Value Cards

This tool assists to help athletes identify their personal values as a person and as a sportsman or sportswoman. By using the tool, athletes can find out what is truly important to them in their dual career.

Replay Guideline Video
Introducing the tool

Values are not the same as goals. Values are principles that guide and motivate us as we move through journey of life. They reflect what is important to us, what we care about, what we want to take pride in, and what we want to be known for. Values are freely chosen by us, and they are ongoing.  They are qualities we will keep trying to move towards and live by. On the other hand, we set goals to strive towards, such as a win, a medal, or a school grade. Once we have achieved that goal, we can tick it off. Goals can also be set by someone else.

Dual career athletes will be paving a path for themselves in their sport and studies. This path will have twists and turns, moments of self-doubt and setbacks, and forks in the road where there are decisions to be made. In this way, values contribute to guide their intentions and actions according to their identity.

This is where the tool Value Cards comes into play. It assists athletes to reflect on what is truly important to them in their current sport and educational journey. The tool can be used stand-alone or in combination with Who Am I? and Hall Of Fame.

How to use

Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.

About the downloads

My Dual Career Values (pdf) and the corresponding My Dual Career Values – The Cards (pdf) are intended to be used in a group setting, but also work on individual basis. The exercise gives athletes the opportunity to dive deeper into the values of their current sport and educational journey. This will guide areas like how they go about training and classes, how they choose to prepare for and execute performances in sport or studies, how they work with their support team, and the lifestyle choices they make. There is no age restriction. Empirically, older adolescents may be more likely to be creative with their values. It is important to note that the provided values are not seen as a definitive list of values. The blank cards allow participants to come up with their own values. Consequently, this exercise is not a test to see whether athletes have the “correct” values, but a chance to consider what values they personally want to take pride in and practically connect with more.

  1. Look up the remarks on “Values” in the STARTING 11 Dictionary. Read the details provided in the worksheet My Dual Career Values (pdf).
  2. Kick off the exercise with an open discussion on values and goals. Then, hand out the before-cut-out cards of My Dual Career Values – The Cards (pdf) to each athlete. Less time-consuming, you can also only display the cards on the screen.
  3. Explain the value cards. Let the athletes consider what values are important to them in their “sport practice”. Assist them to pick and write down their top 3 cards that they feel are most important to them. Repeat this process for “sport competition” and “education”.
  4. Let the athletes write down the actions they associate with each of their top values they have chosen in Step 1. Ask them to be as precise as they can.
  5. Ask the athletes to score each of their values (10 = I consistently act in line according to this value; 1 = I am very inconsistent in acting according to this value).
  6. Assist the athletes to find out what actions they can take now (or in the coming days or weeks) to move even closer to their values. Advise them to write down one action they want to commit to taking, for each of their top values.


  • Invite the athletes to do a value cards sort for other life areas aside from sport and education. For example, they might like to consider “relationships” (What characteristics do you want to bring to family, friendships, or romantic relationships?) or “health/self-care” (What characteristics do you need to move towards to look after your health, mind, and body?).
  • Harris, R. (2009). ACT Made Simple: An Easy-To-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
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In practice

The tool "Value Cards" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.