What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘good sportsmanship”? Sports? How about games? If so your not alone, however good sportsmanship is about so much more than being nice on a sports field. It’s about attitude and attitude is important everywhere.
A good attitude helps with our family relationships, friendships, school and work. Think about the attributes of your family and classmates or co-workers. What stands out as making some a joy to be around or a person you avoid? Attitude.
So What IS Good Sportsmanship?
This is what I found when I searched for good sportsmanship in google. Is this really all that is meant by good sportsmanship? I don’t think so but read the quotes and decide for yourself.
“Good sportsmanship is when people who are playing or watching a sport treat each other with respect. This includes players, parents, coaches, and officials.”– https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/sportsmanship.html
“Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. When a basketball player plays by the rules, is fair to his opponent and is gracious when he loses, this is an example of sportsmanship. YourDictionary definition and usage example.” ––https://www.yourdictionary.com/sportsmanship
I believe that good sportsmanship is so much more.
Attitude is Everything
In competition and in all areas of life, having a good attitude makes the difference between a good day and a bad day. When people are competing this is especially important, but what if you don’t realize your competing? That is where good sportsmanship bleeds into everyday life.
When you eat a meal you have your favorites right? Do you also have your favorite preparer? It can be a favorite restaurant or an Auntie that makes it better than anyone else. Your kids only like your spaghetti and no else’s. You didn’t know it was a competition, but how you handle these situations is showing good sportsmanship in everyday life.
Do you have a favorite desert, but you never ask for it, because the person who makes it best boasts to much, or it makes your mom feel bad that you don’t like her version? That’s an example of how a negative attitude or bad sportsmanship and affect everyday life as well.
How do I teach my kids Good Sportsmansip?
Its true that you can’t control anyone but yourself. Not even our kids. So if you choose to be kind, to be nice, and to be helpful, then you are teaching the best way possible, by example.
Other ways to teach this concept is through story telling and books. That is why I wrote “Bubbles and the Big Race”. With stories like this, kids can see this concept in action, without feeling lectured or called out. They can see what examples of what bad sportsmanship looks like, and how it makes other people feel. Making the connections between bad attitudes and other peoples feelings increase things like empathy.
Empathy is a big social skill so lets encourage it.
What else have I written about?
- Teaching Kids Healthy Social Skills –
- Bubbles and the Berry Bush-amazon link
- Teaching Personal Responsibility –
- Bubbles and the Mermaid Adventure – amazon link
- Every Person has room to Shine! –
- Let Every Day be an Adventure! –
- The Little Purple Porcupine – amazon link
- Secret Keepers – Middle Grade Social Phenomenon and What We Can Do About It
- Escaping Gardenia – amazon link
The future is hard to pin down but I have several things planned out for the next year. Here is a lists of dates I have set right now. I’ll update them as things change.
- Saving Gardenia – September 1, 2019 – Coming Soon!
- Bubbles and the Big Race – September 21, 2019 -Coming Soon!
- The Little Yellow Llama – November 2019
- The Little Green Fox – February 2020
- Take a Walk on the Beach – April 2020
- Take a Walk in the Rain – July 2020
- The Middlest- October 2020
- Restoring Gardenia -2020
*sample illustrations by Callan Clark