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Character Programs

As society’s rewards for victory become increasingly extravagant, it is no surprise that ethical decision making is becoming a disappearing art form. Witness the recent volatility in the Stock market, and America’s distrust of upper level executives becomes apparent.

Perhaps, as in the world of professional sport, America has lost sight of what fair play and sportsmanship are really all about…

John Naber’s background in Character
The Six Pillars of Character
The “Pursuing Victory with Honor” Program
Tributes to Naber’s Character
Naber’s background in character education

John Naber’s background in Character

From his earliest days, John Naber has always been interested in character education and the making of difficult decisions. The Olympians’ oath of sportsmanship and his own personal moral philosophy allowed him to earn the UNESCO Pierre De Coubertin Fair Play trophy. Following his athletic career, Naber has spoken at schools and civic groups extolling the virtues of virtue. He helped raise funds for various causes including the construction of an Olympic sized pool in his community, that provides free swimming lessons to every child in the local school district.

His love of character education drew him into a closer relationship with Michael Josephson, the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics (a nationwide non-profit organization that targets sports-related audiences for character education), who later appointed Naber as the Chairman of the “Character Counts! Sports Advisory Board”.

The Six Pillars of Character:


“Pursuing Victory with Honor”

After combining their “Six Pillars of Character” curriculum into his own lecturing style, Naber produced a keynote speech called “Pursuing Victory with Honor,” which teaches audiences how to appreciate quality character and how to make the ethical standard a part of their everyday decision making process.

Naber’s devotion to character building allows him to articulate the powerful and sensitive lessons of personal ethical development that are most visible in the sporting arena. By applying the same training method he used in sports, Naber allows audiences across the globe to appropriate the top quality decision making skills and let’s him share how to succeed in life without succumbing to the temptations that face us all.

Tributes to Naber’s character

Chairman of Character Counts! Sports
Testified before the US Congressional Sub-committee on Olympic scandals
NCAA Silver Anniversary Award
Contributing author in “The Power of Character”

Naber’s background in character education

John Naber has been a life-long advocate for ethics and character education in sports. Active in student government, he served as the Volunteer Head Swimming Coach for the International Special Olympics, and was instrumental in raising over $6,000,000 to build an aquatics facility that provides free swimming lessons to all the Pasadena area school children, and scholarships for participation on the swim and dive teams.

In 1973, after not contesting his disqualification (over a meaningless infraction) during the US national swimming championships and World Team Trials (that denied him a likely gold medal at the 1973 World Championships), he was awarded the UNESCO/Pierre DeCoubertain Fair Play Trophy, for his strict adherence to the rules and devotion to the spirit of friendly and fair competition.

Naber often took time during international meets to befriend his competition, as well as to encourage his teammates (in spite of his hefty competition schedule). His relationships with many of his competitors continue to this day, and he is currently serving as the President of the US Olympic Alumni Association where he pioneered an Olympians speaking workshop to mentor many of America’s Olympians on how to better present themselves as ambassadors of the Olympic ideals, through their various public appearances.

Naber also oversaw the creation of the “Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund” a non-profit foundation that distributes funds to America’s Olympians who happen to find themselves in distressed conditions, following their Olympic exploits.

After going through specialized training (conducted by Michael Josephson at the Josephson Institute of Ethics), Naber was appointed as Chairman of “Character Counts! Sports.”

His talk, “Character Driven Accomplishment” features the introduction of “The “Six Pillars of Character” and discusses the temptations which lead most people to justify their less than laudable behavior on the field of play, and the simple means to correct this behavior.

John Naber is a featured author in the book “The Power of Character” (1998, Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers) where prominent Americans talk about life, family, work, values, and more.

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