Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sportsmanship: Connecting Fun and Competition

What is sportsmanship? Do we really understand how to exercise, teach, or encourage sportsmanship? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sportsmanship as “fair play, respect for opponents, and polite behavior by someone who is competing in a sport or other competition.” Sportsmanship is the glue that holds competition and fun together.

As athletes, coaches, officials, or parents we need to lead by example. This can be done by:
  • Thanking coaches and referees at the end of games
  • Congratulating players and opponents
  • Cheering for your teammates
  • Being polite to the referees
Youth sport should be about having fun. However, as athletes get older the competitive drive gets bigger and often sportsmanship can be forgotten. Officials of highly competitive games can help to create a good sportsmanship atmosphere. Click Here for some tips on how officials can prepare.

Reference from the SIRC collection:
Woelfel, Rick. (2005). How to Build Good Sportsmanship. Referee, 30(3), 14.

Online Resources:
SIRC July Newsletter
TeensHealth: Sportsmanship

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