportdaks are just that, dakbands that can be used by players, coaches and spectators to encourage and reward moments of sportsmanship, leadership, sacrifice, friendship and respect (both big and small) within the sport environment. Imagine being able to watch, as a team, as your dakbands travel from community to community encouraging people on and off the field!

We have prepared a tip sheet for coaches and parents to help implement the dakband concept into your games and practices.

If you share a story of sportsmanship in the comments I will send dakbands for your entire team! (random selection of a winning story)

No comments: