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Teaching Athletes the Value of Sportsmanship

Children are known for being endlessly impressionable. That makes it easy to teach them lessons they use for the rest of their lives. One of the best things you can teach young athletes is the value of good sportsmanship. However, kids are going to turn to their parents and coaches to get examples of the way they should act.

Helping kids develop sportsmanship is more than teaching them to be polite during a game and after it is over. Good sportsmanship also determines the way that kids act toward each other both on and off the field. Teaching good sportsmanship builds character and teamwork. It also teaches perseverance, resilience, inclusion, kindness, discipline, respect, and more.

How to Teach the Value of Sportsmanship

Kids will experience many benefits from good sportsmanship. If kids enjoy active play, they’ll be excited to play sports and exercise as these activities let them learn new skills and make new friends. Sportsmanship pushes everyone to do their best, which leads to higher confidence and shows the rewards of collaboration, goal setting, and hard work.

There are many ways you can help teach a child good sportsmanship, some of which are listed below:

  • Consider the golden rule – People should always be treated the way you would like to be. Empathy is something that benefits everyone and is an important skill for youth to learn. When kids think about how their actions and words impact others, they treat each other better.
  • Actions speak louder when words – Instead of talking about sportsmanship, make sure you also demonstrate it. Shake hands with the opposing team’s coach or parents. Or give a high-five to your opponent when you lose a game yourself.
  • Combine fun and fitness – Healthy habits should start earlier so kids enjoy active lifestyles throughout the years. Winning and losing both happen but the important part is to make fitness fun. Be sure you show athletes look forward to time on the field. It can be a motivation to thrive and stay active.

Many things go into maintaining and encouraging good sportsmanship for youth. Coaches and parents must realize the role they play in showing children how to act. From compromise to strategy and teamwork, kids look up to adults as role models who are to be respected. Teaching the importance of sportsmanship will ensure it remains in their life, both when playing sports and doing other things.

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