Teaching Kids Sportsmanship

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Let's face it; we live in a pretty competitive world. Because of that, children may not understand the importance of sportsmanship when involved in competition.

Winning can easily become the sole focus of a game, so children may not think much about the importance of good sportsmanship. Parents and coaches can do their part to help teach sportsmanship to children of all ages.

What is sportsmanship?

Sportsmanship is the ability to be respectful, no matter who the child is dealing with or the outcome of the situation. Whether the child is dealing with coaches, teammates, game officials or members of the opposing team, a child needs to understand the importance of sportsmanship. Win or lose, a child should practice good sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship is best taught by observing other adults behaving with a sense of dignity. For children to learn sportsmanship, adults need to first understand and demonstrate it. This includes both parents and coaches.

For some children, sportsmanship may come naturally but for others it requires more effort. However, those who learn how to demonstrate it will benefit in many ways.