It goes without saying that young minds are easily impressionable, so when it comes to sportsmanship, the influence of parents and coaches on children truly matters.
Sportsmanship is defined as the fair and generous behavior or treatment of others, especially in a sporting contest. This quality teaches children who are playing or watching a sport to treat each other with respect and to have a sense of responsibility. It builds teamwork and character while also familiarizing children with the concept of respect, honor, discipline, kindness, inclusion, resilience, and more. As soon as children begin to play sports, they learn the basics that set the foundation for sportsmanship. Trading high fives or shaking hands with their opponents after a game may seem like a pointless gesture but it is moments like this that lay the groundwork for genuine team play.
How does sportsmanship affect the game?
For sports to be complete, we need the essence of sportsmanship. When sportsmanship is taught to a child, it offers an opportunity for them to develop all the qualities that are required to possess a competitive spirit while playing a game.
Sportsmanship in a game dictates:
Communication – If there are any disagreements with the coach or players, the child learns to convey them calmly and respectfully, away from the crowd.
Teamwork – Sportsmanship ensures that they always listen and pay heed to direction, acknowledging that their decisions can affect the team.
Respect – Respect and courtesy play an essential role in making a game successful, especially when it comes to coaches and players from the opposing team. Most importantly, there is an understanding that the game and its virtues should be respected.
Humility – Failure is also part of every game, accepting this takes humility. Children learn to not make excuses or play the blame-game, they instead learn from their mistakes and prepare for the next competition.
Discipline – There are consequences for taunting or embarrassing other players and a good sport is always aware of this. They choose to abide by the code of conduct. Part of being a good sportsperson is knowing the rules and playing by them always.
Responsibility – Being a good role model is crucial for players, so that they can embody the value of sporting conduct and set a good example to new players. Players learn to live up to their highest standards even when their opponents may not, personal accountability becomes their first priority.
Joy – When the whole team is having fun, it makes the game much more rewarding and enjoyable! It doesn’t matter if you’re winning or losing, the experience trumps it all. Vital values and lessons of sport are acquired through competition, not the outcome.
Excellence – Success is directly related to the effort a child puts in to realize their potential. Personal mastery, increased skill development, and performing to one’s best ability are the trademarks of true sportsmanship.
How does Great Goals shape children into becoming better sportsmen ?
Effort is the only thing that’s in a child’s control and at Great Goals we value effort as the pathway to success! Sport is one of the leading approaches in which children learn life values while having fun, and we emphasize that winning a game is not the only way to determine if a child is successful.
Great Goals makes sport an open, inclusive, and positive experience for children. Our leagues and classes are open to children between 4 to 15 years of age. Our coaches encourage effort and allow kids to learn from their mistakes rather than avoid them.