Teaching Kids Sportsmanship

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Many times, parents will express their frustration with other coaches, game officials or players. Any real and serious concerns should be addressed at a more appropriate time. Sportsmanship is about always treating others with respect.

Parents can also look to other examples when watching sports on television with their children. Point out both positive and negative sportsmanship and have a discussion about it. Many times, children who see poor sportsmanship demonstrated in sports on television will see how unattractive it is.

Another way that sportsmanship is demonstrated is by pointing out good plays or moves by the opposing team. Although winning is part of a game, it is not the only part. It is also about recognizing a player's skills and abilities, even when they are on the opposite team.

Actions may speak louder than words but words still carry a great deal of weight. Words like, "Good job!" "Nice catch!" "Great try!" make a positive impact. Of course, your actions will also demonstrate sportsmanship. If you are throwing your hands up in the air, stomping your feet or shaking your head you are not demonstrating good sportsmanship.