As a Kindysport Coach, we play a critical role in teaching children the importance of maintaining the fundamental values of good sportsmanship. These values are essential not just to sports, but to the social fabric of our entire society. We aim to help kids enjoy the game by focusing on values that will help them in and out of the game. This helps children develop character.
What are Sportsmanship Values
The following values demonstrate good sportsmanship:
Enthusiasm – Showing Enthusiasm means that you are showing excitement for what you are doing.
Communication – You might think that communication means talking. But in order to be a good communicator, you must also be a good listener.
Fair Play – Fair play is about taking turns, being polite and playing by the rules.
Determination – Determination means being focussed on achieving something and never giving up. It means that you are trying your best at all times.
Humility – Humility means not showing off or trying to make yourself seem better than everyone else. Having Humility also means that when you win, you do not brag or rub it in or show off.
Respect – Respect is how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Showing respect to someone means you act in a way that shows you care about their feelings and well-being.
Unselfishness – Unselfishness means putting other people first and not always thinking about yourself and what you want.
Co-operation – Co-operation means working together with others as a member of a group to accomplish a goal. It means acting like a true team player.
Parent’s play a crucial role in modelling good sportsmanship to their children. This applies not only to how parent’s play their game, but also how parent’s conduct themselves on the sidelines of their child’s sport. ‘Ugly Parent Syndrome’ is a big problem in junior sport, with too many examples of negative or derogatory language aimed at officials, coaches, children or other parents. It’s important parent’s support and encourage their child to make it the best possible experience for their child.
Tips for Encouraging Good Sportsmanship
- In the practices or games, watch for instances when your child exhibits the right kinds of behaviour. Recognize frequently and openly. Make a big deal of giving positive feedback!
- Make the discussion interactive by asking questions and giving examples.
- When you observe negative behaviour, it’s important that you address it directly with your child in a manner that will not embarrass him/her in front of others. Your goal should be to constructively correct; never to humiliate. The best way to handle a negative situation is to deal with the issue privately one-to-one.
- Don’t forget that you are your child’s best role model for good sportsmanship. Be very mindful of how you respond to game officials and/or to disagreements with other coaches or parents. Your child will take their lead from you… they’re always watching!
- Remember that “Having Fun is #1.”