Shifting Our Mindset: Sports, Character, and Identity


  • Joseph Sabin


It has long been believed and accepted by sports enthusiasts that sports participation builds character. This idea is so firmly held that few outside of academia ever bother to question or look deeper into the concept, in spite of a seemingly endless cycle of high-profile scandals involving athletes, coaches, and sport administrators who show an utter lack of character. Sports can help build positive character traits, but it is far from automatic. In order for this to occur, there must be an intentional effort to intertwine character development with sports participation and provide opportunities for athletes to develop non-sport identities.


Joseph Sabin, Esq., is a professor of Sport Management at the University of Dubuque. He received a Bachelor’s in Finance and a Master’s in Sport Management at the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi. His teaching focuses around Sports Law and Regulation, and the Sociology of Sport.