Charity is the virtue of putting others before ourselves.
Goal: We should all seek to love one another as Jesus has loved us, placing other’s needs before our very own. In sports this means learning to care about those around us, even our competitors. Treat each person we meet not only how we would want to be treated ourselves, but moreover how Jesus Christ would treat them if He were present.
“Perfect love means putting up with other people’s shortcomings, feeling no surprise at their weaknesses, finding encouragement even in the slightest evidence of good qualities in them.” — St. Therese of Lisieux
Honesty is the virtue of being conformed and dedicated to the Truth.
Goal: We should all seek to be men and women dedicated to the Truth, the truth of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. This is a truth that exists outside of our own human mind, a truth that we get the grace of participating in every time we read sacred scripture or participate in the sacred mysteries.
“No one is truly poor but except the one who lacks the truth.” — St. Ephraem the Syrian
Humility is the virtue of being aware that God is the author of all good, and the realization that we are not God.
Goal: We should seek to give credit to God who is the source of all that is good and seek to do all things for the greater glory of God, rather than taking credit for His handiwork.
“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.” — Phil 2:5-6
Meekness in athletic competition is not capitulation or timidity; it is the spiritual strength to help your competitors over the bar that you raise by winning.
Goal: We should all seek the strength of character in fortitude and courage to turn anger inward to maximize the gifts that God gives us rather than trying to tear down our competition. In order to take meekness to the next level, we must compete in such a charitable way that we actually make our opponent better too.
“Meekness is a virtue which moderates the passion of anger according to the dictates of reason, and calms the desire for revenge.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
Moderation, also known as temperance, is the virtue of being in control of our passions and having self-mastery.
Goal: We should all seek to be in control of our whole lives at all times. Our passions do not have power over us; we instead have power over them. We should have the ability to tell ourselves “No” and be in control of our appetites for the things of this world and the simple pleasures of life.
“Do not follow your lusts, but restrain your base desires. If you allow yourself to satisfy your desires, this will make you the laughing-stock of your enemies. Do not indulge in luxurious living, nor get involved in such society.” — Sirach 18:30-32
Purity, also known as chastity, is the virtue of being clean in mind and body, as well as modest in our dress and speech.
Goal: We should all seek to be in control of our sexuality. We are not to deny our human sexuality, but rather embrace it, accept it, and integrate it into our very person through the use of temperance. True chastity requires diligence and discipline, always being on guard against temptations of the flesh, so that we may truly love, cherish, treasure, and honor others as we should.
“Avoid Immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, and that you are not your own?” — 1 Cor 6:18-19
Good Sportsmanship is the virtue of treating others with dignity and respect in sporting events; winning with graciousness and losing with dignity and honor.
Goal: We should all seek to compete to the best of our ability, treating ourselves, our fellow teammates, and our competitors with dignity and honor. Our behavior should reflect at all times that of Christ and our demeanor speak to the value of healthy competition. Instead of looking for the easy way to win or resort to cheating, being a good sport means that there are no short cuts to victory.
“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” — 2 Tim 4:7