It is fundamental to all values-based coaching programmes that a core set of values are identified at the outset and modelled throughout by those involved in the delivery of such a programme. The choice of certain values may, of course, be influenced by variables such as location, culture, context and the individuals involved. The fundamental aim is to have positive behavioural change amongst participants. The values chosen for F4P are selected for generic use across a range of community relations and curriculum initiatives. There is no reason, however, why they cannot be added to or adapted.
F4P is a politics-free zone. Those involved with F4P – players, coaches, parents, administrators – are asked to leave their political views and ideological positions outside. This does not mean changing political and ideological standpoints – this is not our business, but we do require that such positions are not expressed in and around the F4P experience.
Our aim is to provide a safe and unbias space and place to bring people together. The principle of neutrality, is an important feature of any conflict prevention and co-existence projects located in divided societies and thus is adopted as an additional core value.
Those who want to play, can play regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, gender and ability. F4P activities are designed to encourage participants to think of the ways to equally include everyone and make everyone feel accepted and respected.
Equity and equality
While F4P acknowledges equality among people as the guiding principle of their work with commitment to treat everyone with the same level of respect, it also believes that equality cannot always be achieved if people do not have the same starting position. Our work therefore embraces the principle of equity. Equity encompasses fairness and sees equality as the outcome rather than a starting position, and therefore aims at empowering those who are worse off, marginalised, discriminated against and/or suffering from any kind of inequality.
The appreciation of one’s own individuality and the value of others in a context of social diversity. Respect, for oneself, respect for team mates and opponents, respect for coaches and parents, and respect for the laws of the game and those that administer them are essential features of F4P.
Players that trust one another play well together. Learning to have faith in the capacities of others to carry out their roles and responsibilities dutifully and mutually, in ways that also contribute to the well being of team-mates, is an essential ingredient of good sportsmanship.
With trust comes responsibility: understanding that individual behaviour in practice sessions and in games influences and has impact upon the performance and experience of others. Working with and for others are key aspects of F4P Projects. Success in sport, particularly team sport, relies upon mutual aid and self-sacrifice.
Coupled with teaching and nurturing positive values is the acquisition of skills that can be used to enhance an individual’s and / or communities’ life outside of the sporting arena. F4P has a focus on developing communication skills, leadership, teamwork and reflection as well as building up the self esteem and confidence of participants.
As much as teams create cooperation within a team, they also create a line of division towards non-group members, especially in professional sports where the emphasis is on competition. The distinctive feature of F4P is their emphasis on cooperation not just within a team, but between them as well.
F4P activities are designed to put both coaches and children and/or other participants into the positions of leadership. These range from planning a training session to simply making a decision – however, when participants see their results first-hand and are complimented for them, they are more likely to take the lead and build self-esteem necessary for other life situations.
Problem solving skills
F4P activities aim to enhance creative thinking and problem solving skills. By facing challenges, participants are taught how to view problems as an opportunity rather than hindrance and solve them with the help of their team.
There is a very simple rule that participants need to follow – when somebody is speaking, the rest are quiet and listening. It is only through efficient and respectful communication that ideas can be exchanged, lessons learnt and respect and trust established.
Every session end with time to reflect. Participants are normally seated down in a circle with a coach leading the discussion. Everyone is encouraged to think about how different values have come into play during the exercise, some examples of positive and negative behaviour, and how to improve exercises to become more inclusive. Furthermore, participants are always encouraged to think about what they’ve learnt and how to apply this knowledge in life in general.
Self esteem and confidence
Participants are always complimented for their positive behaviour and progress. By focusing on values rather than technical skills and ability, activities aim to make participants feel confident and included.