Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

SEL, Sports, and Character

  • July 30, 2018
  •    BY Maurice Elias, Ph.D. (Co-Director)

by Maurice Elias, Co-Director, SEL Academy

We are in a contest with the larger forces in society, to determine whether our students will grow up to be confident, competent, capable, and of good character.  SEL is a key part of this contest.  Will your schools win, or not?

Maya Moore, forward for the WNBA team, the Minnesota Lynx, was named Sports Performer of the Year for 2017 by Sports Illustrated.  Here is what she says about winning:

 “I think it takes different types of winners to maintain a winning culture.

You have to have some winners who know how to win people, to [keep] people together with vision and perspective. Then you have to have toughness and resiliency because sustained excellence is way harder than it looks. You have to be able to bounce back and deal with disappointment, failure and weaknesses, and a lot of that happens behind the scenes for teams that are very successful.

I think a winner has to be a master of preparation, they have to be a master of connection, extremely competitive and have really high standards for themselves and the people around them. They have to be willing to put in that emotional energy to hold each other accountable. They have to have a lot of passion—sustained excellence takes conviction and passion and focus. When you are dealing with a team sport, you also have to be willing to adapt and be flexible.

“Hopefully, that is a pretty reasonable definition.”

SEL—and the successful education of our children—is a team sport.  Are you going to play to win, to ensure our children will be successful?

Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Rutgers University



    • July 30, 2018
  •    BY Maurice Elias, Ph.D. (Co-Director)
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