Sports can build character but it must be initiated by an athlete’s family and those that interact with them on a daily basis. I believe that if someone has the right guidance to build their values as a good person then they are easier to coach. I have also found that a good foundation for athletes is by getting them involved at a young age, early influence on morals and sportsmanship can have great outcomes for these individuals. There are many stories of broken homes, trials, and tribulations from athletes who become success stories that leave impressions on younger athletes. This is also a very powerful tool to help build that character.

How nice this can all be there is also a negative side of influence in today’s athletes, such as the professional variety. When young athletes see professional athletes getting arrested for numerous crimes it is setting an example of how to act. Where the negative comes from is not just the acts of Vick but also how his punishment was managed. When impressionable minds see someone of that magnitude do the things that he did and it is perceived that he had a less than harsh punishment can lead these youngsters to think that such acts are okay. These young athletes can gain the impression that they can do whatever they want because “the game” will always be there because they are such great athletes.