Have you noticed how many professional sports players have recently been behaving badly or how some college athletes act inappropriate on the field and off?
What ever happen to good sportsmanship? Athletes, whether pro or not have somewhere along the way have lost their sense of good sportsmanship. What’s sad about the whole scenario, is our children are picking up these bad habits.
From hockey players to NASCAR drivers; our kids learn how to behave on the playing field and it isn’t the moral values we what them to learn.
Good sportsmanship begins at home. Before your child begins to play sports, you as his or her parent are responsible for teaching the right way to behave on the playing field and toward their fellow teammates.
The key to good sportsmanship is respect. You have to teach your child to respect himself, his coach, and his teammates.
Teaching your child respect on the playing field is easy. I’ve used this simple method with my nine year old and have gotten great results and no insults.
Reminders and rules: Teach your child to play by the rules. Remind them rules are not meant to be broken. If their coach isn’t doing something your approve of, talk to the coach. Your child’s coach should be teaching good sportsmanship to your child. The rule on the field should always be good attitude, good sportsmanship always.
Educate: Teach your child sometimes he or she will come up against adversity, but it’s part of the game. Your child may lose the game, but it’s how they play that counts. If you educate your child that they can’t win them all, they can become good sports.
Sportsmanship: Teach your child to be a good sport whether he or she wins or loses. On the playing field it’s not about being a showoff, it’s about being a good sport. Your child can set a good example for the rest of the team if he or she practices good sportsmanship on and off the field.
Practice what your preach: Teach your child to practice good sportsmanship. It begins with you. If your preach it, then you must practice it. Not only does good sportsmanship belong on the playing field, it also belongs in the home. It starts at home with a good attitude and respect. Kids learn what they see. Telling isn’t doing. Doing is action in action.
Encourage: Teach your child to encourage their teammates to be good sportsmen. If he or she is a team leader, then they need to lead through example. Show good sportsmanship so others will follow.
Cheer: Teach your child to cheer for the underdog. Most parents want their kids to win, but sometimes your have to break away from the win at all cost mode and cheer for the underdog. By cheering for the other team, your child shows good sportsmanship in a way it’s never been shown. He or she is showing a positive attitude toward the rival team. It also shows your child it pays to be a good sport.
Team player: Teach your child there is no I in team. This is the first rule of good sportsmanship. You can’t be on a team if all you think about is yourself. On and off the playing field it isn’t “me, myself, and I”, it’s go team go. Raise your child to be a team player, not an I am the only one that counts player.
Whether your child plays sports or not, it’s still important to teach them good sportsmanship which will follow them throughout their lives. If your teach them respect first, then good sportsmanship will follow.