Life SKILLZ – Sportsmanship
What is Sportsmanship? Good sportsmanship is when individuals, teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials treat each other with respect. Children learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially their parents, coaches, and teachers. It is important that children learn how to persevere and behave with dignity when they participate in sports – whether they win or lose at something.
Here is a guideline regarding children and sportsmanship based on age:
- With children ages 3 and 4: They are learning that all sports have rules. Teach them that following the rules is the most important part of sportsmanship.
- With children ages 5 and 6: They are learning about right and wrong as it applies to sports. Teach them that sportsmanship is not about winning or losing but playing fair.
- With children ages 7 to 9: They are learning to recognize their own individual skills and abilities. Teach them how to take pride in their accomplishments and in improving their skills instead of focusing on winning or losing.
- With children ages 10 to 14: They are learning that real athletes have good values and ethics in sports. Teach them the importance of showing respect towards their teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials.
Displaying good sportsmanship isn’t always easy. It can be tough to maintain sportsmanship particularly when things don’t go your way. But the children who learn how to do so will benefit in many ways. A child who practices good sportsmanship is likely to carry the respect and appreciation towards people into every other aspect of their life.