Character-Driven Athletics

character coaching  

Retaining our NAIA student-athletes by investing in character-driven athletics

The NAIA is the only intercollegiate athletics association focused on character-driven athletics where coaches and administrators embody and teach integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership on and off the field.

The NAIA is changing the culture of sport through our Champions of Character® program. Our mission is to provide training that builds character so that students and coaches know, do and value the right thing on and off the field.



Character-Driven Coaching
The NAIA's Character-Driven Coaching Course is the ONLY required coach's character training in collegiate sports. Each coach must complete this learning module and become certified in Character-Driven Coaching as a means to intentionally define, model, shape and reinforce the NAIA’s five core values through their coaching and mentoring. Learn more.



Champions of Character Five Core Values
Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Servant Leadership. These values go well beyond the playing field to the daily decisions of our youth. These character values help young people – and those associated with their development – make good choices in all aspects of their life and reflect the true spirit of competition. Learn more. 

All Championships host Teaming Up For Character™ events to promote the five-core values to local youth in communities across the U.S.



Champions of Character Scorecard
Every year, each NAIA institution and conference demonstrates its progress in pursuing character-driven athletics. The Champions of Character® Scorecard measures growth in training, promotion, conduct in competition and commitment to character. Last year, 68% of all NAIA institutions earned a distinction. Click here for highlights from the 2022-23 Scorecard.


That's what draws us to the NAIA. We like our student-athletes to be under the mentorship of our coaches because we have coaches of character.

Kevin Steele
Athletics Director 
Ottawa University-Arizona