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Yes, sport is character building—mostly because we can lose at it

In sport the only thing that works is constant, relentless, completely excessive effort and concentration. And sometimes that doesn’t work either

Gareth Southgate dejected after failing to score in the penalty shoot out which ended England's chances in the Euro '96 semi-finals. Photo: PA

One of the reasons we’re supposed to play sports is because it builds character. As a kid I remember thinking, “this is bullshit.” But then I had kids myself and have now spent years dragging them—and being dragged—to various kinds of character-building exercise. I found a girls’ football club for my daughter even though she didn’t want to play. It seemed like part of my…

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