10 Ways to Show Sportsmanship
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Nobody likes to lose. It’s painful and sometimes heartbreaking. It is also every bit as important as winning. A strong character does not come from never experiencing sorrow. Character is built in life’s tough moments. How we handle ourselves during those times says a great deal about what kind of person we are. Proper sportsmanship teaches good behavior and builds strong character. Here are some ways to instill sportsmanship in your child.
1. Do Not Be That Parent
We all know that parent. Some of us are that parent. The one who screams at the refs from the bleachers. The parent who curses out the coach in front of his child because his kid didn't get played. The one who ridicules the players who aren’t as gifted as others. That parent is an embarrassment and disgrace. Set the example for your child. Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Win or lose, offer high praise for the effort. Thank the coaches for their time, which is usually volunteered. Sportsmanship starts with the parent.
2. Win with Dignity
Winning is easy. It’s fun. It can also breed arrogance and bad behavior like taunting and mocking the losing team. Not very appealing traits in a person. Show your child to win with dignity—to shake the opposing players’ hands after the game and say, "Good game." To be humble in their success. Coach Dungy is the model for winning with dignity.
3. Losing with Grace
As stated in the opening paragraph, losing is as important as winning. Without a good dose of rain there would be no beautiful flowers and green plants. The same goes with human life. Support your child at these times with encouragement and praise. Offer to help them practice more. Gently give tips on things that might need to be corrected. Emphasize positive actions as opposed to negative feelings. Hold your head high and be as humble in defeat as in victory.