Teaching good sportsmanship - AmericaNowNews.com

Teaching good sportsmanship

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Chicago Cubs Hall of-Famer Ernie Banks put it best: "The only way to prove you're a good sport is to lose."

But in kids' sports today, when everyone is a winner, learning how to be a good sport is tough. 

More than 40 million American kids are now participating in organized sports. A lot of them are starting at an earlier age than ever before. But no matter how old a child is, it's really important to teach them what it means to be a good sport.

"The first thing to do is to take a look at yourself. Are you a good sport?" says Communications Coach Marcia Brandwynne. "Kids learn so much by observing how their parents behave. When you go to their games, you need to model good sportsmanship. Yelling at coaches or referees or using foul language -- that's definitely not good sportsmanship."

It's also important to talk to your kids about being a good sport before they hit the field. Have a conversation about the rules of the game. Make sure they understand the rules and how they need to follow them. Talk to them about what it means to be a part of a team, and how everyone needs to work together.

"Talk to your child about respecting the competition. When he or she wins, teach them to congratulate the losers and to not gloat over their victory. When they lose, teach them to congratulate the winner, and not pout or whine," Marcia explains. "Remind them that losing is an opportunity to get better at the game."

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